Out and About

David Zambrano and his family are our neighbors living only two doors away from us.  David has been our Go To person for any issues we have on the house.  He is an excellent electrician and plumber. Several weeks back he had an accident and has been flat on his back since.

Yesterday he was out and about in his wheelchair.

IMG_2942Always smiling!  God bless him.

If you live here and can come by and visit I know he would appreciate it. Laying in bed all day can be very boring.

At his last doctors appointment he was told he could stand with the help of a walker and take three steps, three times a day. Progress. Keep him and his family in your prayers.

Friends from Nicaragua

When Joe and I were living in Panama several years back we started corresponding with Debbie Goehring. Deb and her husband Ron were living in the US and making an exploratory trip to Panama.  We were not able to meet them on that trip but did keep in contact over the past five or so years.  Finally yesterday we were able to meet.  They have settled in Nicaragua and have been on a month-long tour of Ecuador and made the stop here in San Clemente.

San Clemente 5.20.2014 004It was great meeting them and hope the balance of their adventure in Ecuador is a good one.

On the Matter of Neighbors

I am not sure if we were destined to be in Ecuador, or living on the coast or for that matter making San Clemente our permanent home. All I know is that I love this country, this little town and our barrio. And, especially, its people.

The past several weeks have found me almost continually under the weather. I will not go into detail here about my issues but if I spoke to you at some point in the past three weeks don’t count on me remembering everything so if I promised you that I would do something for you I would suggest that you remind me of my promise.  I have been in a brain fog. Also, for those visiting, I honestly have not felt well, have not left the house unless going to see a doctor and now for the past three days in walking every morning and some afternoons as prescribed by my doctor and just trying to smile.

During all this, the most amazing thing happened. I found out just how wonderful my neighbors and friends are. Always knew they were great but in times of stress you do see who walks the walk.

First, Eva must be made entirely of heart – compassion, kindness and profound gentleness. She did not hesitate – when I spoke to her about not feeling well – on two separate occasions found doctors, made appointments, arranged transportation and accompanied me like family holding my hand. Through the entire process from translated questions, instructions and reading paperwork, checking blood pressure and blood count, to keeping it real by keeping me calm. She is a strong woman with a gentle heart and I am proud to call her my dear friend.

Thank you Patricia for taking my frantic call in the middle of the night and contacting the local doctor and following through with numerous telephone calls concerned for my well being. It is very special to have someone like you in our community. You have helped many expats when help was needed and there was nowhere else to turn.

Earlier this week, I felt well enough to go outdoors. Almost to a neighbor they came to the gate and gave me “what for”. There was Pilli and Paola, David and Helena, Sonia and Nellie, Erika and Mariuxi ALL caught me over the past two days and made it clear whatever time day or night just come to their door they have cars and trucks and will take us anywhere. Each told me over and over that if I ever needed anything, I was to speak to one of them. They would make arrangements to take me to doctors or hospitals or whatever I needed. Honestly it was done forcefully to make their point but with the most kindness I have witnessed, it was the most beautiful show of acceptance that I have come across.

Moreover, they seemed hurt I had not gone to them first. Our neighbors are not intrusive, they do not show up at your gate without you asking them or making arrangements in advance and they would never get in your business unless you asked. They smile and say hello as they go by. We share food and fruit over the fence. They will stop to chat if you want them to but otherwise respect your space. Yet I know that if I was in need I can just walk across the street and knock on a door, any door, and someone would drop whatever they were doing to help. This is a wondrous concept.  Joe and I have lived in probably a dozen neighborhoods over our 40 years together and have never had neighbors that honestly concerned for our well-being.

I am profoundly grateful for all the wonderful people we have met, appreciate their concern and their genuine compassion for “the new kids on the block”.

Each and every day we are blessed.

Diane and Rob Sit Under The Limon Tree

We first met Rob through a comment he made on a post almost a year ago. Monday evening we got to meet both Diane and Rob in person. With their trip to Ecuador in full swing – memories already made in Quito, Salinas, Ballenita and Puerto Lopez –  they are now into the second half of their adventure this week here in San Clemente and points north.

San Clemente 8.20.2013 011In all honesty we got along so well that it was like we had known each other for years. We feel that way about many of the visitors to Ecuador that we have met over the past three years. I guess it is a kind of “like-minded” attitude in the folks that are trying to make the decision to move to our adopted land, and, in particular, our new home town.

Monday evening we spent hours out in the yard, talking and laughing, drinking a few Pilseners and having some munchies. I know that we will be seeing you again next year when you come to visit again. That is the true testament of how Ecuador and it’s beautiful and warm people affect most folks – they come back.

