Ecuador Facts

| July 8, 2015 | 97 Replies


Ecuador Facts… But First A Few Secrets

ecuador facts

In my last post I promised you a secret.

So secrets go first, then lots of Ecuador facts that will be very useful to you, before and after your move.


Secret number one…

My memory is failing me.

This has always been a challenge, but it is getting worse as I get older.

Names and faces are the biggest problem.

Last week I went to dinner with a group of six very nice people. I sat next to a very sweet lady that told me we had met before, she told me her name again, we talked all through dinner, then walked to the symphony, said goodbye at the end of the concert, and then I ran into her two days later while out walking the dog.

I didn’t remember her. Not her face, not her name, nothing. I did the normal hello, how are you, nice seeing you two step. That is always so uncomfortable.

This doesn’t happen all the time, but at least a couple times a week. Enough to be very noticeable.

If I have forgotten you, please understand that it is not intentional, and it is not because I don’t care, because I really do. It is probably because my older brother hit me in the head with an ax when I was younger. Seriously, he really did. Split my skull wide open.

If we see each other on the street or at an event, and I have a blank look on my face, please help me out. Eventually, usually on the fourth or fifth time, I will remember.


Secret number two…

ecuador facts

Coffee, 3 caramels, gum, and a bowl of nuts.

Did you know that when I write these blog pages, I’m not wearing any pants?

This is something I just realized that I do and have never given it much thought. When I sit and write, I like to be really comfortable and relaxed.

Picture a 60 year old man, writing in his office, with no pants on, a cup of coffee, three caramels, a piece of gum, and some nuts in a bowl.

A little weird, but it’s what I like.

One time I answered the door and I had forgotten I was without pants. The gal just smiled and looked at me.

She kept looking my sexy legs.

I think she was one of those easy types my mother warned me about.

Don’t worry, nothing happened…


Secret number three…

As if being Mr. Forgetful No Pants wasn’t enough…

I am now a single man.

After 20 years of mostly blissful marriage, I am now on my own. I know this is pretty personal, and in the beginning it was very painful, but it has been three months now, and I am not getting any younger.

I just want any potential suitor to know that I am no longer talking to myself at the supermarket, no longer crying in the shower, and I no longer have that hunting knife I borrowed from Mike Chislom.

Having to learn how to use the washer and dryer, and the vacuum, has been a challenge. I don’t like it, but there is a certain character building quality that comes with operating those appliances.

Mastering the floor mop is next.

Change is really the only constant in life. Learning to roll with these challenges is how I will continue to be a happy camper.  And the passing of time really does make it easier.

No condolences please. We are both still here in Cuenca, living happy and productive lives, and if you see him, let him know that Missy wants to come over for the weekend.


Ecuador facts

Missy Out Jogging


And if this is your first time here, I don’t usually talk about all this personal stuff. You were just lucky to stumble upon this dysfunctional snapshot, of my usually uneventful and normal life.

And one more thing… If you have a Learjet and love to travel, please call me. I would be available as a traveling companion and a best friend.

There are no more secrets.

Lets talk about Ecuador facts that you can really use.



Ecuador Facts You Can Really Use

George and our Tour Guide

George in Hawaii Again

Before I moved to Ecuador I had not really traveled much, a couple times down into Mexico, and once into Canada. Hawaii was an annual vacation spot for me but none of those trips really prepared me for international travel.

Needless to say I had a few anxieties. All that nervousness was because I was ignorant of so many things. I was afraid of what I might run into, all those unknown surprises.

So many questions and very few answers.

I worried about things like the exchange rate, the real cost of living, the language and cultural differences, and if I would be lonely leaving all my family and friends behind. This was a huge change and a giant challenge.

But after more than a year of living here, and other than a couple of bumps and bruises (secret #3 above), everything is going pretty well.

And that is because I was smart about it… and I want you to be smart about it too.

Let me share a few things that I did back then, and what I have learned, and if you use just a couple of these referrals, I guarantee your transition will be much easier.

(By the way, these are unpaid endorsements. I do, on occasion receive free food, or a discounted city tour.)

I could really use a free gym membership, hint hint…


The Referral List (Copy this and keep it with you)

