Sending Documents Overseas From Ecuador

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If you want to send documents from Ecuador to anywhere in the world, the best service we found of all of them, (and where the documents were not lost and actually arrived!) was DHL.

Here is the DHL office we used in Manta, Ecuador on the coast.

DHL MANTA PRINCIPAL

Avenida 7 Entre Calles 13 y 14

Manta, Ecuador

052627256

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If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your favorite social media site!

If you came here to learn more about Ecuador, in  my  new book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

 

 

St Patricks Day in Ecuador: No Green Beer!

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Happy Saint Patricks Day to those of you who celebrate!

In Ecuador,  the beer is still it’s familiar amber color, there are no people dancing in the street singing in Gaelic and people don’t wear green.

But I thought it would be nice to post a traditional Irish blessing anyway today.

So, here is a traditional Irish blessing in Gaelic, the Irish Language.
Go raibh tú daibhir i mí-áidh
Agus saibhir i mbeannachtaí
Go mall ag déanamh namhaid, 
go luath a déanamh carad,
Ach saibhir nó daibhir, go mall nó go luath,
Nach raibh ach áthas agat
Ón lá seo amach.

The Translation is in English below:

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings, 
Slow to make enemies, 
quick to make friends, 
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness 
From this day forward. 

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media site!

If you came here to learn more about Ecuador, in  my  new book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats.

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Why Do Ecuadorians Play Their Music So Deafeningly Loud?

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Below was a question posted on an Ecuador Focused Facebook Site. If you wish to be a “fly on the wall” to the many expats who are living in Ecuador, this conversation is a great opportunity to hear their thoughts on living in Ecuador:

I am not trying to start a war or ruffle feathers, but I honest to goodness want to know: Why do Ecuadorians play their music at deafening levels? There is no regard for neighbors or even the people attending. The party last night started at 8:30 and blasted till 6 this morning. Not all the pillows and ear plugs in town could drown it out. 

(Please Note: I have taken out the names to protect the privacy of the individuals who replied:)

EXPAT RESPONSES

*** Welcome to Ecuador..

*** One thing a loud music culture, the other is insulation is not needed on southamerican homes, therefore with the same party in the states there wont be as much loudness scaping to the neighbour

*** My husband and I are country people. We need quiet. Therefore, we cannot live in towns. We live out in a finca area. About once every six months they have a big party. Fortunately it is far away and we have ways of muting the sound.

*** Some people love city life and the noise that comes with it. We don’t. So we found we will never do well in town.

*** Fyi..talk with the police. There are ordanence in ecuador. There was in galapagos and in guayaquil. I sent a letter to a city hall office. The neighboor was horrible.. dogs too. They have the same laws in ecuador. It is a $200 fine if you dont comply to the complaints.

*** They enjoy noise and a party atmosphere. So do many young people world wide. People and cultures have different preferences.

***Don’t tolerate this. First time, they get a polite request. Second time, they get a less-happy request. Third time, they got a policemen brought to their door. No policemen around? Bang on their door at 7am… or just start hootin’ and hollerin’ like you’re part of the party.

***You want to be in their country you should be more tolerant. You are the guest.

*** Isn’t life too short for BS like this??????

*** That how it is in Vilcabamba downtown. Lots of parties on weekends!

***  This is a Latin thing and found in all Latin based countries even the Philippines. I think they subscribe to the idea that MORE and BIGGER is better grin emoticon

*** Partying, drinking, cockfights, and loud music.. I have found thiem in every Latin country I have visited LOL

*** I think they enjoy being with friends and family and this is one way they celebrate it. I love to see them happy and far be it for me to try to put a stop to it!

***  In my example, the guy was sitting just inside his front door, all alone, with his giant speaker just outside the front door. At 630am.

*** I try to make everyone leave by breakfast.

*** The parties are so interactive, dancing, eating, men telling ‘cachos’, dancing some more….drinking and hungry again.

*** So, who cares about all the many neighbors trying to sleep? Who cares about them? Some may say that is selfish. It is possible to have fun without that crazy high noise level.

*** I tell my neighbors and invite them and I am cognizant of the noise level. I care, I cannot answer for others. I am sorry that you jumped into conclusions that I was okay with being disruptive with the noise….rather, I was explaining as to why the parties last so long.

We have had the exact same problem. I just went to a wedding of friends and there two competing parties with loudspeakers full blast. I finally got it after 5 years. They really enjoy it so now I know I have to leave every major holiday or suffer the consequences.

