Monday, 28 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

What we brought to Ecuador

We brought all sorts of things to Ecuador. I brought my 3'' telescope, a lovely overstuffed armchair, which the dogs have claimed.
When we first came here and decided that this was the place we were going to live, we looked around and thought we had made a pretty good list of what to bring. One of the things that we brought were old photos. You have probably said the same thing, "When I have the time, I will scan all these photos into the computer and then we can share them with family and friends". ( like that's going to happen!!!).
A question we are asked is, "What do you do with your time?" Back in CA, we had a wii game system, which we brought to Ecuador. In CA, we played ten pin bowling , boxing, ski jumping, and so on; here, we have not even unpacked the system.
We have not been able to answer the question of, 'what do you do with your time?', except to say, what we do takes all day to do it, and we still do not have enough time to do that.
So, one of the things I did bring is a metal detector, because we live by the coast that has a beach. Things get lost in the sand and things get washed up on the beach.
I have found bottle caps, quarters, earrings, nails, and so on.
Here is what I found on this day with my metal detector; only I could not get it in my bag to take home.

The weather has been great here, but the waves have been stronger and the tide has been coming right up to the beach houses.
Take a look at this short video I took when on the beach one morning.

Accident on the Malecon

This accident was due to speed, as the Malecon is one-way. Motorists do tend to speed on this section because of the low number of pedestrians. This accident caused power to be lost to this area, as this is a major transformer.

This month

January 28, 1547 - King Henry VIII of England died and was succeeded by his son, Edward VI. Henry had ruled since 1509 and had broken all ties with the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of divorce. He married a total of six times. Edward VI was the son of his third wife, Jane Seymour. Edward became king at age 10, but died of tuberculosis at age 16. He was followed by his half-sister, Mary.
January 28, 1871 - The Franco-Prussian War ended as Paris surrendered to the Germans after a four month siege. Peace terms imposed on the French included yielding the greater part of Alsace and Lorraine to the Germans and a $1 billion fine. German troops also outraged the French by marching triumphantly through the streets of Paris causing enmity between the two nations which lasted for decades.
January 28, 1915 - The U.S. Coast Guard was created by an Act of Congress, combining the Life Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service.
January 28, 1935 - Iceland became the first country to legalize abortion.
January 28, 1963 - African American student Harvey Gantt entered Clemson College in South Carolina, the last state to hold out against integration.
January 28, 1986 - The U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 74 seconds into its flight, killing seven persons, including Christa McAuliffe, a teacher who was to be the first ordinary citizen in space.
Birthday - Explorer Henry Stanley (1841-1904) was born in Wales. As a newspaper correspondent for the New York Herald, he was given the challenging assignment of finding missionary-explorer David Livingston in Africa. Upon locating Livingston near Lake Tanganyika in 1871 after an exhausting search, Stanley simply asked, "Dr. Livingston, I presume?"
January 29
January 29, 1891 - Hawaii proclaimed Liliuokalani as its queen. Renowned for her song Aloha Oe,she had a reign of only four years until she was forced to abdicate in 1895 under pressure from powerful businessmen.
January 29, 1916 - During World War I, the first aerial bombings of Paris by German zeppelins took place.
January 29, 1919 - The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Prohibition Amendment) was ratified. For nearly 14 years, until December 5, 1933, the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages were illegal in the United States. The Amendment had the unexpected result of causing enormous growth of organized crime which provided bootleg liquor to thirsty Americans.
Birthday - Common Sense author Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was born in Thetford, England. His pamphlet, published in 1776, provided inspiration to undecided Americans that a new nation, independent from Britain, might eventually become " asylum for mankind!" He served in the Continental Army and observed the hardships of American troops fighting the world's most powerful army. He then published The Crisis series pamphlets which began by stating, "These are the times that try men's souls." He refused to accept the profits from his writings and wound up destitute after the Revolution.
Birthday - William McKinley (1843-1901) the 25th U.S. President was born in Niles, Ohio. He was elected in 1896 and re-elected in 1900. Early in his second term, on September 6, 1901, he was shot and mortally wounded by an anarchist at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, and died eight days later.
Birthday - Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was born in Taganrog, Russia. His works included Uncle VanyaThree Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.
January 30
January 30, 1649 - King Charles I of England was beheaded for treason by order of Parliament under the direction of Oliver Cromwell, leader of the Puritan Revolution.
January 30, 1835 - President Andrew Jackson survived the first assassination attempt on a U.S. President. While leaving the House of Representatives Chamber, an insane would-be assassin fired two pistol shots at him, however both pistols misfired and the president was unharmed.
January 30, 1933 - Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler went on to become the sole leader of Nazi Germany. He then waged a war of expansion in Europe, precipitating the deaths of an estimated 50 million persons through military conflict and through the Holocaust in which the Nazis attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe.
January 30, 1948 - Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi, India, by a religious fanatic. Gandhi had ended British rule in India through nonviolent resistance. "Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being," he had stated in 1926.
January 30, 1968 - Beginning of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam as North Vietnamese troops attacked 36 provincial capitals and 5 major cities in South Vietnam, including an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and the presidential palace. Although U.S. forces eventually fended off the massive surprise attack and achieved a military victory, Tet became a propaganda victory for the Vietnamese due in part to graphic news reports on television which helped turn U.S. public opinion against continuation of the war.
January 30, 1972 - In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 13 Roman Catholics were killed by British troops during a banned civil rights march. The event became known as Bloody Sunday.
January 30, 1973 - During the Watergate scandal, Gordon Liddy and James McCord were convicted of burglary, wire-tapping and attempted bugging of the Democratic headquarters inside the Watergate building in Washington, D.C.
January 30, 1992 - Argentina allowed access to numerous files of Nazis who had fled to South America from Germany after World War II, thus aiding the hunt for Nazi war criminals.
Birthday - Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) the 32nd U.S. President was born in Hyde Park, New York. Despite crippling polio, he led America out of the Great Depression and through World War II and is widely considered to be one of America's three greatest presidents (along with Washington and Lincoln). "When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries is in danger," he stated in 1939.
January 31
January 31, 1943 - German troops surrendered at Stalingrad, marking the first big defeat of Hitler's armies in World War II. During the Battle of Stalingrad, 160,000 Germans were killed and 90,000 taken prisoner, including the commander, Friedrich von Paulus, the first German field marshal ever to surrender. The captured Germans were forced to march to Siberia, with few ever returning to Germany.
January 31, 1945 - Eddie Slovik, a 24-year-old U.S. Army private, was executed by a firing squad after being sentenced to death for desertion, the first such occurrence in the U.S. Army since the Civil War.
Birthday - Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) was born in Cairo, Georgia. He was the first African American to play professional baseball. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1956, was chosen as the National League's most valuable player in 1949 and elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