  • Casa Ordonez….  Alberto Ordonez, Edwin, and the staff are the best. Staying here on our first visit was the best decision I ever made. Alberto and the staff are a wealth of knowledge and when you stay at this bed and breakfast you receive all the benefits and experience of knowing a local, they become your family. I also met guests when staying here that are now life long friends. This group will “hook you up”. They know the tours, they know the good restaurants, and they take the time to help you with everything. Edwin even went with me to the cell phone company when I needed a little help. These are good people, voted number one on Trip Advisor. This designation is well deserved.
  • Maite Duran at Gringos Visas….    You can try to do the visa process yourself if you want to add that stress to everything else. We chose Maite after hearing her name at least 10 times from happy customers. Yes it will cost you money, but Maite is on top of all the new rules, and has a second office in the states in order to facilitate this very involved processes. I do not regret the money I spent to have this done professionally.
  • Maribel Crespo at Ecuadorable Homes….    You are coming from another country and need a place to live. This will be your most frustrating issue. We worked with at least 5 other real estate people and Maribel Crespo is by far the best. I will not work with anyone else. She is my family now. This beautiful lady is trustworthy, kind, and extremely professional. She speaks both Spanish and English fluently and after drafting and recording our new lease, she took me around to the Internet Store and the Direct TV store and helped me get connected. I will tell you right now, this woman will cut out all of that relocation stress.
  • UnknownLa Yunta Furniture….     This is a furniture store and a restaurant owned and operated by a very community minded family. You will want to know Soledad and Jim. They are very special people. I have quite a few pieces in my home from their showroom. At least once a month they have a party at their place and loads of expats celebrate with them. These gatherings are a great way to meet new people, look at some great locally built furniture, and have a very nice sit down lunch. They even provide transportation to and from the party.
  • CATSA Travel….    Hard working Bryan Vidal is a great travel agent. He put together our Galapagos trip at a very affordable cost. This man has connections. Do your online research if you must, but then give Bryan a call and he will do his best to make everything an even better value for you. The service if fantastic.
  • IMG_4394

    Rick Duda Hotel Tour

    Rick Duda….     This man is everywhere and always working. We went on a Historic Hotels tour with him and it was fantastic. So many beautiful buildings to see in Cuenca. He does many different types of local tours. I had a great time.

  • The Black Olive Bistro….    Just believe me when I say that the food is fantastic here. They moved to a new location last month and they upgraded the menu. It is some of the best food I have eaten in Cuenca. I have been there 4 times in the last month, and I usually don’t eat out that much. This place is my new favorite, it is moderately priced, and a nice place to eat. Dinners starting under $10. Tell them Ecuador George sent you.
  • Joe’s Secret Garden….   Here is another place where you can meet new people when you first move here. Lots of gringos having a lot of fun. The food is good, and the hosts are great. Maybe Joe will play a couple tunes on the piano after dinner if you ask him nicely…
  • Cindy Benson….     Keep an eye out for Cindy Benson if you like New York City style entertainment. She sings, she dances, and she even tells a few jokes. Her shows are alway entertaining. She can be seen all around town, and she often collaborates with Joe at Joe’s Secret Garden.
  • Bread Makers….    It is hard to find good bread in Cuenca. The Lloyds built their own brick oven on their ranch and make wonderful bread, including that yummy sourdough. Sold at San Sebas Restaurant. Check it out there or email Rhonda at



All of the above are great referrals, but use the first three in this list to help you get settled fast and without any problems. All very honest people and establishments, very responsible, and very friendly.

If you have any questions, ask them in the comment section and I will get you the answers you are looking for.


Alberto and George Curing the Worlds Problems

Alberto and George Curing the Worlds Problems at Casa Ordonez in Cuenca Ecuador



Maite Duran and George

Gringos Visas Maite Duran and George



How’s your Spanish going?

I went out today with a friend that kept correcting me as I was trying to speak and practice my Spanish. He is way ahead of me in the language learning department.

Don’t do this to your friends if you are more advanced. Let your friends make mistakes.

If they are brave enough to try, leave them alone unless they ask for your help.

I learn so much more from my mistakes, and laugh a lot with the locals as they correct me, smile with me, and I think they appreciate that I am trying.

I seem to learn more when I’m by myself. No one but myself to depend upon.




My New Job at Cuenca Expats Magazine.

Ok, it’s not really a job. It more like great fun.

What I do is hang out at all the great gatherings, meet new and interesting people, and then write a story now and then about exceptional local individuals.

Is this the best gig or what?

Sometimes I get free food.

Please direct me to that unsung hero. I would love to meet them.




Here I am with David Johnson, the gentleman that asked me to be a part of this creative endeavor.  Click here and like his Facebook page.


ecuador facts

David and George at Black Olive Bistro



Another One of My Random Lists

Another list from notes I made over the last two months. Things to write about.
  • Why doesn’t everyone think like me?
  • Your light does not get brighter by putting out someone else’s.
  • Being conscious of your subconscious.
  • Does the frequency of depression increase as we get older?
  • If two wrongs don’t make a right, what does a right and a wrong make?
  • Would you rather peak when you’re young, or peak when you are old?
  • The tragedy of this world is, whether stuck in a time of pain or a time of joy, no one seems to be very happy.
  • When did you start thinking old people thoughts?
  • Can you forgive easily?
  • I like dysfunctional people. They make me feel better about myself.
  • Only a fool trades his life for money.
  • How To Make New Friends…. Listen more, talk less.
  • Stop trying to impress others and try impressing yourself.
  • Has the definition of ethics, honor, and integrity changed over the last 20 years?
  • What does love look like?
  • Being remarkable
  • Am I living on purpose?
  • Do you really want to be bitter and resentful for the rest of your life?
  • Get over it. Your life is still spectacular. What are you crying about you big baby.
  • Bread is yummy.