*** sounds like Thailand too.

*** Es es muy malo ,pero cuando eso suceda llamar a la policía y ellos tendrá que resolverlo las fiestas están permitidas máximo asta las 3:00 de la madrugada no más

*** Wait until one of your neighbors decide to have a Karaoke party. Is even worst they would sing songs out of tune for hours.

*** Shoot me, please. I would go crazy.

*** Had this start blasting one night at 300 am … Sad drunk love songs … Was kinda funny … Luckily I went right back to sleep … The crazy disco lights were actually worse than the music coming thru the window … Musta been laser lights … Doesn’t happen often so I can live with it as luckily I am retired and have no pressing engagements to worry about … Ever smile emoticon

*** Summers here in Rosarito, Mexico, exactamente. And year round there are many restaurants I don’t frequent because I can’t have a conversation of any sort due to the shear volume of the music, forget the noise from the patrons. Think it’s those Latin genes.

*** Isn’t it wonderful that the problem is music? At least you aren’t in the USA where people are being beaten up for the color of their skin.

*** Is it really necessary to interject USA racial issues into a discussion about loud music? Wanna talk about the bad water in Flint as long as you have totally changed the subject from loud music in Ecuador? I lived in St Louis, is there police brutality in America, yes. But more than 50% of the citizens of St Louis are black, and 99.9% can walk down the streets without police brutality.

*** And at least it’s not gun shots … I’ll take party over violence noise every day !!! And night !! We are so uptight in the north Americas we really have lost the ability to live and let live and I hope we don’t ruin Ecuador with our Norms and appreciate and assimilate into the culture or leave to seek more familiar surroundings

*** Sorry to hear that, that doesn’t happened ever here where i live , and this is Ecuador too.. ooops… lol …. have you tried and talk to the police if that happens too often ? .. if it is once a year.. well…

*** I think their hearing is so damaged from previous parties that they need to turn it up! Think about it! These people have been taking their INFANTS to these noisy parties from birth! There has to be some repercussions, hearing damage!!!

*** Because it’s a different culture…

*** Occasionally there are the loud all night parties with the same ol reggie tone booming out. There is some great latin dance music, but seldom hear that, just the same ol crap. What I don’t understand, I have driven down to where the parties are at 4AM or so and NO ONE is there, but the music is still blasting. Why?

*** They are all dead drunk

*** When this happens in Pto Lopez, we presume that the party givers paid for the DJ and the DJ will always give them their monies worth.

***  Its not “Ecuadorians”. Its some Ecuadorians, not all. And it is quite burdensom. Also Colombians, Peruvians, Brasilians, and other Latinamericans do this, with utter disregard towards their neighbours. Its the culture I guess. And often, not much you can do about it. Unfortunately.

*** I am with you on this issue. I live in a noisy neighborhood and am a light sleeper. Loud music through the night! Ugh! I strongly dislike Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30 when the Zumba music is played at the highest level possible right outside my window. My Windows shake! I have to make myself not go out and turn down the volume.

*** I mean I love music I listen it to it all day As I don’t have a TV! However I would never inflict it at all times on my neighbours. I don’t mind a bit of music daytime even if a bit loud (can be hard when I work at home) but all day everyday all night etc. it is tiresome. I feel manners go along way. I notice sometimes here can be lacking like when driving say in UK we put our hand up to say thanks etc when someone gives way. Or when my kids or me walk across a road and a car stops To give way i have taught them to raise their hands as a thank you etc etc I haven’t seen anyone return the same courtesy not once. However I accept that lots of people here will say good morning when standing in a crowd waiting and that def doesn’t happen in UK! So it’s yin and yang I suppose with all things. I will persist with my UK style of manners too ingrained and automatic for me maybe it will catch on?!

*** I don’t get comments like these ones. With all due respect, we’re here in Ecuador as foreign guests. No one is forcing us to be specifically here. If there are things we don’t like about Ecuador, we can move.

Not only that, but as others had mentioned it’s a massively huge (and in my opinion inappropriately racist) generalization to say that “Ecuadorians” play their music loudly. My girlfriend’s mother certainly doesn’t, nor does her grandma, her brother, her brother’s wife, her uncles, her aunts, etc., etc., etc….

*** I do not think anyone said everyone!! I certainly did not as I am married into an Ecuadorian family who do not do this. Also I think we are allowed to have our opinions and little moans just because we live here we shouldn’t have to say “Hey everything is great, all ok, and I accept it all whether I like it or not”. This really is simplistic. This thing of saying “well if you don’t like it then leave” that is racist. I hear that all the time to migrants in the UK!

