I Love Ecuador

| February 21, 2015 | 51 Replies

 

I Love Ecuador

I love ecuadorLets start the love fest right now.

First of all, thank you to everyone who voted for this site in GringoPost’s Best Of Contest. Looks like there were enough votes to officially make this a favorite for local blog readers. Thank you.

We did celebrate by baking a bundt cake. See picture below.

By the way, pictures of our dog Missy and my bundt cakes seem to get the most likes on social networks. I understand the dog, but bundt cakes?

Carrot Bundt Cake With Cream Cheese Drizzle

Carrot Bundt Cake With Cream Cheese Drizzle

 

 

 

The first story today explores some of the reason we get discouraged and quit our Spanish language learning courses. Maybe this story will encourage you to go back to class.

 

 

There is also an invitation at the end of the blog to a fantastic party gathering that you are all invited to in a couple of days here in Cuenca. Please leave your calendar open for this Monday evening. The venue, the menu, and the music will be first class. More information below.

 

Then a little story about obsessive compulsive behavior and how it might flare up a bit in retirement. Just another self improvement exercise for me to add to my list.

Remember that I exaggerate when I tell stories.  I am not crazy… Well, maybe I’m a little crazy.

Lets get started.

 

Why Do We Drop Out Of Spanish Class?

Home Made Flash Cards

Home Made Flash Cards

“I love going to Spanish class twice a week. It is my favorite thing to do in the whole world….”

That’s what I tell myself at least 4 or 5 times a week. I figure in about a year I might start believing it.

Staying positive puts me in the correct frame of mind for learning, even if I have to fake it for a while…

Last week I was so smart, maybe the smartest guy in the class. But today, Beginner 2 Spanish made me feel like I was a dumbhead.

That is just the way it goes. I’m not very happy about being a dumbhead, but you have to take the good with the bad.

And maybe I should have done the homework…

 

And then there are those really bad days. I don’t want to open the book, I don’t want to read the assignment, and I don’t want to learn anything else.

 

Missy in Spanish is Señorita

Missy in Spanish is Señorita

Necesito mas tiempo!

 

Last week, after class, the teacher came up to me, opened my workbook, and pointed to a new page with more verbs.

These were all new verbs…

She was very nice as she said, “study these now”.

But I don’t remember half of the ones from last week…

It is all so overwhelming sometimes.

 

A couple of weeks ago I Googled “infinitive verb”.  I have been pretending to know what that means for the last 2 months. And then I watched a YouTube video about conjugation…

 

Oh my, that is so easy to understand now, but I don’t remember ever being taught this stuff when learning English. And without that basic building block, I was just limping along.

It was a really big deal when I finally learned the definitions of infinitive and conjugation. (stop laughing… lots of people don’t know this stuff)

 

So just in case this is one of the areas that has been making you crazy….

The infinitive form of a verb is the original form before you conjugate it.

Conjugation is when you take a verb and put it into different forms depending on the subject.

So, in English, “To eat” is the infinitive verb (in it’s original form), and “I eat”, “He eats”, “We eat” and “They eat” are all conjugations.

See how simple it is if someone just takes a minute to tell you…

 

Of course, it’s not that easy in Spanish. When you conjugate in Spanish the original verb (infinitive) changes more than it does in English.

Comer (Ko-mare) means “to eat” in Spanish.

To conjugate Comer it looks like this.

Como (Ko-moe) means “I eat”
Come (Ko-may) means “He eats”
Comemos (Ko-may-moes) means “We eat”
Comen (Ko-men) means “They eat”

This isn’t meant to be a lesson in conjugation, it is only meant to point out another reason why some people quit Spanish. Conjugating verbs is difficult in the beginning.

Comer is a regular verb.

These are certainly challenging enough, but then you are introduced to irregular verbs, present tense, future tense, past tense, and after that there is more, and then more after that…

 

How many of you know the definition of “Definite and Indefinite Articles”?   That’s what I thought… none of you.

It is so simple but I was never taught those terms. So when they use those terms for teaching Spanish, I just shut down.