Useful Information

Things to find out about

When we moved  here, not only did we encounter a culture shock, but we have had to learn a new way of doing things.
Back in CA, we were able to pay all our bills online and shop online, some of our groceries we had delivered. For the most part, when we went out shopping it was for fun or to find a restaurant.
Back in CA, we owned two hybrid cars, a truck, and two motorcycles, so there was not any issue about getting anywhere we wanted to go.
Here none of the above applies. What we pay for the internet here in Ecuador, we could have had a T3 line in California. As I have said before, the fastest things to move here are the taxis and buses. I had to wait 29 hours for my IMAC to  download updates.
Food shopping has become a social event because everywhere you go here, you are bound to meet at least three people you know.
Paying bills: we made the effort to find out where we had to pay bills, but we have since passed that task over to our guardian.
We still do not have a car, and it does not look like we are to get one soon. Walking, bicycling,buses, and taxis have become part of our routine, and has become enjoyable. At first it was a pain, not knowing which bus to take, or be charged different prices for the same trip in a taxi.
Learning Spanish was hard at first, but as I have gained more knowledge of the language, it has been rewarding. That does not mean to say I understand everything that is said to me. One thing I have learned is never say 'yes' if you do not completely understand what is being said to you.

Below are some links that will help with utilities, that is, knowing where to look for information with water, electricity, phone and internet.  - has notices of expected water repairs and shut offs

Here are a few shots from a day spent in Ballenita. It was a lovely day.