*** I doubt anyone expects a whole culture to change!!! As I said when I can I will move to a quieter area. I think it is perfectly ok to let off steam here in the expats group.

*** I think expecting an entire country’s culture to be changed in order to accommodate people coming here for a low cost of living is quite absurd.

*** Exactly correct. It’s only some, not all.

*** I am with you on this issue. I live in a noisy neighborhood and am a light sleeper. Loud music through the night! Ugh! I strongly dislike Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30 when the Zumba music is played at the highest level possible right outside my window. My Windows shake! I have to make myself not go out and turn down the volume.

*** I mean I love music I listen it to it all day As I don’t have a TV! However I would never inflict it at all times on my neighbours. I don’t mind a bit of music daytime even if a bit loud (can be hard when I work at home) but all day everyday all night …

*** I don’t get comments like these ones. With all due respect, we’re here in Ecuador as foreign guests. No one is forcing us to be specifically here. If there are things we don’t like about Ecuador, we can move

*** I do not think anyone said everyone!! I certainly did not as I am married into an Ecuadorian family who do not do this. Also I think we are allowed to have our opinions and little moans just because we live here we shouldn’t have to say “Hey everything is cool…

*** My comment was a reply to the person making the post, who did use the term “Ecuadorians” as a generalization. The difference is, migrants in the UK are probably in the UK for much, much different reasons than most of the people making and commenting

*** I doubt anyone expects a whole culture to change!!! As I said when I can I will move to a quieter area. I think it is perfectly ok to let off steam here in the expats group.

*** After a few nights in Cotacachi with the roosters, musical garbage trucks, early morning blaring loudspeakers and the music it was a no brainer that ¨city¨ life was not for me. So we bought a short distance from town.

*** When you say, “Ecuadorians”, you generalize. Not all “Ecuadorians” are created equal. I could say the same thing about people, here in the States, but that would be like putting everyone in a certain category. Signed, an Ecuadorian.

*** Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con usted.

*** Yes I suppose reading the op the poster could of used a better choice of words. I am sure it was not meant in an offensive way. Come on people we all generalize as some point in our lives no one is perfect – look I just did i just said all us Brits are moaners….please UK expats I don’t mean it honest its just a joke!

*** And another generalisation from another Brit……we fell in live with Ecuador and Ecuadorians. Does NOT mean we cannot voice our opinions or little moans. We think the main issue with living in Ecuador is the expats who seem either to be delightful, warm and friendly, or little arses.

*** I reckon I am somewhere in between Frankie, delightful, warm and friendly ass? smile emoticon !

*** it’s OK! I had the gall to complain about a corporate grocery chain, TIA, cause they do not sell kitty litter and rarely sell Diet Coke. OMG did the spears fly! I was told to get the f*ck back to America.

*** Before we bought our land and built our home in Puerto Lopez, an Ecuadorian friend gave us great advice. He said neighbors are everything here…get to know them BEFORE you buy anything. We did. I think we have the best neighbors in town.

*** I agree with most of you..not all Ecuadorian used to do this ..

***I think some of you are bing nit picky about the choice of words, especially referring to Ecuadorians. Maybe it would have been more PC.

What do you think?

In  my  new book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Essential Items To Bring If You’re Moving To Ecuador

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Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

A Woman posted this question on the Ecuador Expat Facebook page today:

“What items of clothing are most important to bring? What did you regret not packing?”

I thought her question and all the replies from people who actually live in Ecuador were so good, I decided to reprint them here on my blog. The many helpful answers people on the Ecuador Expat FB page really stand on their own for anyone wanting to know what essential clothes and other items to bring to Ecuador that you cannot get there.
(Note: It’s a closed group that I belong to so in order to protect everyone’s privacy, I’ve removed all names except ones who could be good references. Here is the link for your reference if you wish to request to include yourself in the Ecuador Expats FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EcuadorExpats

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Quick question. We are moving to Ecuador in March what items of clothing are most important to bring? What did you regret not packing. Thanks all. Countdown is killing me 57 days and counting lol
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A. Long pants and running shoes. We brought mostly shorts… big mistake!