You must understand all this terminology and what it means in English before it will make sense to you in Spanish. Don’t let something this simple be the reason you quit.

 

You will never “get it” if you quit.

 

Being to old to learn is another excuse I hear all the time.

It might take a little longer, but you can still learn. Many of us haven’t learned anything new in 30 years. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

 

If you don’t study it is going to take you longer… probably a lot longer. I keep reminding myself that one of my goals in moving here was to learn the language. That keeps things in perspective. For me it is not really a choice. I will learn the language, but I will also take it at my own pace. As long as I see a little progress I am happy.

 

When I first arrived in Ecuador I was out walking, looking for the supermarket. I was lost. I wanted to stop someone on the street and ask directions but I didn’t speak the language.

I stopped for a second and remembered that I knew how to ask for the location of the bathroom… “Donde esta el bano?” I also knew how to ask for help… “Necesito ayuda”.

It took me a second but I was able to stop someone and say “Necesito ayuda, por favor. Donde esta SuperMaxi?”

Of course it all sounded very foreign to me. Gibberish at best. But the older man smiled real big and pointed in the right direction.

I did it. I made some sounds come out of my mouth that this person understood. This was very exciting. I remember smiling for at least a minute as I walked toward the market. Victory was mine at that moment.

But of course there is more to speaking Spanish than asking for directions and ordering eggs and bacon for breakfast.

I must admit that I was hoping that this was all going to happen faster. After all, I am a pretty smart guy.

Yet another lesson in humility.

My expectations have been adjusted down a bit and now I am hoping only to maintain my desire to learn.

And it’s working. I wrote this entire article without using my translator, and that would not have been possible three months ago.

This might take me a little longer than I thought it would, but that really is ok.

I’m not quitting.

 

 

I Am Not Obsessive Compulsive

For a long time I thought my partner was a bit obsessive.

Everything had to be in its place, the house was always clean, everything had to be just so, you know, towels triple folded and always hanging perfect on the rod. The pantry, the linen closet, even the laundry room were all organized. It was suggested to me that those areas were off limits, except for an occasional cookie run to the pantry. I should just stay away, no help needed in these areas.

I guess I didn’t mind. Who doesn’t love a clean and organized home that someone else takes care of.

I wanted to do my share but the more I made an effort the more things I either dropped, burned, ruined, or damaged. Pretty soon I was delegated to outside tasks only. The inside of the house was now outside the scope of my expertise.

Drive Him Crazy

Drive Him Crazy

I remember this hurt my feelings a little. I guess it must have bothered me. One time I went around to all the bathrooms and messed things up just a little. Moved the towels just a little bit, smeared some toothpaste on the sink, turned the roll of toilet paper around, and left a drawer open just a little. When I came back a few hours later everything was back to normal.

This guy was good.

Why was this bothering me. Most people would give their right arm to have this problem. Maybe this wasn’t Chad’s problem at all. Maybe it was mine.

And then over a 3 week period in 2014 I had this little revelation.

It started with lunch.

We were walking downtown and both of us were pretty hungry. I was thinking a couple of $3 almuerzos and Chad was thinking pizza, cappuccinos, a nice salad and then ice cream for dessert.

My anal retentive survival mode was triggered and the auto pilot took over. Next came an explanation of why a $25 lunch would be out of the question and why just thinking it could ruin both of our lives forever.

In a minutes time I was able to explain that if we ate lunch out 3 times a week, the difference between a $6 lunch and a $25 lunch would total $225 more per month, $2700 a year, and $13,500 over the next 5 years.

Chad just looked at me like I was crazy, but I think he was also intrigued that I could add, subtract, and multiply so quickly and so accurately.

I was kind of surprised myself. But not from the adding and subtracting.

I was surprised because I never knew I was so cheap. When did this happen?

Might be because during the first 6 months of our retirement I was still trying to figure out how much all this was going to cost. It was hard for me to stop working. I had not worried about money in 20 years, but now it seemed to be on my mind most of the time.