The End

This is all the time I have, it is almost midnight and I am really tired.

I leave for Peru in a couple of days so I will have a story and pictures of that for you next time. I will also have those pictures I promised you of my Hawaii trip. Below is just a preview.


ecuador facts

Maui is Beautiful…   Do You Like My New Tommy Bahama Shirt?


I wish someone like American Express would sponsor me so I could stop spending so much of my retirement money.

My custom home building job in California is ramping up. I go back to California for a couple weeks at the end of this month.

So many great things happening right now. I am very grateful. “Living the dream” as my good friend Paul back in California always says…


My feature story next time is titled, “The Man With The Small Penis”.  Not what you might be thinking…  I don’t get angry very often but this story will make sense to you once you read it.

I don’t have to tell you that it will be a very short story…



My next post will be out within the week. Thanks for subscribing.

It is nice to be back and feeling great.

Don’t forget to comment and enjoy the tune.

Loving me some Billy Ocean again….






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Category: Before The Big Move, Living in Ecuador, Moving to Ecuador

Comments (97)

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  1. Kathy says:

    Another outstanding post! George, every picture I see of you …you look younger ! Life seems to be agreeing with you!! Have a wonderful trip to Peru and take lots of pictures! Take care my friend, I wish all the best for you 🙂

    • Kathy,
      It must be the weight loss that makes me look a little younger. So far I haven’t had any “work done”, if you know what I mean…

      Lima is suppose to be a very active city. Should be fun.

      Thanks for the nice comment.


  2. Sue says:

    Hi, George,
    Please look online for the article in the medical journal “Aging” – there is a study on people having cognitive disorder and it reverses the problem in 9 out of 10 people! My husband and I are taking the vitamins and herbs and following the diet. It takes 3-6 months to work but this is the FIRST study to show reversal of memory problems for as long as people followed the diet and take the supplements! If you would like to email me, I can provide the information. Being around plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in Ecuador–it should be relatively easy to follow. Take care of yourself, George. My husband and I really enjoy your blog!

  3. Sue says:

    Oops–I forgot to say the study is on the September 2014 issue of “Aging.”

    • I will find it and see if it can bring my memory back. Thanks Sue.

      • Mr Ed says:

        I’m having some trouble with my short term memory … and also, I’m having some trouble with my short term memory.

        Also, one of these days I’m going to have a nice desk sign made saying “Department of Redundancy Department”. Got that from my old “road” roommate Glen Wilson. I miss him, the band, and that life.

        • Mr. Ed,
          You are funny. For the ones that get to grow older, a good sense of humor is the most important thing.
          It is nice that you remember often your friends who have passed. I miss my friends too.


  4. carmen mancheno says:

    Hi Gorge! don’t worry for the failing memory, I have the same problem my entire life.

    • Carmen,
      My people memory has always been bad, but it was usually just their names. Now it is actually the person, the face, everything. It will get better. I just need to concentrate.


      • Rebecca says:

        Hi George,

        Join the club! I have always had problems with names but not faces. Now all of it i getting worse. We can not know each other together 🙂 Make sure you introduce yourself or Dana or I will. Between the three of u we should be able to get somewhere. I hope you are in town Oct 22- Nov 11. Would love to see you and introduce you to family and friends. XXOO

        • Rebecca,
          I have known you two for to long to forget, and I should be in town in October. I might be in Chicago in September if I can pill it off, so October, has Cuenca written all over it. see you then for sure.


  5. Janet says:

    Good stuff you write. Give me more about cosmetic surgery. I want a face lift. Sorry about your breakup. This is my story too. Life is ever changing and we have to learn to roll with the punches. Have a great week. Best to you.

    • Janet,
      My friend is getting a full face and neck lift for $6500. I think by losing more weight I will also lose in my face so I probably won’t be doing and cosmetic surgery, but then, you never know what I might do…


  6. Tom Coker says:

    Another awesome post George – your usual gift of entertaining, informing and keeping it real!

    • Tom,
      Thanks for reading the blog. A lot of times, once my readers get here and settle in Ecuador, they stop reading. I appreciate your support. See you around soon I hope.


  7. Dale Morris says:

    Thanks George, a great blog as always, thanks for all the info and the morning chuckle. It’s always good to start the day with a smile. Keep rolling with the changes, I have found there are amazing things behind those boulders that come rolling at you, if you just get out from in front them. Kind of like a video game…behind the boulder is great treasure. Until we “meet” again!