 (Thanks so much…trying to reduce my wardrobe to two suitcases is my trauma for the month)

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A. Look up “capsule collections” on Pinterest. It is a whole new world of women who know how to get 30 days out of 14 pieces. I’m sure someone has done your trip. You will be shocked. I’m looking for “professional teaching summer” and the options are unbelievable. I’m a terrible shopper and this is really helping me. Here’s “capsule collection vacation” so you can see it. https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/…

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A. Where will you be living?
(We are not sure at this stage , we fly into quito then to Cuenca to lodge residency and have a look. we have met on facebook some amazing people from Cotacachi so that is pretty high on the list. Coming from Australia everything looks good.)
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A. We wear one type of top when we get up in the morning; change around 10:30 because it gets quite warm and then about 4:30 go back to our cool weather clothes. Bring clothes that can be layered and changed into and out of.

You might bring a raincoat or umbrella if you plan to be out and about in the predictable rainy weather. Decent shoes. Either sturdy walking shoes or strong sneakers.

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A.  I moved to Cuenca and regret not bringing enough warmer clothes. It can get quite cool at night.

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 A. Saltine crackers frown emoticon ….LOL
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A. We live in cotacachi. Why are you doing your immigration work in Cuenca. Why not Quito.
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(Because I am so dumb that I asked for recommendations and went with a lady recommended and did not find out until I had paid deposit that she was in Cuenca not known for the brilliance of my intellect)
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A. Have you met Jeanne Martin yet? She is also from cotacachi and from Australia.
(Jeanne and I have messaged a lot She is fantastic with so much good advice)
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A. Hi! I regret not bringing more sneakers, blankets and raincoats. I’m in Quito. I did not regret my umbrella, my make-up, sunscreen, socks..  Also, bring your own cellphone, laptop or desktop, kindle if you have one…
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A. Cuenca will be a nice look around. Enjoy your time there.
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A. When you visit cotacachi you will already have friends.
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A. Jeanne stayed with me a week in Cuenca. She’s great.

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A. Clothes are expensive and not very good quality. I would take a maximum of clothes if possible. And i would defintely bring good quality towels!

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A.  it is now 6,50pm, I am still in a tshirt in the Cotopaxi province, inside, doors shut with no extra heating, but yes, some evenng can be cool, I disagree with the expensive clothes, they are dirt cheap here. you just need to know where to go.

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A.  I agree whole heartedly about the price of clothes

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A. Bring whatever you normally wear, and bring good quality. If you normally wear jeans, blouses and flats, bring those and make sure they’re good quality. People here do dress up to go out for dinner or other things, so if you just bring heavy-duty travel-type clothes, you’ll stick out.

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A.  Very long extension cord

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A. really, we have loads of 10 metre extension cords, how long do you recommend, if we want longer we join them up. or just buy a 100 metre cable put the plugs on each end. we also have those for building
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A.  Extension cords are everywhere in Cuenca. Heavy duty, light duty, short, long, indoor, outdoor, 2-prong and 3-prong.

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A. For the Sierra: Lightweight cotton sweaters, medium-weight shawls & scarves, warm socks & slippers, extra pairs of walking shoes. Umbrella and sun hat with chinstrap. Rain slicker. No shorts. And a clip-on fan. If you go to the coast or the oriente, it’s a whole different story!

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A.  I also want to add that the different regions of Ecuador treat clothing very differently….Not as many folks dress up here in Cotacachi as I suspect dress up in Quito, Cuenca or Guayaquil. Where you settle will determine fashion modes.
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A. It depends on the city and even your group of friends, for sure. Here in Ambato it’s definitely the norm to dress nice-casual when going out for lunch or to run errands across town, and business casual and up is not unusual for dinner or going to a friend’s house. However it’s perfectly acceptable to go to your local tienda in your PJs

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A.  Clothes depends on size of person. I’m near 6′ and Ecuador people smaller so clothes to small. But if leather goods they can make it. Bring size smaller in jeans. And extra walking shoes

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A.  But they have really amazing tailors and seamstresses who can make just about anything you can point at in a magazine!

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A.  Flannel pj’s!

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A.  a smaller size pair of jeans….could sure use them right about now….

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A.  “Pelileo,” near Banos and Ambato is full of jean shops. I bought a pair and love them! There is such a huge variety you may need to try a few stores.
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A.  If you are comming to Quitó, from Australia.. Bring your normal clothing but in layereable combinations.

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A.  Rain coat and down jacket and down vest. rubber boots,Sheets, Pillows. No one ever wears tank tops, shorts or summer ware in Cuenca or surrounding area.

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A. Bring undergarments if you are larger than a size medium. Also,all the shoes if you are bigger than size 8. And slippers.