I talked to a few friends a couple hours later. They told me it took them about 6 months to relax a bit.

Maybe I was over thinking all this.

 

Yellow first, then Green...

Yellow first, then Green…

Later that night I opened a bag of M&M’s and started eating all the brown ones first. Chad grabbed a few and I yelled at him. “Only the brown ones”.

Then he called me obsessive compulsive. He told me that for years I have eaten M&M’s and Chiclets the same way.  Always one color at a time, then the next color, then the next.

“That’s not obsessive, it’s just the way I like to eat those things… If anyone has a disorder its you, you clean freak…”

George, you dump the little mini Chiclets on the table, separate them by color and then you eat only 3 at a time. What do you call that?

“I call it nothing… Bet you can’t name even one other thing I do that is obsessive.”

  • You carry cash in your wallet that has to face all the same way and is stacked from lower to higher denominations.
  • You get physically ill when I use more than 2 paper towels to wipe up a mess.
  • You will only swipe the deodorant 2 times under your arms.
  • You never learned to tie your shoes like a normal person so you make it a point to never tie them where anyone can see you.
  • You secretly straighten pictures in other peoples homes.
  • You can’t stand it when I leave the hot water running while I am washing and rinsing the dishes.
  • You obsess on anyone with unmanaged nose hairs.

Would you like me to go on? Did I mention that I know you swallow all that gum?

 

Wow, that was some list.

And he didn’t even have to think about it.

This little talk gave me reason to pause.

Maybe I am a little obsessive compulsive. Did this start when I retired? Maybe this is just a normal adjustment period syndrome…

I sure hope so. I don’t mind being call a perfectionist. But anal retentive with obsessive compulsive tendencies… I don’t think I could deal with that and learn Spanish at the same time…

A man can only take so much.

 

 

The Launch Party in Cuenca

I will make this quick and to the point.

This will be the event of the year and it is happening in just a few days.

Mark your calendar, Monday, February 23rd, 2015.

You are all invited but you need to R.S.V.P. now.

This is the Launch Party of Zero Magazine/Cuenca, the only printed English language publication in Cuenca. Thats right, a printed publication that you can take home and read. Get your copy here at the Launch Party. The magazine will also be available at locations around the city.

Come and experience a positive community event. The Museo Municipal De Arte Moderno is a beautiful building to have a gathering in, and the food is being catered by Black Olive Bistro, a BEST OF GringoPost Winner.  Music by the Jazz Society.

This event is absolutely free. Come with your friends. Come and meet new, interesting, and fun people.

Please R.S.V.P. as soon as possible to email address  premier@zeroenterprises.com

 

I love ecuador

 

 

 

Pictures and People

It is party time. Happy Birthday Linda and much thanks to Ellie and Stan for hosting a great gathering. Look at that mural on the patio wall. Painted by Stan. A great time was had by all.

Birthday Girl Linda and Friends at Ellie and Stan's Home

Birthday Girl Linda and Friends at Ellie and Stan’s Home

 

Take a close look at the food table. Yes, that is a homemade coconut cream pie. And it was good, really good. Not shown is the chocolate cake and the margaritas. So much food to celebrate Linda’s birthday.

Another great gathering of friends. Thanks for inviting us. We had a great time.

Birthday Party Food Table At Ellie and Stan's House

Birthday Party Food Table At Ellie and Stan’s House

 

Here is a picture for Chad’s mom and dad and for my family.   See, I told you we were ok….

Happy and Healthy in Ecuador... Thanks for the picture Stan

Happy and Healthy in Ecuador… Thanks for the picture Stan

 

 

But that’s not all….

Last week there was a wine tasting party at Casa Ordonez. This was a great learning experience for everyone plus by the end of the event everyone had a slight buzz… Good for lowering blood pressure I think. I was the designated driver.

Wine Tasting at Casa Ordonez

Wine Tasting at Casa Ordonez

 

50 Wine Tasters at Casa Ordonez. Fun Times.

50 Wine Tasters at Casa Ordonez.      Fun Times.

 

Always something going on in Cuenca. In fact, if you want to know what is happening right now or tomorrow in Cuenca, check out www.pronto411.com.