    • Dale,
      Life is an ever changing challenge. Sometimes you just need to get out of the way and let it happen. This was a pretty big bump in the road, but I am doing ok, and getting better every day.

      Thanks for the kind words.


  8. Egyirba says:

    I just love you. Glad you’re on the planet.

    • Egyirba,
      I’m all grown up. Darn… I wanted to stay a kid for my entire life. Adulthood is so hard.
      Hope to see you soon. It is good to have you as my friend. Thank you.


  9. Jacqui says:

    George…you are the best! I so enjoy reading your posts. You move me, you lift me up, you give me hope and make my day. Thank you for being candid, honest and real. You draw me into your life and make me ponder mine (in a good way). Hope to meet you in person when I visit EC.

    • Jacqui,
      So glad you are here and thank you for such a nice moment. We should all try to keep it real as often as we can.


      • Jacqui says:

        Been trying to get there for a trial run but it seems something always jumps in the path! Now my HVAC died. Can’t sell my house without one (CA). Here’s the real deal: come hell or high water…I will arrive! So many people I want to meet….

  10. Lynda says:

    George, so good to get your post, we were beginning to worry about you and relieved to hear you are doing well. You are so very special to us, your candor is so inspiring and even gave me the courage to tell you my big secret when you were stuck in the denist’s chair! How good of you to share your “preferred list” and couldn’t agree more with Casa Ordonez and Black Olive, the others I will seek out. Happy trails to you and don’t be getting into any strange Lear jets too soon! xox

    • Lynda,
      I love how you broke into the dentists office while I was in the chair just to tell me your secret. I tell that story to a lot of people.

      Hope the work you had done is perfect. Are you happy with it? Let me know.


  11. Mara Gano says:

    Hi George: I assume I am the “nice lady” and I am not in the least offended! You meet so many people and people know you from your blog so this probably happens a lot. Your publication of this post is motivating me to get my next post done and up in the cloud. Maybe I need to write without pants on, too! Regarding learning Spanish, I WISH people would correct me more because I know I say a lot of things wrong and the Ecuadorians are all too polite to correct us (except my Spanish teacher Ana Luisa!) So here is a phrase I am practicing: Por favor, corríjame si digo algo incorecto. It means “Please correct me if I say something wrong.” You could also add “sin temor” which basically means “without fear” that I would be upset. Great post! Now I’ve got to write mine.

    • Mara,
      Yes, you are the lady and you are the example that I wrote about.

      But now I will never forget you. Hope to see you and your husband soon…damn, I forgot his name.


  12. Michael D says:


    Always a pleasure to read your posts!

    I’m not very good with remembering names either but have been playing some “brain games” lately that seem to actually help with that kind of thing. The “Elevate” app is very good.

    You inspire me with your dogged and daily efforts to continue to learn Spanish. After touring Ecuador back in January for the first time (where we ran into you at the FOB meeting) I was determined to learn Spanish upon my return to Colorado and immediately signed up for a Spanish conversational course. I’ve been at it now for over 6 months and – whenever I get discouraged – I just remember how little Spanish I knew when I arrived in Quito in January. As an endurance runner it helps me to realize that in many respects learning a new language is a lot like training for a marathon. A little bit at a time on a daily basis and – before you know it – you can look back and say “Wow – I can’t believe how far I’ve come!”

    My Spanish instructor here is a native Peruvian and has many wonderful things to say about his country. Enjoy your trip! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it in your next post.

    And O – yeah – I’m glad you’re somewhere on the planet too.

    • Michael,
      The friends I’m traveling with are relying on me to communicate for the group as we travel in Peru.

      How funny is that. I watch as they struggle with just gracias and por favor. That was me a year ago.

      I am beginning to love my new language but have so much more to learn. Don’t stop before the miracle happens.


      • Michael D says:


        I would appreciate anything you can relate about the mold problem I’ve been hearing so much about in the Andean highlands (Cuenca, Loja).


        • Michael,
          The mold problems are mostly from poor construction techniques. When you walk into a home for sale or a rental, if you smell that musty outdoor odor, just walk away and look for another place to live. Even if they say they will fix it, just walk away.


  13. Suparna Sinha says:

    Great blog! Have a safe & fun travel- Enjoy!

  14. Wendy says:

    Hello George, I forget what I wanted to say about the memory issue…oh yes, Omega 3’s. I have memory issues and have noticed an improvement since I started taking them. And by the way, seeing a new blog entry from you arrive in my inbox always puts a smile on my face, thank you for writing!

    • Wendy,
      I think my brain is like an old computer that has limited memory. I need to inquired my RAM. Sounds a little naughty… I like that.