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A. I see people in tank tops and summerware such as shortsand I am in.Cuenca, not many but a few do wear them…not the tourist either…lol

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A.  Bring good sheets. They sheet cheaply made ones and they cost alot. They do not sell flannel sheets . Good pillows cost a lot as well.

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A. Really good walking shoes. Comfortable pants with front pockets that close. Cotton T-shirts. Hat to protect you from the sun but you can get that here. Socks!!!

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A.  I noticed no one has mentioned bras, everything else can be bought even bras, but they are all small sized, they dont fit the properly here.

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A.  ta heck with bras—I like the sport tops that afford support. Smiles.

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A.  Aquasocks if you plan to be in the ocean.

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A. Dress for the climate you are moving to. I bought some long sleeved blouses for Cuenca as it is quite chilly there. And all my summer clothes for Vilcabamba. You didn’t ask about food but I did before I came and came with a lot of peanut butter and h

A.  Onion soup mix……… can’t get it here…..

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A. outer wear, under garments are a waste of packing space!!  wink emoticon

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A.  One of my favorite clothing items that I have here is a ultralight rain jacket. Because it is so lightweight and folds down into a tiny square, I can easily take it everywhere on those days where rain may come out of nowhere and last 20 minutes (which happens almost daily during certain parts of the year in Cuenca)

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A. My friend recently moved there… things I’ve sent or she wishes she had…
Good sheets! Towels, baking soda, witchazel, sewing needles and pins, shoes, tea, hair conditioner. Hope this helps

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A.  Not clothing but I see your from brissy so bring lots of tim tams, Milo, vegimite, butter menthols, iced vovos and eucalyptus!

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A.  Walking shoes or sneakers, socks, bras and undies, towels and linens, tea if that’s your thing, and electronics.

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A.  I’m from Australia too, but live on the coast in Manabi. Climate aside, I really wish I had bought way more underwear and bras. Unless your fine with plain cotton. Also wish I’d bought more shoes. Size 9 can be found, but with wide feet, it’s difficult. Also, anything ‘fancy’ or ‘dressy’ is rather expensive here. So if you like to dress up for special occasions, and have some favourites, bring them.

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A. GOOD walking shoes (and if you wear over a womens 8/5 or a mens 10.5 bring EXTRA!!), my daughter and I live in T shirts and jeans much of the year…bring jeans/etc in a couple sizes smaller….most people lose weight when they move here! Larger sizes (Tall / XL etc) hard to find as well…bring sunscreen and a few months supply of any meds you take regularly. We each brought one basic black dress and a pair of dress slacks …LOL

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A. Of course, by now you have figured out the answers ‘depend’….on where the respondant lives, their size, their ‘thermostat.’ I am really cool if not cold much of the time in Cuenca. Right now, others are complaining of the heat and I’m perfect! From 8200 feet in Cuenca to sea level on the coast … good luck bringing all the right clothes in two suitcases!

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A. LOL…yup…if you are a person who “runs hotter” you’ll be good in tshirts, if you run cold, you’ll want a few sweaters, etc…The weather can change many times in the course of 24 hours, so I usually have on my Tshirt, carry a light shawl/scarf/and a hat (plus the standby sunscreen and umbrella)

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A.  If you have larger size feet, shoes!

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A. Fleece is too hot here for me. I’d bring only one if feel need to. 3/4 length tee shirts are a must

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A. I get very hot in Cuenca . Wish I had brought more 100% cotton tops.

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A.  Clothes are easy…. but if you have quality cookware…. bring it. VitaMix, and some food things like spices are very weak here….. Clinton’s onion soup mix… MAPLE SYRUP. If you wear sports bras… you can’t get them here at all.

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A. Great to have the pants from Lands End where the legs zip off to make shorts or zip on to make long pants.

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A.  I like Liptons soup for when we have a cold. Comfort food

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A.  For meat balls, meat loaf, dips. It’s the only packaged food I use, and you can’t duplicate it.

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A.  I buy my shoes and clothing in the US. I just bring more with me every trip. Horshradish, pickles, saurkraut, good sheets, down pillows are hard to come by…….why are down pillows hard to get? I don’t know.

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A.  I put my clothes in space bags. It took up less space in the luggage

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A.  I brought about 80 pairs of shoes, but the only footwear that I wear is 2 pairs of sneakers. Bring sneakers, they are expensive here.

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A. Bring socks and under ware. You will not shrink out of them. Don’t buy extrs pants, you will lose 20 lbs. here in the first six months. Three or four jackets. Especially to repel rain. It is not cold enough for a winter coat. Good walking shoes (three pair). Hats to protect your skin from the sun.
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A. Sleep ware (PJ’s), it is cool at night. House shoes. A backpack.