This is a great site and lists all the events happening in town and even gives you a map so you can get there easily. You can even list your event on the site and everything is free.

_________________________

 

Well, that is all I have this time.

Thanks again for voting for Ecuador George as favorite local blog. I will do my best not to disappoint you in 2015.

Leave a comment, subscribe, or friend me on Facebook.

Have a great week and see you at the Launch Party on Monday.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Living in Ecuador, Retiring in Ecuador

Comments (51)

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  1. Carol Van Alstine says:

    Great as usual George, made my day. Will be coming to Cuenca in May hope to see you at one of the events I find on pronto 411. Tranquilo luego – Carol

    • Gayle Strohkirch says:

      Hi Carol,
      My husband, Tim, and I will be arriving in Cuenca for a two – week stay in May. Maybe we’ll meet up at one of the events?!

    • George says:

      Carol,
      Thanks for the comment. Please feel free to look us up when you get into town. Glad you enjoyed this weeks post. George

  2. Sheila says:

    Hey George!
    Another great blog post! I felt like I was reading about myself. Harvey and I keep putting off studying our Spanish cause we’re just hoping people will understand the few words we know. As far as the OCD, I’m #1 on Chad’s list! And that’s just the beginning! However, my OCD is not the type where everything has to be perfect, just some things.

    • George says:

      Sheila,
      Spanish is starting to intrigue me a little. I can actually see how things work, sort of… In an odd way it is exciting but in so many other ways it is frustrating. Each day I understand just a little more, but then the more I learn the more I realize how little I really know. It will make you crazy if you let it. Glad to hear about other people with different levels of OCD. Glad I finally admitted to mine…

      George

  3. Nick says:

    George,

    I love your bit about learning Spanish! I am a Spanish teacher in Alabama and I have the same problem. My high school kids don’t know these terms either. My students tell me how much ENGLISH they learn in my class, as well as Spanish. I will be reading this to them tomorrow. Love your blog…Thanks!!
    Nick

    • Nick,
      You need to have your students subscribe to the blog. I would love to have a bunch of students read this. Thanks for the comment and I am very excited about you reading the Spanish article to the kids. Thanks.

      George

    • Armando says:

      And don’t forget that learning Spanish or any other language is just as confusing as learning English. I am currently trying to learn German and see the connection to English easily, and I already know Spanish fairly well enough to hold a conversation, and the grammar is no longer a problem, but I need to increase my vocabulary. I started off speaking Spanish and that was totally erased in elementary school, and later I did not do well in college level Spanish. In my late 50s I began learning Spanish by watching telenovelas and news programs in Spanish, but I paid close attention and made the connections in my head. That is also how I learned a bit of Japanese too, watching local Japanese television programs in the 2 years I was in Japan.

      • Armando,
        I know how hard English is to learn. I will take Spanish any day. As hard as it is to learn, my guess is it might be the easiest compared to all the others… Thanks for the comment.
        George

  4. Nancy Watson says:

    George,
    You put a lot of thought into your blog posts. They are very interesting and fun to read. You deserve the best local blog award…congratulations. Keep up the good work.

    • Nancy,
      Thank you very much. I do fret some over posting good stuff. Sometimes if there is no inspiration then I just make it up, but there is always a hint of truth in what I write. Glad you like it.

      George

  5. Jerry says:

    I might be retiring in the area and have found the top Spanish program in the US at least. Here is the website address: http://www.rosettastone.com

    • Jerry,
      Thanks for the link. We have Rosetta Stone here in the house, and about 3 or 4 more of the popular learning systems. We also found some great lessons on YouTube. And we watch TV with the Spanish subtitles turned on, and have flashcards sitting around all over the house. We are determined to learn.

      George

      • Starr says:

        You should check out both Pimsleur to help learn Spanish or any other language. It’s a lot more fun than some programs.

        http://offers.pimsleur.com/

        Then if you really want to have some fun, try out the interactive video tutorial for Spanish. Mi Vida Loca!