      Thanks for the comment and I will look for those Omega 3″s


  15. Ken Hanigan says:

    Hi George, it’s always fun reading your blog. It seems weird sometimes that your hopes and dreams and concerns about life seem way familiar. Miguel and I were married 2 years ago and we are almost done with the process so he can come home to California and then we’ll figure out what we want to do. The sort of future plans include the possibility of living in another country so we have been seeing other South American countries when I take trips down to see him. One of our best was 2 months in Ecuador but so far our favorite was Argentina, the country we got married in. Anyway, he still resides in Lima and I think he would be happy to meet you and direct you and maybe help you feel comfortable in peru, and maybe start you out on the right foot. I’ve been there about 4 or 5 times and am very comfortable there now. let me know if you want his contact info and I think he could help you out. His brother owns a taxi, and we hired him for a 5 day trip north to chan chan and area. It was a great trip. He did a great job and it was reasonable, but fair warning he only speaks Spanish. Miguel speaks fluent English. Anyway, I was sorry to read today about some of the changes in your life but it seems you have landed on your feet. Let me know if you want the connection for Lima.

    • Ken,
      Thank you for your referral. I am only there for a few days and at a conference with a couple of friends. I think our days have been mapped out for us already.

      Hope all goes well and Miguel joins you in California soon.

      Be well my friend,


  16. Christine says:

    George….you make me laugh and you make me cry. But most of all, you make me realize that we are all in this together. Thank you for sharing your reflections of our generation in such an honest and heartfelt way. I love how your soul shines through your writing. Hope to meet you when I come to live in Cuenca.

    • Christine,
      Thank you. When you arrive here please send me a not and would be honored to sit and talk with you. That is one of my favorite things to do.

      I love your kind words.


  17. Kay says:

    Thanks again George….you always make me smile and laugh!
    OK…I had memory problems that were getting scary. Since anyone
    and everyone in Cuenca jumps in to solve problems (with no request
    on my part) I’ll do the same to you. I had several bad car wrecks
    (none my fault) with bad whiplashes, 2 major head traumas, etc.
    My osteopath fixed me completely by adjusting my skull. Easy.
    Miraculous. And you can continue to eat ‘bad food.’ HA!
    As a single woman, I look forward to any story about a penis.
    Rock on…and I don’t mean in a chair!
    Big hugs…

    • Kay,
      Thanks for the suggestion. I will talk with my chiropractor. Maybe he can fix me.

      Glad to hear that penis is not a dirty word for you. Many people seem to be afraid of the penis.

      Boo! Hahahahaha


  18. Mike & Lotis says:

    Hi George. It was good seeing you again at the BBQ on the 4th. Lotis and I were in Peru in April of last year. Another timeshare exchange. We did Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. For us Miraflores (by the sea) was one of the best areas to be in. Kind of touristy but very nice. Very upscale and lots of shopping. Kind of like walking down 5th avenue in NYC. In the Miraflores area by the Gato Park there are both daytime and nighttime bus tours. Daytime buses take you thru the historic area of Lima and the nighttime buses take you to an incredible water park with fountains and laser light shows (a must see). If you are doing Cusco and Machu Picchu let us know as there are inexpensive ways to see it by booking the trains yourself online. You can also get a tour guide very inexpensively by bargaining at the entrance.
    Don’t forget to find out what timeshare exchange company is affiliated with your timeshare in Maui so we can show you how to vacation worldwide using your timeshare.

    • Oh my,
      I forgot to answer all my comments. Sorry Mike.

      Lets talk soon. My trip to Lima was way to short and I only saw a very small area of the city.

      I would love to get with you and talk about the timeshare thing and maybe have you write another story about your travels.

      Talk soon my friend,


  19. Nikki says:

    Thank you. I always enjoy your blog. Don’t worry about the lapses in memory. Just keep smiling that beautiful smile. Oh, and always carry a pen and small notebook. Helps jog the cerebro.

    • Nikki,
      That notebook that I write things down in is fantastic. I go back over my notes every few month and get so many creative ideas from them. Thanks for the suggestion and thanks for commenting.


  20. Charline says:

    Hi, George! I really enjoy your blog and fully understand your “no pants” status – I started working from home a little over a year ago and the best thing about it is being able to work in total comfort wearing my nightgown!

    Thank you for the recommendations. We’ll keep them in mind when we get down there next year.

    Have fun in Peru and keep on posting!

    • Charline,
      Today I am writing again, finally, after a whole month of not writing, and I am in a t-shrit, gym shorts, and no shoes. Hope no one knocks on the door….

      We did have fun in Lima but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. A little too big and a little to dirty. Good to tour for a day on your way to some other spectacular place.