We pray for a wonderful balance of your adventure, a pleasant journey back to Canada and fond memories of your time in Ecuador.

Felices viajes!

Eva’s Birthday Lunch

My friend Eva celebrated her birthday last month so we went out to Viviana’s for a special girls only lunch.

It was great fun, we normally just meet to walk the beach but this was special to just sit and enjoy a lovely meal with my dear friend.

San Clemente 8.3.2013 009After our great seafood meal we went back to my house and had Lemon Poppy Seed Cake and coffee. What a lovely friend, Feliz cumpleaños, mi querida amiga.

More New Dresses

I loved everything that Nelly made for me so I decided that I needed a few cover-ups for when we go to the beach. When I went over to her house with my new materials, Nelly started to take out her stockpile of beautiful materials – pieces of fabric that I could not pass by.  She made the following items in less than a week.

San Clemente 7.20.2013 019As well as making me ties for the dresses, she even made me two shawls from the beach material.

San Clemente 7.20.2013 011We had this cute lounge chair that we bought in Playas but the sling seat disintegrated so she made me a new more comfortable one to replace the old.

Can’t wait until all my shelving and cabinetry are completed so I can start buying some furniture and having Nelly do some decorating with fabric for us.

Bethany and Larry Return from the States

We have met some really great folks here in San Clemente. Our nearest neighbors that are Expats are Bethany and Larry, They rent a house right on Ave. Quito about a block from our home and are building their beach home right around the corner.

San Clemente 7.15.2013 005They had plans to return to the states for several weeks and were kind enough to allow me to ship them some items that are difficult, if not impossible, for us to find here. They came over right after their return to bring these wonderful treasures.

Thanks Bethany and Larry for finding all that room in your luggage for our items.  We are going to Guayaquil early next month  – is there anything that you need or want that we can bring back for you?

Changing The Look Of The Blog

After over three years of staying the same, I have changed the look of the blog twice this past month. Why? Well again I felt that after three years it and I could use a little mixing it up. The first theme that I chose, which I really loved, did not work for everyone reading. It would make the words disappear and folks could not see what I was writing. So Saturday afternoon my friend Donna MacDonald gave me her honest evaluation of the problems. She wrote:

Hi Nancy & Joe,

Happy Easter to you both.  Who gets to hide the eggs & who gets to hunt for the eggs?

Thought I would give you a little feedback on your blog.  I think your blog is great and certainly has the makings for a “travel book.”  My feedback is on your background….when your verbage is directly on your glass, the background is extremely difficult to read & when it is on top of the dark green it is impossible to read.  Of course, when your photos/writings are layered on white & then the glass…everything is readable.  Don’t mean to be picky….just don’t want to miss anything.  Definitely think you have the makings of a travel/living in Ecuador book.

Ecuador appears to be agreeing with you guys…..take care.

Love, Donna & Norman

One other reader found it difficult to read with the new theme but when I questioned what the issues were he had not gotten back to me so I thought it was a random issue only on his computer and let it go. Again, I really liked the look of the new theme. So now I have changed it again – I took a bit of time to find one that was easier to read and in doing so I was able to add my photo of the pelicans here in San Clemente to the masthead.

I do appreciate each comment that has been made. I feel blessed that our experiences living in Ecuador are being followed by so many folks and hope that some of it has made a favorable impression of this beautiful country and its people.

Liz and Bill Come For A Visit

San Clemente 3.11.2013 002

Meeting new folks has been just so rewarding for Joe and I. People we would probably never have had the opportunity to know, have come into our lives because of this blog. Liz and Bill are a great example. Looking for a retirement spot with open hearts and eyes has led them to Ecuador’s coast. On Sunday they drove up from Manta to spend the day with us. Of course, you know if we have a chance, we will be taking you to Viviana’s, one of our favorite restaurants.

Several other Expat couples came by and were introduced including John and Mary who joined us for lunch, Bethany and Larry, Keith and Becky, Lou and Mary who had family visiting, Tio, as well as Libby and Jerri. This gave Liz and Bill an idea of the expat community in this area. After a great lunch we took them on a short sightseeing trip around town and then they were off to be sure to get to Manta before nightfall.

I hope your visit was as expected and that the balance of your time in Ecuador is wonderful.

Pizza Thursdays

Yesterday a group of Expats got together to share some pizza, beer, wine and conversation at Meiers. It was a fun evening and allowed some of the new folks (either visiting or just purchased a place here) to meet a few of us who live here permanently.

San Clemente 3.7.2013 013

I loved meeting and visiting with all of these folks. Next time we need to do musical chairs and move around to speak to everyone in the group.

Hope you all enjoyed your evening together. See you around town!