This month

January 25, 1533 - King Henry VIII married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, in defiance of Pope Clement who had refused to annul his first marriage. The King later broke all ties with Rome and became Supreme Head of the Church of England.
January 25, 1579 - Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Friesland, Groningen and Overyssel formed the (Protestant) Dutch Republic with the signing of the Union of Utrecht to defend their rights against Catholic Spain.
January 25, 1947 - Gangster Al Capone, who once controlled organized crime in Chicago, died in Miami at age 48 from syphilis.
January 25, 1959 - An American Airlines Boeing 707 made the first scheduled transcontinental U.S. flight, traveling from California to New York.
January 25, 1961 - President John F. Kennedy conducted the first live televised presidential news conference, five days after taking office.
January 25, 1971 - In Uganda, a military coup led by Idi Amin deposed President Milton Obote. Amin then ruled as president-dictator until 1979 when he was ousted by Tanzanian soldiers and Ugandan nationalists. During his reign, Amin expelled all Asians from Uganda, and ordered the execution of more than 300,000 tribal Ugandans.
Birthday - Scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was born in Lismore, Ireland. He formulated Boyle's Law concerning the volume and pressure of gases.
January 26
January 26, 1788 - The British established a settlement at Sydney Harbor in Australia as 11 ships with 778 convicts arrived, setting up a penal colony to relieve overcrowded prisons in England.
January 26, 1943 - Nazis began using Hitler Youths to operate anti-aircraft batteries in Germany following heavy Allied bombing of Berlin and other cities.
January 26, 1994 - Romania became the first former Cold War foe to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
January 26, 1998 - President Bill Clinton made an emphatic denial of charges that he had a sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky and had advised her to lie about it. "...I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky..."
Birthday - Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was born on a military base in Little Rock, Arkansas. He commanded Allied forces during World War II in the Pacific. In 1942, he uttered one of the most famous phrases of the war, "I shall return," when forced to leave the Philippines due to the unchecked Japanese advance. In 1950, after war broke out in Korea, he became commander of the United Nations forces. However, disagreements with President Harry Truman over war policy resulted in his dismissal by Truman in April 1951. MacArthur then appeared before Congress and announced his retirement, declaring, "Old soldiers never die - they just fade away."
January 27
January 27, 1943 - The U.S. 8th Air Force conducted the first all-American bombing raid on Germany as 55 bombers targeted Wilhelmshaven, losing three planes while claiming to have shot down 22 German fighters. The success of this first mission encouraged U.S. military planners to begin regular daylight bombing raids, which eventually resulted in high casualty rates for the American crewmen involved.
January 27, 1944 - Russian Army General Govorov announced the lifting of the Nazi blockade of Leningrad. During the 900-day siege, an estimated one million Russian civilians inside the city died of disease, starvation and relentless German shelling.
January 27, 1945 - The Russian Army liberated Auschwitz death camp near Krakow in Poland, where the Nazis had systematically murdered an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews.
January 27, 1967 - Three American astronauts were killed as a fire erupted inside Apollo 1 during a launch simulation test at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
January 27, 1973 - U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War ended as North Vietnamese and American representatives signed an agreement in Paris. The U.S. agreed to remove all remaining troops within 60 days thus ending the longest war in American history. Over 58,000 Americans had been killed, 300,000 wounded and 2,500 declared missing. A total of 566 prisoners-of-war had been held by the North Vietnamese during the war, with 55 reported deaths.
Birthday - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was born in Salzburg, Austria. From the age of five, through his untimely death at age 35, this musical genius created over 600 compositions including 16 operas, 41 symphonies, 27 piano and five violin concerti, 25 string quartets, 19 masses, and many other works.
Birthday - British novelist Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) was born in Daresbury, Cheshire, England (as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Best known for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. He also lectured in mathematics and was a pioneering photographer.
Birthday - Labor leader Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) was born in London. He emigrated to America at age 13, worked in a cigar factory, eventually becoming head of the Cigar Workers' Union. He later brought together several national unions under the name American Federation of Labor and became its first president.
Birthday - German Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) was born. He was a grandson of England's Queen Victoria and ruled Germany from 1888 through World War I. Although he had military training, he left conduct of the war mainly in the hands of Generals Paul von Hindenburg and Erich von Ludendorff. In 1918, amid the defeat of Germany, he abdicated and fled to the Netherlands where he lived in seclusion until his death. He was given a military funeral by Hitler.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

Getting Around La Libertad
With a camera

January 19
January 19, 1966 - Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India in succession to Lal Shastri who had died eight days earlier. She served until 1975 and later from 1980 to 1984, when she was assassinated by her own bodyguards as she walked to her office. Her only surviving son, Rajiv, became the next prime minister. In 1991, he was assassinated while campaigning for reelection
January 19, 1983 - Former Gestapo official Klaus Barbie, known as the "Butcher of Lyon," was arrested in Bolivia, South America. He was responsible for deporting Jewish children from Lyon to Auschwitz where they were gassed. He also murdered French Resistance leader Jean Moulin and tortured others. He was exposed by Nazi hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, extradited in 1987, then convicted by the French and died while in prison.
Birthday - Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) military leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the son of a Revolutionary War hero, a graduate of West Point and served in the U.S. Army for 25 years preceding the Civil War. At the outbreak of hostilities, he was offered command of the Union Army, but declined and instead accepted command of the military and naval forces of Virginia.
Birthday - Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) poet and writer of mystery and suspense tales, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His works include; The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Grotesque and ArabesqueThe Murders in the Rue Morgue and his famous poem The Raven.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast


Driving here in Ecuador is a very different way of moving about the country.
A recent accident brought this to my attention. A friend of ours was T- Boned by a bus; the injuries were minor and the vehicle required $10,000 in repairs.