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A.  I wish I’d brought more comfy raggedy sweats and lazyclothes.

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A. I figured I would lose weight so I brought the next size down jeans. Now I’m one size down from that.

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A.  Anything you may need assistance with please keep my contact information I will be very happy to help you on anything , Monica Gonzaga I’m a Facilitator monicagonzaga.facilitator@gmail.com

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(Great info from all
Now excuse me while I go and repack for the third time.)

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 A. Definitely bring sneakers since brand name shoes cost ~3 times as much because of import taxes, same thing with good quality jeans since you can’t really get levis here without breaking the bank. Socks and underwear are never a bad investment either. Also, bring extra chargers for all your tech because you could easily end up paying $25 for a phone charger you could get for $3 on ebay in the states

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A. Wish you the best! Hope to visit soon.

A. Things that are hard to find or expensive in Ecuador:

Good sneakers / sandals

Good jeans
Quality cotton linens
Electronics of all kinds and their chargers
Good cookware (stainless steel very expensive)
Sonicare type toothbrushes
Electric blankets (for mountain living)
Baking soda
Good quality underwear
But really, how many of these items do we really need? Even in Las Vegas I wear only a few items most of the time. Most of us gringos are just well trained to overconsume. Unless you have some specific hobby or business needs, you really don’t need to bring that much stuff. Bring the basics and learn to get the rest locally.

It will be challenging to find or replace things you are accustomed to, but if you’re committed to life in Ecuador you will figure it out….

Also I wouldn’t bother bringing too many clothes. You will almost surely lose weight. I would bring a few good basics and use the rest of luggage space for the other items which are expensive like good walking/hiking shoes, a few linens, maybe your fave pillow, electronics, electric blanket, fave cookware etc.

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A. Bring all of the clothing you can because buying clothing in Ecuador is super expensive. You may lose weight, but the clothes have high resale value, due to the import taxes.

Unless something has changed in the last 9 months since I lived there.

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A. Light weight jackets or sweater cardigans that you can tie around your waist. Cross body (long shoulder strap) purse.

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A. I live in el Centro in Cuenca. If you think you might end up there-or in any noisy area-bring a sound masking machine. You’ll be glad you did.

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A.  Bring a hat with a wide brim.
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A.  In Cuenca – Think & Bring Layers. + a small day pack, a light rain jacket/windbreaker that you can stuff in your day pack, a compact umbrella, pants with zipable or snap closure pockets, and extra pairs of your favorite walking shoes or light hiking shoes and favorite socks. & Like Gerard Trettonsays, bring a favorite wide-brimmed sun hat & your favorite sunscreen.

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A.  Yeah, a baseball cap doesn’t cut it for protection of all of face, the neck and the ears.
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A. You can buy hats here in Cuenca. They are bulky to pack. You can buy umbrellas here too, all sizes. If you buy the wind-resistant umbrellas and bring them, you may “forget” them in a taxi anyway. Over four years of living here, I’ve forgotten about ten umbrellas in taxis. Bring underwear and shoes! check out for free: www.goldengirlincuenca.com for recommendations from various women. Don’t forget your Kindle or Nook!!! Enjoy the anticipation!

For Golden Girls, learn vital info about retiring to Cuenca, Ecuador, before you leave the U.S. Filled with…
GOLDENGIRLINCUENCA.COM
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A. Oh, yes…. DON’T forget your kindle!!!!

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A.  If you wear a shoes larger than 8.5, bring shoes. Don’t bother bringing a winter coat. Cuenca is a hat-making center to don’t bring one. Life is very casual here–people don’t expect you to show up wearing a brand-new ensemble every day. Folks don’t wear shorts in Cuenca. An electric heating pad (for aching muscles, etc.) is very expensive here. I’d bring one.
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A.  Gee! I wish I had asked the question before I came–could have been smarter–like –don’t bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes—bring lots more–geesh!
(Wow thanks everyone I definitely need a bigger suitcase… maybe my own plane lol)

would rather just know a bit more about Ecuador, feel free to consider my new book: Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador.  I know that you absolutely and totally WILL be grateful for all the helpful tidbits and stories about Ecuador that I share in my book. I’ve lived it. I know it. And in my book I show it. So you can totally trust it!