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/

        I did it over a weekend and didn’t want to stop. Made myself only do a few videos at a time. I’ve retained more from these videos than in a week of classes. Plus it’s fun!

        I watched them one episode at a time. Then did the activities at the end. I hope you like them. I wish there were more interactive language videos like this, I would watch them till I could understand and speak the language. Having several of them would be nice to help improve your comprehension as you go along.

        Love the blog! I wish I could move down to Ecuador, I hear Manta is nice and that there are smaller ports nearby. I miss living by the water.

  6. bo says:

    “You carry cash in your wallet that has to face all the same way and is stacked from lower to higher denominations.
    You get physically ill when I use more than 2 paper towels to wipe up a mess.
    You will only swipe the deodorant 2 times under your arms.
    You never learned to tie your shoes like a normal person so you make it a point to never tie them where anyone can see you.
    You secretly straighten pictures in other peoples homes.
    You can’t stand it when I leave the hot water running while I am washing and rinsing the dishes.
    You obsess on anyone with unmanaged nose hairs.”

    You seem to indicate that the above are bad things. I was with you up until the nose hair thing. Don’t you realize it is unmanaged ear hair that is the real problem.

    Great post as usual.

    Bo

    • Suzi Jensen says:

      George, it’s no accident your blog was voted the best. It’s wonderful. I always enjoy it. People love dogs and cake, that’s it, don’t read to much into the likes on your pictures 🙂 the bundt cake just has a “perfect” look. My mom used to make bundt cakes that looked like that and it brought back memories. Your bundt cake looked so delicious. My husband and I are in Panama and also want to learn Spanish. I guess wanting is not going to do it. Lol enjoy life. We will be visiting Ecuador someday in the next couple of years and will be sure to meet you.
      Suzi and Bob
      Senior Nomads

      • Suzi,
        Maybe there is something magical about bundt cakes. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a bundt cake. I would love to meet you two, please look us up when you are in Cuenca.

        Thanks for the nice message.

        George

    • Bo,
      I am afraid to ask him for more examples. I know I do some weird things when I cook. You know, preparing meat and vegetables. But I don’t want to get into that.

      Nose hair and ear hair are on the list, but for me, nose hair is really bad.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope to see you two tomorrow at the Launch Party.

      George

  7. Joyce says:

    Thanks George,

    I also at age 60+ realized I did not really understand conjugating verbs and definite and indefinite articles ( yes, I think of myself as an educated person with multiple degrees). When we learn a language from infancy it just comes naturally without thinking about the structure. I have been taking Spanish lessons in the US and returned from Ecuador a few months ago after visiting for 3 weeks. I found that Ecuadorian people are amazingly helpful they speak slower than many Spanish speaking people and their articulation is clearer. I LOVE Ecuador!

    • Joyce,
      I just got home using a cab. I did my best with broken Spanish to give directions to the driver. He smiles and then helped me. He really liked that I was trying… That had us both smiling and laughing. Makes me want to learn more. Keep studying and thanks for the comment.

      George

  8. kathy leveque says:

    Hi George: Loved reading your blog. I just love it and it always makes me laugh and smile. so good for the soul.
    I don’t think I ever learned those English terms either or they just disappeared from my memory but you explained perfectly.
    Thank you again. Blessings and I like my bills to be in order too.

  9. Dena Jo says:

    Wow, really wish I could go to that launch party. Thanks for bringing pronto411 to my attention. One day it will come in handy. Glad you’re sticking with the Spanish. If I were there, I’d tutor you.

    Dena

    • Dena,
      I am beginning to understand a lot of the rules but it is my memory that is poor. I need to practice more. If I learn 20 things I only remember 5, but then when I review or see it again, I remember a couple more. I am sure it will come with time.

      I will take a few pictures at the Launch Party and post them next time.