      Take care,


  21. Marty says:

    This may sound a little creepy, but I think we are walking in the shoes/in the shadow of Ecuador George as we approach our move date to Cuenca on August 18. As I wrote earlier, Sam and I stayed at Casa Ordonez (due to your post) back in March on our exploratory visit. Alberto has been an invaluable “amigo” since then. He has arranged a temporary apartment for us once we arrive on the 18th – dog and all! And, we are once again using Angel Panchez (via Alberto) to drive us – this time from Quito to Cuenca. In March, we decided that Black Olive Bistro was our favorite restaurant – good food, great prices, and a fun atmosphere. Our next Ecuador George move will be to contact Maribel Crespo for help finding a permanent home. I have picked up on the message that you like food, well so do we, so a good dinner on us might be a fair exchange for how much help you’ve been so far. Gracias!

    • Hey,
      Where is my dinner? I am hungry right now.

      Today is August 21st so you two are already here. How exciting. Sorry it took so long to respond. Hope all is going well with you and your move and I hope we do get to meet each other and have that dinner.

      You will not be disappointed with Maribel Crespo. Glad I could be of help.


  22. Daria Harris says:

    George, I really enjoy all your posts, articles, etc. You have a wonderful sense of humor and way of expressing yourself. I even read your suggestions about not correcting your friends who are just learning Spanish–very useful! I don’t even live in Ecuador, but I did live in a foreign country for 2 1/2 years, and loved it! I would be in Ecuador right now but my husband prefers living here in the States. That is TRUE LOVE, when you stay with your partner when he wants to stay and you want to go! Not to mention that he is also an outstanding person! For future reference, I have another question to ax you–(Oops, sorry!).
    I hear there are some excellent retirement homes, including right there in your town. I wonder if you could find one that is not expensive. I’d appreciate it so much if you can find the time in your busy schedule.

    • Daria,
      To be honest, I don’t know of any retirement homes here in Cuenca. It would be a great idea if someone would start one or build one, but I do not know of any.

      Maybe one of my readers has more information they can share.

      Good luck and tell your husband its fun to travel around.


  23. Fiona Patin says:

    Glad you are posting, keep on doing it. Have you ever read the book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” ? You might want to. No condolences BUT you are human and it should hurt and keep hurting for a while.

    Quick question….How difficult is it to find a rental that allows you to bring in two cats AND what the heck is “cat litter” in Spanish?

    Fiona 🙂

    • Fiona,
      Thanks for the kind words. It does still hurt. I thought is was getting better and then all of a sudden it gets worse. You are right. It is going to take more time.

      And yes you can find rentals that will take two cats and I am sorry but I don’t know the Spanish name for cat litter. I do know that cat litter is hard to find down here and I have been told the quality of it is not very good.

      Come on down Fiona.


  24. Annette Brennan says:

    Hey George
    Mark and I understand fully re the memory thing….his short term has died and we are told a lot of it is due to his depression…they go hand in hand…he’s on some great drugs and feeling better but he has given up on trying to remember anything and anyone so my job is to fill in the blanks. We would love to be in San Clemente instead but it’s not to be right now. BTW you ARE looking younger since we started reading your blog…keep it up and no condolences but not knowing u both personally, I’m still sorry
    have a great time in Peru

    • Annette,
      More kind words and they are very welcome.

      I will write about depression one of these days. I need to get really depressed before I do it.

      The memory thing is real. Even when I try, and focus, I still forget. But I keep trying and with effort it is better. And I keep a good sense of humor and then all is ok.

      Hope Mark is doing great. Thanks again for the nice words.


  25. Bill Koch says:

    Great info and loved the photos. Seeing you and Alberto brings back memories. Can’t wait for next trip down. Give Alberto our regards. Bill and Jan Koch

    • Van says:

      I look forward to every one of your posts. As often as possible I try to take off my pants. I always feel happier after reading your blog. I appreciate that you are willing to share your journey and how with each step, while perhaps not easy, iis a step forward. I like that you would post the names of those you found helpful and I am certain this will be helpful to many. I hope you will soon find someone with whom you can share your life. From your photos you have nice curb appeal.

      • Van,
        What a nice comment in so many ways. Glad my articles make you smile. And thanks for the encouragement. The right person will come along, but til then I will get to know myself better.


    • Bill,
      Alberto is in Norway but I will tell him next month when he gets back. When are you moving here. Hurry up!


  26. Robyn Johnson says:

    Hi George,

    I really enjoy your articles/blog. Your honesty is refreshing! I wish you a wonderful trip and will look forward to reading about it.
    Hugs to you!

    • Robyn,
      We are leaving today for Lima. I will have many pictures and a short report about the city. Only there for four days so it will be my first impressions. Thanks for commenting.


  27. Larry says:

    Someone had made a comment that you look younger than you did before, I have to agree with her, you also look and sound happier and more positive, whatever your doing, keep doing it. I have been reading your blog for well over a year and as always thanks for another great blog.

    • Larry,
      Maybe the fact that I am losing weight and excersing a little is what is making me feel and look younger. I really appreciate those comments because I really don’t notice it. I may have to hold off on and plastic surgery for another 10 years. Hahahahaha.

      Thanks for readying and commenting Larry.