This, in itself, is not really news because accidents happen every day.
What is, is that the driver was driving on an International license. A lot of foreign travelers use these so that they are able to drive a car when in a country other than the one they live in.
You can use this license to drive in Ecuador. 
But, once you have your Ecuadorian residency and you want to continue driving in Ecuador, you are required to stop using the international license after 90 days. Use that time to sign up for the driving class and obtain an Ecuadorian driving license.
Here it is from the Transito.
You are here as a tourist: you can use your international license, as long as it is in date and you have a license in date from the country where you came from.
You are here and you are going to stay here: ( obtain your residency) you can drive on an international license as long as it is in date and you have a license in date from the country where you came from.
That is, until you are granted residency. Once you are granted residency, you are expected to obtain an Ecuadorian driving license .
Driving on your international license 90 days after you have been granted residency will make your international license void.

So, if you want to stay and you want to drive, go to school and obtain an Ecuadorian license. Be legal and be safe. 

For All your insurance needs here in Salinas talk to Monica.
Speaks English and Spanish.

This Month

January 15, 69 A.D. - Roman Emperor Servius Sulpicius Galba was assassinated by the Praetorian guard in the Roman Forum. He had succeeded Emperor Nero.
January 15, 1535 - Henry VIII became Supreme Head of the Church in England as a result of the Act of Supremacy following his break with Rome.
January 15, 1559 - Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was crowned as Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey.
January 15, 1870 - The first use of a donkey to symbolize the Democratic Party in America appeared in a cartoon in Harper's Weekly, criticizing former secretary of war Edwin Stanton with the caption, "A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion."
January 15, 1973 - Golda Meir became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit the Pope.
Birthday - Martin Luther King (1929-1968) was born in Atlanta, Georgia. As an African American civil rights leader he spoke eloquently and stressed nonviolent methods to achieve equality. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. In 1983, the third Monday in January was designated a legal holiday in the U.S. to celebrate his birthday.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

The Fiscal Cliff ?

By now, everyone has heard about the "fiscal cliff" bill signed into law on January 2, 2013, but what you might not understand is how it affects you. With that in mind, let's take a closer look.

What is the "Fiscal Cliff"?

The term "fiscal cliff" refers to the $503 billion in federal tax increases and $200 billion in spending cuts (according to recent Congressional Budget Office projections) that took effect at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013--before Congress passed ATRA. It is the abruptness of these measures and possible negative economic impacts such as an increase in unemployment and a recession that has resulted in the use of the metaphor "fiscal cliff".

What Could Have Happened?

According to the Tax Policy Center the arrival of the fiscal cliff would have meant that nearly 90% of all households would see their taxes rise. The top 20 percent of Americans would see their effective tax rate rise about 5.8 percentage points on average, while the bottom 20 percent of Americans would see their tax rate rise about 3.7 percentage points as a result of the Bush-era tax cuts to income, estate, and capital gains tax.
Further, in addition to a rise in tax rates, middle class and the lower-income working families are affected by the fiscal cliff in other ways--among them child-related credits and deductions for dependent care and education, and the EITC.

What Actually Happened: The "Fiscal Cliff" Deal

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which President Obama signed into law the following day. The "fiscal cliff" bill, as it's referred to, extended a number of tax provisions that expired in 2011 and 2012, as well as increasing taxes on higher income individuals.

How We Got here

Here I want to include a punch list which we used to help us find the best place for us to live and retire, this was in part responsable for our final choice of Ecuador.
I was going to write an article on how we got here but, I have labored with this for some time and find that it became to long and intense, so I am going to share with you the practical mechanism that was used to bring us here to Ecuador. Consider this part one.
There are a few changes that I did not correct, for Columbia you can only own with a Columbian partner, very similar to Mexico.