Ecuador: President Declares State of Emergency Due To Presence of El Niño

Important *NEW* Information About Ecuador:

Ecuador: President Declares State of Emergency due to presence of El Niño

Posted on November 18, 2015 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Travel

eltelegrafo.com.ec reported that a state of emergency has been declared declared today in 17 provinces of the country because of the presence of El Niño. President Correa issued the emergency decree to last last 60 days. According to Ecuador’s Constitution, the state of emergency allows the President to suspend or limit freedom of movement, freedom of association and assembly, and freedom of information. Border crossings may be instituted and the Armed Forces and National Police may be used as necessary. The only provinces not included in the decree are Tungurahua, Sucumbíos, Orellana, Napo, Pastaza, Morona Santiago and Zamora Chinchipe. Tthe Secretariat for Risk Management declared a yellow alert in 17 provinces because of El Niño last week. PDF format file

For more information go to: http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/ecuador-president-declares-state-of-emergency-due-to-presence-of-el-nino/34912/

Want additional information on Ecuador? Download my book, “Words To Thrive By® for World Travellers: Footprints in Ecuador”http://amzn.to/1KWKVs2

 

 

The 9 Days of GRATITUDE- Day 2- Standing Still and Learning To Be Astonished

GRATITUDE

GRATITUDE

Mary Oliver is my favorite living poet. I love what she says about learning to be grateful by “standing still and learning to be astonished.”

In light of ongoing current events around the entire world, I am doing what I can right now to put out positive energy and gratitude where I can in my work “loving the world.” Each of us can do one little thing every day to restore the balance in the world and to add to the positive.

This is how we will  keep our keep our minds and hearts on what really matters.

This 9 day GRATITUDE series is what I have chosen to do….for now.

So from me to you, wherever you are in the 135+ countries who currently follow this blog, I wish you the beauty and grace of learning how to  stand still and be astonished in your own life.

In any event, I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do.

Warm regards,

Mary Anne

The Messenger

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all,
over and over, how it is that we live forever.

• Mary Oliver •

If you would like more information about Ecuador, Please feel free to go to Amazon and download my book. I would be ever so grateful for that too. Plus I think you’d like it too, especially if your reeeeeeally want to know what it is like to live there. There are lots of great tips for where to go, what to do and how to keep yourself safe while you do.

You can find my new book here:”Words To Thrive By® for World Travellers: Footprints in Ecuador”http://amzn.to/1KWKVs2

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ECUADOR: 11 Tips For How To Keep Yourself Safe

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By following these suggestions, I’ve been able to avoid being victimized by criminals  here in Ecuador.

1. Hire a secure taxi 

I always hire a secure taxi to take me to places I need to go. If I do need to go to a friends home for a dinner party after dark, I hire a taxi driver or company I already know to take me there. Or I call a radio taxi company. I have been advised due to some kidnapping issues with other tourists in places like Quito and Guayaquil to avoid hailing a random taxi on the street. In cities, it’s better to go to a hotel where they will call a cab for you.

Be sure to check the cab that it has the official name plate where you can see it of the taxi driver’s name and official taxi number. I always make a note of the taxi number. The one time I didn’t memorize the taxi number, I left my glasses by accident in the seat. There was no way for me to get them back. Very expensive mistake.

2. Avoid walking the streets at night. Period. 

I also don’t ever take public buses after dark.

3. Never use ATMs located on the street.

It’s safer I was told to use banks and ATMs located in malls or shopping centers, although in most of those they have a $100.00 cash limit for withdrawals and charge you an additional $3.00 to take the money out. At Banco Pinchincha, there are no fees and you can withdraw up to $500.00 a day.

But even so, I was told if I ever take money out from a mall ATM, to go have a cup of coffee afterward and wander in and out of a few stores just to be sure no one is following me.

4. Never wear expensive jewelry in public.

This way you avoid drawing attention to yourself and avoid being easy targets for criminals. The only people I have met here on The Coast who have been robbed are people who flaunted their expensive jewelry by wearing it outside. One of them had a necklace ripped off his neck as he was walking and then later he and his wife’s home was robbed. People most likely followed them and found out where they lived and assumed that there was more gold where that necklace came from. Pick pockets are everywhere.

5. Never carry large amounts of cash or your important documents where they are visible.

I bought a small zip up pouch that I carry in my zip up pocket in my shorts or skirt. Whenever I have to take my passport or other national ID documents such as my Cedula card somewhere such as when I was opening a bank account, I carried it in a hidden wallet strapped to my stomach.  Some people might think that is a bit of overkill but the amount of time and effort to replace those documents far outweighs a bit of precaution.