      George

  10. Nancy says:

    Dear George, I have been reading your blog for several months now and truly love it. I live in Ballenita on the coast and have yet to get to Cuenca but will one day soon. I would love to meet you and Chad and discuss conjugation. When my teacher got to that part of the training session I really felt stupid. I have some vague memory of not understanding it in high school either. You are always informative and entertaining. Thanks for great work.

    • Nancy,
      I always want to say conjunction instead of conjugation. It is hard in the beginning. Hope my little explanation helps you. And please look me up when you are in Cuenca. Thanks for reading.

      George

  11. Tom Gallagher says:

    Aha yes, the jargon of language; any language. You all know what a gerund is right? (see Wheel of Fortune/what are you doing/first word). Neil Simon is laughing at you two. Watch out, our passports came in the mail last Friday. Nice job as usual and congratulations on the award; I voted for you at least ten times. Also congratulations on the launch of a paper edition! (bucking the trend?) Thanks again for a great read and the wonderful pictures.

    Best to you and Chad,

    Tom

    • Tom,
      Thanks for voting. And congrats on your passports.

      There is this mover and shaker gal here in town that is responsible for the newspaper. Her name I Sara Coppler. She is veery community minded and teamwork oriented. I really like her and what she is doing so that is why I am posting this here. From what I can tell, this will be very very good for our community, and not just the expat community, but for all of Cuenca. I am excited just to be a small part of it. I will report back about how the party goes…

      Thanks for your support Tom. Always good to hear from you.

      George

  12. Ken Menges says:

    I never see any pictures of men wearing short pants in Cuenca . Why Ken

    • Ken,
      Those men are all at the beach. Shorts are not worn much here, although I do see them on really warm days, and guys who run and workout wear them. Long pant are the norm most of the time. I want to say it is a cultural thing, at least I think it is. I think each year I see more shorts though…

      George

  13. Kelly says:

    And it just keeps getting better! Your blog is one of the reasons that we came to visit Cuenca 2 yrs ago and continues to be a highlight. You share so much of yourself and it is so refreshing, your honesty, humility and humour are what makes it for us. It was such a pleasure to meet you and Chad at the Wine Event at Casa Ordonez. Most grateful for the link to Pronto411, amazing! So much more than we knew is happening. (was reading the blog to hubby and he all of a sudden he left and came out of the kitchen with a 12 inch pair of sheers (the only ones we have in our rented condo) and proceeded to try and trim his nose hair! No luck but you may have started something good.)

    • Kelly,
      You know that I exaggerate when I write but the nose hair thing was not exaggerated. Of course a small amount of hair is normal but when it actually comes out of the nose and hits the upper lip, well that is just to much.

      The wine tasting party was great. Tell your hubby to be careful with those shears… Your comment made me laugh.

      George

  14. Robert Martinez says:

    Me encanta su escritura. Usted me inspira, me hace reír, y más que todo me entretiene. Espero con interés su próxima publicación.

  15. Jody says:

    George, I had to smile at how you explained your struggles with language. Some of us have an easier time with language than others, just like some people seem to “get” math a lot easier, faster, and sooner. And don’t ever think you can’t learn something new. As you said, it just may take a little longer. After all, we all had to learn English over a period of years. None of us emerged from the womb speaking complete, grammatically correct sentences! I’m one of those people for whom language was always easy. I was the English, Spanish, and French nerd in high school, but Math in high school nearly killed me. Once I got past Algebra 1, I was stumped, nothing was clear, and my Geometry teacher gave me private tutoring the whole year! I only barely made a C, and didn’t flunk, strictly out of the kindness of his heart! So, it’s not that we can’t learn, but that some things just take longer. You’re doing the right thing by relaxing, slowing down, and just keep studying a little every day. You may want to discuss this with your teacher. If she is any good at all, she will realize that everyone doesn’t learn the same things at the same speed. And if she continues to push you too fast, get another teacher! Learning a new language should be fun, not drudgery. And yeah, I really did know all those goofy grammatical terms, but then that’s how my brain works! Please do NOT ask me any math questions! 😉

    • Jody,
      We all excelle at certain things, and some of us are better at math and not so great at languages. I sometimes just don’t want to learn anything. Maybe I’m lazy, or just tired. But I’m doing it no matter what.

