Saturday, January 14, 2012

US Consulate

U S Passport Renewal

Last week we made our obligatory pilgrimage to Mecca. If you enjoy expatriate living, it is coming to a life near you.  Sing along now: Down the Andes and through the clouds, to the Big Brother's house we went. Unlike "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house" in the children's song, we were greeted by the hired guns of the entirely friendly Ecuadoran guards.

My heart felt a twang of grief as I gazed up at the Stars and Stripes, no longer conveying patriotic  sentiment, but concern for the America of my youth. Secure behind a small moat and floral-topped concrete wall, stood the house of Authority.

Before entering, we emptied our packs, placing everything on a table for inspection. Not as stiff as TSA security and with surprising respect, the rented guards gently glanced at us and allowed entry. Five feet inside, we repeated the procedure. The order, if not the time, of our internet appointment was respected. Our internet-provided forms expedited the process.  So $110 dollars later, we left with perforated old passports and the promise of new ones in a couple of weeks.

Oh, by the way, the staff has been negotiating with the courier service since August with no end in sight. Since they do not trust Ecuadoran mail, we must return to Guayaquil with our old passports to obtain a fresh decade of travel permission. Or send a friend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thriving in Ecuador - Our Unique Perspective

Thriving in Ecuador, coming out next week has a "Table of Thoughts" to locate what information you need or desire to read.  It includes 1) the financial and business perspectives of a former CPA, and the insights as a former Bed & Breakfast Innkeeper; 2) our personal experiences over a year; 3) and, includes specific advice on real estate, cargo, medical care, insurance, legal issues and taxes.

Our e-book was inspired by our 2008 and 2009 trips to Uruguay and meetings with the author of Living in Uruguay.  David shared with us that many of his readers encouraged him to turn his blogs into a book.  We referred to the book he gave us, when organizing our thoughts.  Traveling to Uruguay?  Google his book.

Books from different perspectives and experiences add insights and motivation to travelers.  And yes, we feel there will soon be additional books which may be useful also!

Gary & Sue Gaither

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Thriving in Ecuador" ebook

                                                       Thriving in Ecuador
                                                Visiting and Living in Ecuador

It's coming next week!  Here 'tis...

We present a crisp, clear, informative, time-saving narrative guide to Cuenca and Ecuador.

What we urgently wished for during our initial visit and first few months in the "Land of Eternal Spring" is now yours for $2.99.  Yep, three bucks on Amazon.

Over 40 short, fast moving, easy-to-read chapters, reducing a year's research to an organized and efficient planning tool.

We cover how, when, why, and where to come. Topics include culture, climate, entertainment, money saving and budget ideas. Shortcuts to travel, medical tourism, real estate, banking, health insurance, legal issues, safety and "gringo street-smart" are covered. We even embraced the "Disadvantages" and "Who Should Not Come."

May our ebook save you ciento horas - a hundred hours~
          Until next week,
                            Gary & Sue Gaither