People who are long time residents in Ecuador and even the U.S. Embassy advises visitors to carry copies of their passports and to store the originals in a safe place. This is a great idea. In Ecuador, you must have some sort of official ID on you at all times. Once you gain Permanent Residency, you can leave your passport in a safe place at home.

6. Stay aware at all times when in public.

I always try to be aware of the people around me. I especially try to stay aware of anyone who looks suspicious and who may be following me. I have always made this a practice, in other countries besides Ecuador and also even in the USA.

I took some government training for self defense a few years back and they told me that criminals always look for people who are distracted such as people walking on the street while also talking on their cell phones. My trainer and I even walked together on the streets of Seattle and got within an inch of a person talking on their phones before they even noticed us. So stay aware at all times.

7. Don’t use expensive electronics in public places.

When I first got here, it was advised many times that I not call attention to myself by using an iPhone or my iPad or my computer in public places. So I bought. an inexpensive cell phone that did not attract attention and now I hardly ever use my iPad to read in public unless I know it is going to be an extremely long wait somewhere inside a building. I always make sure I put my iPad back inside my backpack before I leave the building and I never use my iPad while riding on the public bus.

People have told me about getting their cell phones picked up right off their table during dinner in a public restaurant. So I only take out my phone when I have to actually use it and then I zip it back into my pocket.

8. Don’t fall for it.

I am always cordial but cautious if someone approaches me inside a store or on the street. Often people will stop and ask for directions or pay a pretty lady a compliment or to borrow a pen. I’ve been warned many times that thieves often work in teams and try to distract an unsuspecting person while their accomplice approaches to grab valuables.

As a result, I try to be polite but always be aware of where I have a hold my purse. In fact, I’ve stopped even using a purse now when I go outside unless I have to go to the airport.

9. Rent in a secure building.

I chose to live in a condo with people living downstairs on the ground floor who watch the building and monitor anyone who comes in or out of the building. If I have a visitor, they accompany the visitor to my door to be sure it is someone I know and have invited to my home. I have a bother friend in Cumbaya, just outside of Quito who was robbed at gunpoint after thieves jumped the wall into her yard. Since then, she and her husband have added additional security measures to her home of several wires high of an electric fence which is on 24/7.

Living on a well lit street and getting to know my neighbors is also good in case of an emergency. Many people here have large, barking dogs. This also seems like a very good way to get the attention of a potential burglar. But I have heard stores that burglars have no qualms about poisoning the dogs before coming into a person’s home.

10. Learn Spanish!

Native Ecuadorians are more than happy to give you a lesson on security and what you may be not thinking about. My first day in Quito, men sitting next to me at a table in a restaurant told me to keep my purse and camera more secure. Then when I thanked them, they quickly demonstrated with their own bags how easy it is for a their to come near the table, hook their shoe or heel on to a purse or camera shoulder strap and take off with your bag or camera before you have even know  what happened.  But they could never have explained this completely if I had not known what they were saying. So it really helps to know and also understand Spanish.

11. Develop friendships with native Ecuadorians.

If you plan on living in Ecuador for an extended period of time, it is a very good idea to do your very best to leave the “expat bubble” and try to cultivate friendships with natives in Ecuador.  I have heard many expats say that they refuse to learn Spanish and that it’s not that important to learn Spanish.

But I tend to side with those who say that if you want to be more fully integrated into the community and also, as a side benefit, be able to keep up with current criminal trends, being able to read and speak Spanish proficiently is extremely important. Having friends here will also give you a sense of the traditions and foods here that you might not see in a local tourist restaurant.

I had the pleasure of being invited to a new Ecuadorian friend’s home to spend Christmas Eve with her family and friends. It was a one of a kind special memory I shall never forget.

There are criminals everywhere and wherever you choose to live in the world

So I think it’s important to remember that there are criminals regardless of where you choose to live, not just here in Ecuador. But it never hurts to be prepared and proactive, both here as well as anywhere else you may travel in the world.

I there any advice you would add to my 11 tips above from your own personal travel experiences? Please feel free to share here!

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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Additional Links:

  • For More on the Life and Work of Mary Anne Dorward, please go to: http://www.maryannedorward.com
  • For Professional Speaking Coaching and Speech Writing, please go to: http://www.myrealvoice.com
  • To Learn more about my book, “Words To Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope,” please go to: http://www.wordstothriveby.com
  • To Buy The Book, go to Amazon: http://amzn.to/L9NYkl
  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.