      George

  16. Sharon Witt says:

    Oh, I needed your post today! Congratulations regarding Best Blog 2014. I had answered an ad to look at kittens today. The address was wrong. Came home a little bummed out, not getting a kitten:(( Then when I saw your Ecuador George in my inbox, I knew all was good in Cuenca land. Still laughing about your two towel, two swipe doo-dahhs. So excited about the Zero…launch tomorrow evening. Slick magazines was a career passion and you and Chad will be there as well! Fantastic. You rock mr. George!

    • Sharon,
      What a nice thing to say. Being able to make you smile after kitty cat disappointment is a compliment for sure.

      I’ve been asked to write a column in this new magazine. How exciting is that? Now what kind of crazy nonsense should I write about first…

      Have a great day Sharon.

      George

  17. Ani says:

    George,

    How can I get a copy of the first English magazine published in Cuenca? I live in Anchorage, Alaska. I hope to retire in Cuenca one day. Thanks.

  18. Great blog post! My husband and I are planning a move to Cuenca in the next couple of years. It’s great to get a local ex-pat’s perspective. Keep up the good work!

    • Christine…
      You have the perfect name for a local morning newscaster. Love it.

      Glad you like the blog. Stay tuned, I’m think about writing a book, just not sure if it is going to be about Ecuador…

      Thanks for the nice comment.

      George

  19. Jeremiah says:

    Pleasure meeting you, George, at this evening’s Launch Party, w/ our friend Sharon.
    Language is a tool, and in construction outside Philadelphia, I was ‘vaquero’ to my Mexican friends, on the job. I spoke minimal Spanish, but more than the boss. I stepped in when all their social security numbers came up bogus, at tax filing time. The good boss took his trusted employees to get valid Soc Sec numbers.
    Here in Cuenca, Belinda and I practice w/ the taxi drivers. Poco a poco, mi amigo!

    • Jeremiah,
      I practice with taxi drivers and with the guard at our building. I learn something new every day but there are a thousand things to learn. I think I am over the fear that I won’t be able to learn the language. I can see the progress I have made. It builds upon itself. Good luck and good work. George

  20. Donna says:

    I took 2 semesters of Spanish. We were hoping to retire this year but will not happen. IT IS VERY HARD FOR SOMEONE OF MY AGE! I had to study much more than I expected. It did pay off but it is a use or lose for me. I have a co-worker who is fluent in Spanish. She has been a huge help. Hang in there, George. You got this!

  21. Donna,
    I have to remember to study a little every day. I know I will get it but I want it now. More practice will get me there for sure. Thanks for the comment. George

  22. Cheryl says:

    Hello George! So excited to have found your blog…just subscribed. Hubby and I are in our late 50’s and preparing for future retirement. Researched lots but so far, Quenca has my heart. Hope to visit in the next few years. Just wanted to commend you on your “human touch”…your blog is becoming one of my favourites!! Will start more seriously on our Spanish language…for some strange reason I can read it so much better than speaking it!
    Peace,
    Cheryl

    • Ecuador George says:

      Thank you Cheryl,
      Speaking a new language is the last thing that happens so don’t give up. I am learning very slowly so far. I currently have broken survival Spanish talents. I can talk in very broken nouns with an incorrectly conjugated verb thrown in… but it is a start. Thanks for reading the blog and good luck in your future. George

  23. Hi George!
    Really enjoying the readings of the past 3 years.
    I must say that me and my partner have been tossing around Costa Rica for 10 years having visited on several occasions and still going there for vacations.

    Now having read these post I am determined to make my way to Ecuador with all that is going on down there it looks exciting, fun and a way to make retirement less painful.

    Thanks
    Talk soon,
    Michael

    • Ecuador George says:

      Michael,
      I have come to know a lot of gay and gay friendly people here. You should really check this place out. I do like living here. Please use me for any questions you might have. I here to help.

      George

  24. steve says:

    your posts are the best how can I get the magazine online
    ty steve

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