This Month

January 12, 1879 - In Southern Africa, the Zulu War began between the British and the natives of Zululand, ultimately resulting in the destruction of the Zulu Empire.
January 12, 1932 - Hattie W. Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the term of her deceased husband. Later in the year, she became the first woman elected to the Senate.
January 12, 1990 - Romania outlawed the Communist Party following the overthrow of Dictator Nicolae Ceauescu who had ruled for 24 years.
January 12, 1991 - Congress authorized President George Bush to use military force against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.
January 12, 1996 - The first joint American-Russian military operation since World War II occurred as Russian troops arrived to aid in peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia.
January 12, 1999 - President Bill Clinton sent a check for $850,000 to Paula Jones officially ending the sensational sexual harassment legal case that ultimately endangered his presidency. The president withdrew $375,000 from his and Hillary Rodham Clinton's personal funds and got the remaining $475,000 from an insurance policy. The lawsuit had exposed the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky and resulted in investigations by Independent Counsel Ken Starr that led to Clinton'simpeachment by the House of Representatives and subsequent trial in the Senate.
Birthday - John Winthrop (1588-1649) was born in Suffolk, England. In 1630, he joined a group of Puritans emigrating to America and became the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, establishing a colony on the peninsula of Shawmut, which became Boston.
Birthday - Irish orator, politician and philosopher Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was born in Dublin. Best known for his essays and pamphlets including Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents (1770), On American Taxation (1774), On Conciliation with the Colonies (1775) andReflections on the Revolution in France (1790).
Birthday - American statesman and patriot John Hancock (1737-1793) was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was elected president of the Second Continental Congress in 1775, was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, and went on to become the first elected governor of Massachusetts.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

Luccy's Opening Night

I got a notice of this event through Facebook, something that I really do not use much.              So, Evelyn and I made it over there to find that the place is not very large, but I think that it is in a nice location, at the top end of 1st Street, opposite the Oyster Catcher Restaurant.

They had a table on the pavement, which was full with six people around it. Then, as you walked in, on the left is a sit-down, stand-up bar area with additional space behind it. Then, as you pass through the doors to the left is the bathroom and two small tables. In the corner, they have two Bain Marie food bars.

This area has a fan, but the windows were closed, and the place was very hot. We sat down to eat, and were given a menu, of which we both picked the same item, only to be told that it was off tonight. The next item we picked was also off this night.
So we asked what was on the menu. We ended up with chicken burritos. The wait was very long as there seemed to be too many waiting staff and only one person plating the food.
The advertised free hors d'oeuvres were no where to be found, but we did get a glass of sangria,which was very good. When we did get our food, there was plenty to eat, but it was bland; the side of salsa that came with it just covered a teaspoon.

In an outside area, they have a place where art is displayed for sale.

If this place gets its act together, and by that I mean taking the order and getting it out in a reasonable time, and putting some flavor in the food. And a larger side of salsa would be welcome.
This place could become a hangout for expats.
Based on the responses we heard on that night, not many said they would return. I would give it a second chance.

This month

1719Philip V of Spain declares war on France.
1776Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense, a scathing attack on King George III's reign over the colonies and a call for complete independence.
1792The Ottomans sign a treaty with the Russians ending a five year war.
1793Jean Pierre Blanchard makes the first balloon flight in North America.
1861Southern shellfire stops the Union supply ship Star of the West from entering Charleston Harbor on her way to Fort Sumter.
1861Mississippi secedes from the Union.
1908Count Zeppelin announces plans for his airship to carry 100 passengers.
1909A Polar exploration team lead by Ernest Shackleton reaches 88 degrees, 23 minutes south longitude, 162 degrees east latitude. They are 97 nautical miles short of the South Pole, but the weather is too severe to continue.
1912Colonel Theodore Roosevelt announces that he will run for president if asked.
1915Pancho Villa signs a treaty with the United States, halting border conflicts.
1924Ford Motor Co. stock is valued at nearly $1 billion.
1943Soviet planes drop leaflets on the surrounded Germans in Stalingrad requesting their surrender with humane terms. The Germans refuse.
1945U.S. troops land on Luzon, in the Philippines, 107 miles from Manila.
1947French General Leclerc breaks off all talks with Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh.
1952Jackie Robinson becomes the highest paid player in Brooklyn Dodger history.
1964U.S. forces kill six Panamanian students protesting in the canal zone.
1974Cambodian Government troops open a drive to avert insurgent attack on Phnom Penh.
Born on January 9
1554Gregory XV, Roman Catholic Pope.
1890Karel Capek, Czech writer and playwright, best remembered for his play R.U.R., which contained the first use of the word "robot."
1913Richard Nixon, 37th President of the U.S. and first President to resign from office.
1941Joan Baez, American folk singer and activist.