  28. Ray Mann says:

    Am in Peru now and heading to Loja. I write and your blog is fabulous. If you would be interested I will give you my blog. We are on similar paths. Best to you.

    • Ray, please send me your blog or post it below here so my readers can go visit it.

      Thanks for the comment.


      • Ray Manna says:

        So glad I revisited this. Not sure why but I was not appraised of your reply ?? George, I could really use your input. On the visit to Peru, I affirmed that I am indeed in love with a guy from Lima. And Im now attempting to navigate the hassles with the State department of the US. Im not sure what direction to take. Im thinking to head back and to make a trip to Buenos Aires and to tie the knot there and to begin the process officially but Im just not sure. I noticed that another of your blog followers was doing a similar thing. Could you hook us up ? Would this material be of interest to you ?? Best…. Ray Manna

  29. Lollie says:

    Hi George! Oh, I forgot what I was going to say…oh, yeah, thanks for your funny wonderful blog. Regarding Billy Ocean,..can’t get enough of that man. And it’s not true that once you go black you never go back. Tee hee. Have a sweet time in Peru. I love Chachapoyas. Way north. Love, Lollie in Vilcabamba

    • Lollie,
      Glad you like the blog. Not sure what to say about the going back for black but I like it. I do love Billy Ocean. A real class act. Peru was fun. Stuck in the airport so writing these comments while I have the time.

      Stay well in Vilcabamba,


  30. Pauline says:

    Another great read George, you have my emotions running the gamut, from laughing out loud to contemplating “if I sold all my wordly goods could I buy a lear jet” I was in Cuenca last week, saw you on the street, turned to my husband and said “Thats George!” you walked by laughing and talking with two friends….made my day! One day I’ll come back and introduce myself…..but after this last blog…I’m waiting until you’ve taken your Omega 3s etc….I want you to remember me! 🙂

    • Pauline,
      What a great story. Next time please stop me and let’s talk. I’m never in such a hurry that I can’t take 5 minutes. Sorry I missed you. Thanks for following the blog.


  31. Jim says:


    I love your writing style and your ability to put things right out there. I’m sorry to hear about your breakup, but life goes on and gets better. I’m there and it seems you’re well on your way to being better. Keep writing, you’re fantastic at it. There are very few “newsletters” I get that I read religiously, but yours is one. I, like others am glad you’re back.

    Please write more about your California projects as it sounds interesting as all you write about does.

    There are great times ahead for you and do change your diet and report how what it does for your memory. We all love you George and don’t you dare forget it.

    Love Jim

    • Jim,
      What a wonderful note. Thank you for your nice comment.

      You know, I have so little to complain about. Sometimes things just don’t work out. But so many things do work out. I will focus and celebrate those.

      Hope to meet you some day Jim.


  32. phoebe says:

    Hi George, I´m always moved by your blog, you have such a touching way of expressing yourself. “What does love look like?” Love hurts, but never shows its face. As long as you hurt you are alive, and as long as you are alive you will learn to enjoy life again. Keep writing because all your readers are your friends and every one of us loves you.

  33. Suzanne Enright says:

    Hi George,
    I have never written to you before but have been enjoying your blog since before you moved down to Ecuador. I love reading it. I just wanted to say it’s okay with me if you share your personal journey. By this time I feel like we have a relationship and you are a great guy! 🙂 You are right – change is the only constant and we can’t stop the aging process. Keep being the curious, open, adventurous person you are. I am so delighted I stumbled across your blog months ago.

    • Susanne,
      Thank you for the very nice comment. I write this blog to document my journey and share with other people that are trying to make this big move and survive all these changes. I love sharing my little adventures with everyone.

      Can’t wait to see what happens next.


  34. ray says:

    So sorry to hear of your breakup. I think i have something in my eye.

  35. Sarah says:

    George, I just got back from Lima, a couple of days. I went to visit family, and see a medical specialists there. Frankly, I was horrified! I really have no desire to return voluntarily I will be very interested in your observations.

    • Sarah,
      That is why I go to these places. I need to see it for myself. I will report back and it will be an honest assessment.

      We are staying at a nice place, and also invited to some highbrow events, but I will also be driving around to see what is up.

      Stay tuned for the full report.


  36. Joy Brandt says:

    I am really sad to hear that you and Chad have split up. But thanks for sharing, and I hope that you both will be happy and still friends. Meanwhile, keep those creative juices flowing.

    • Joy,
      How can we not be friends after 20 years… Just need a little time to get over a few of this speed bumps and all will be ok. Thanks for the nice thought.

      The juices are slowly returning. And it feels great.


  37. Great post, and great running into you last night, George, at that uniquely Ecuadorean/Cuencano event. We must finally get together and compare our 20-year out experiences…..among other things.

  38. sandy says:

    I just love your sense of humor~ and the music.. i play this song a lot after first “hearing” this singer on your blog..
    keep it up, george, some of us in northern – above cotacachi – imbabura province need you!

    • Sandy,
      I was at Disneyland a few years back and I kept hearing Billy Ocean music. I left the corporate even I was at and started walking towards the music. Oh my god, there he was, up on a giant stage in the park, singing all his greatest songs. I couldn’t move. He sings fun music and I love it.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope we can meet if we are ever in the same town.


  39. Leo Brennan says:


    I emailed you a few weeks ago, but no reply. Do you prefer only posting here? I know you spend a ton of time helping others with their questions etc. Please advise you preference of communicating. Thanks!

    • Ecuador George says:

      Sorry Leo,
      Been traveling a lot. Either place is good. I do get a lot of emails and I answer then as quickly as I can. At times a few get away from me. I did send you a reply finally.


  40. SUSAN says:

    Hey George,
    Love your blog – as always…
    Keep ’em comin’…
    Being alone does not mean you are lonely!
    Take care George!

    • Susan,

      I always answer all my comments before I start the next blog post and you were the last to comment.

      It is the 21st of August and I am hoping it will only take me a couple of days of writing. I have a lot to cover.

      Thank you Susan for your comment. I am getting used to being alone. It takes time but I am almost there…


  41. Diane English says:

    Two couples are coming to visit Cuenca this April or May for three months. How do you recommend we get from the airport to Cuenca? Also, should we stay at a hotel for a few days before finding a 2 bedroom 2 bath furnished apartment. Can you recommend a reputable realtor? Thanks so much.

  42. andrea says:

    Hello, dear George-dude,

    i enjoy your writing… as well as the softness and sincerity flowing through your Being. 🙂 Perhaps i can offer another perspective with respect to so-called memory loss and the mounting anxiety often produced in the subconscious when the mind’s fear (of dementia) is denied via horse-whipping efforts to ‘concentrate’ or to do more word puzzles, etc, in an effort to overcome… Of course fighting and reviving largely remain our collective methods of response with many continuing to benefit from brain-food remedies. But as you likely know, humanity is waking up into greater consciousness. Here is my long-winded perspective:

    Might NOT remembering faces, names and places be a sign of increased present-moment experience? The way you write and inspire others may suggest that your ultimate spiritual nature (without religious doctrine) is surfacing, dear, fellow-traveler. For many awakening, what was once filled with meaning, purpose and gratification, steadily begins to fade… to drop away into the mundane as the emerging Heart’s consciousness offers Truer feelings and (present-moment) experiences of what is genuinely soul-nourishing. A fancy way to say you are awakening, my lovely brother.

    You write of sitting in parks, observing others in silence, breathing… (most important!), smiling in line, greetings others, etc. You are present and seeing… dear fellow wayfarer. 🙂 From this inner-perspective and its vastness… your once sharp-as-a-tack mind is naturally going to be seduced by this rising Source which is subtly encouraging it to lose interest and forget… the well-meaning, once-serving pleasantries in our largely surface interactions with others. This is how the Heart beckons us inward… and less to the affairs of the external world(s) so that our divine consciousness can be directly engaged.

    My gentle suggestion would be to ‘accept’ while you consciously breathe your mind’s fear of forgetfulness which is likely tied to its fear of dementia and aging. Look at your (ego)self, dear georgie-porgie, as it equates age 60 to older and forgetful- all the while forever wanting to play and be free like a child. IMHO, what is emerging is
    truly ageless and for those whose time has arrived to discover: eternal…

    No, my gentle bro, ‘you’ are not fading, YOU are emerging! Help your mental-one through this fear of loss… by breathing and accepting his fear- and it will permanently transform so that what remains is pure love- so says the faded rumi-dude, now more alive than ever. 🙂 When we can’t remember the mundane, our cup stands empty in front of what breathed life into us to be filled with intoxication. Don’t worry, you will not become some drooling dude on the sidewalk unable to make a living. But something NEW, unknown… for your life’s journey will arrive- through ambush. Heeheehee!

    i’ll be landing in Chordeleg sometime in May. And i love coffeehaunts. Lets chat sometime.

    Many blessings.

  43. Sheryl O says:

    Hi George,

    Cuenca is a destination we are considering, but we have a few questions I haven’t seen answered yet (of course, I haven’t read everything out there – yet):

    1. The weather – other than the temps I have seen reported, how about humidity and wind?
    2. Dogs – what is involved bringing them over if we do decide to move?
    3. Gluten free – I am medically required to follow a gluten free diet. How difficult will that be?

    Many thanks to you, or anyone else reading your blog, that can answer my questions.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Hi Sheryl.
      No wind really and not much humidity either. There is a rainy season and it can get a little cold in July and August. For the dog question you need an expert. Those rules change all the time. I know a few people that buy local gluten free products, so they are available. Hope this helped.


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