Saturday, December 6, 2014

The big wall

We are continuing on building our dream space and today we are sharing the construction of our big wall; to support the swimming pool area,It took few men and few weeks for this nice workmanship to be build.
I really appreciate the skills and creativity of Ecuadorian.
Then we added a structure that hold some of the solar panel and make a little space for the garden tools; and some flowers and vegetables beds.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our goods arrived!

Yes FINALLY! After more than a year we've been really patient and had a lot of stress with that; without counting the money we have lost with that moving company (we are few families around the world that experienced this unfortunate event!) but it's here, everything is here... It's almost unbelievable!
And weird at the same time to have to unpack your moving boxes more than a year after.
It's kind of like Christmas in July!

we removed everything from the living room to receive our boxes.
Now time to unpack! 

for the full story, why it took so long:
first we needed a visa that allowed us to send our goods, it took us 6 months to do so.
when we had the visa the Ecuadorian mover told us that we had 6 months to send our goods and we were 2 days over! The solution was to go to Peru to have a new entrance date in the passport which we did.
Then the first company that we hired did some monkey business, they had sent our goods to another company in Vancouver and they did not pay them (while they cashed our money and overcharged us), and finally after weeks of lies they informed us that they were closing their business for bankruptcy, ... they even told us that we had a month to go get our stuffs or they will be sold by a bailiff!
we ended up hiring another international mover and they did a good job.
there was no problem with the custom, everything was fine.
we are so glad that this story came to an end.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A year un Ecuador!

Yes, it's been a year That we arrived in Ecuador!
Very interesting and challenging year!
Since January here is an update:
With the rainy season the vegetation had grown so much; the garden was a jungle with very tall grass;
We hired a gardener to help us and he was able to clean it beautifully.
Things have grown by themselves; we harvested a one pound and a half carrot that was very tasty!
Raspberries, lemons, melon dew etc...
I love to see the little pineapple growing!
We have plenty of papaya trees that we have grown from seeds.
It's so nice to be able to garden all year long.

Here is a little video from the garden:

Garden 2014

About our big project... Yes, it's finally done!
It took way more time than expected but it was interesting...
So I've made few videos of the construction of our natural swimming pool:
We have a main pool with little stairs and a ladder, a pool for the baby and a pool at the upper level with plants to filter the water.
There is also a pump that pump the water from the main pool to the very top of the waterfall or to the plants's pool.
And two wonderful waterfalls.
We are waiting for the solar panels that will be use to heat the water.
Here are 6 short videos to show you the process:

An unfortunate story about our goods is that the company that we hired went bankrupt; it was (and still is a bit) stressful!
We had to hire and pay another company; they shipped our goods almost a month ago (we are able to follow the boat online and we can't wait for it to arrive)... We have been really patient with that!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014... in Ecuador...

If a year ago someone told me that we would start this year in Ecuador, I wouldn't have believed it!
Life is full with surprises! and it's so good to live with the flow.
We had a quiet Holidays Season, enjoying the nice weather and beautiful surrounding nature (green landscape, flowers, nice temperatures, wildlife, singing birds every morning...); It's a bliss everyday!

Then we went to Cuenca (Big City - 4 hours drive); to get our Cedula (ID card); We had prepared the list of papers they required but needed only half of them and had to go to the notary to make a declaration (it took us about an hour and $40 for the 4 of us).
When we arrived in the morning there was a huge line up but we found an express line for foreigners! (what a blessing!)...
When we came back in the afternoon, it was almost the closing time but they accepted us and made our cards right away (as I was pregnant and coming for a long distance);
Unfortunately there was some mistakes on hubby's papers, so he had to ask the government in Machala to correct them and he had to go back a week later (now, it's done and we all have our precious card!).

As we received our permanent visa (Dec 20th), we contacted our transporter to get our container;
We received a message from the Ecuadorian transporter stated that we had 6 months to ship our goods!
So they waited us to get the visa and now they count the entry date in Ecuador as the opening date!
We enter on June 22d and we had till December 22d to be able to ship them tax-free...
They say, there is still a way...It's to go to the border and get the passport stamped with a new date!
Then go back to the 'immigration police' to have the updated paper...
So today hubby made the trip to Peru for that...What a story!
He took some pictures at the Peru border as it was a very interesting different landscape: straight roads with kind of desert land and some very green trees. Also some rice cultures

The garden is blooming and we have an abundance of organic tomatoes in the green house:

We still enjoying Kale, lettuces, cucumbers, herbs and we have few little honey dew melon, watermelon, lemons who are coming as well as the raspberries.

Our big project is taking shape!... We are enjoying the process; It's pretty interesting....Maybe one more month of hard work...

Thank you for stopping by and following our story in Ecuador!

Monday, December 23, 2013

6 months in Ecuador...

Here we are 6 months already!
We had a visit from the Ecuadorian government to verify that what we declared for our permanent visa was right!
And few days ago we finally received an email with the acceptation of our request...Yay!
But it's not totally done yet!
The Family drove to Machala (5 hours drive) to get our passport stamped and we need to go to another city (Cuenca - 4 hours drive) to apply for a Cedula (ID card) and also we need to renew our passport as it need to have 6 month before the date of expiration...
Administration is pretty tricky here, you need to learn to be very patient!.

The rainy season is more present now; We have some rain every other night and the temperature dropped a little bit at this time; But it is warm during the day, the landscape is all green and we are not feeling being in December at all! (So, not much Christmas spirit this year!).

There is Christmas decoration in the big city but it doesn't feel the same!
Here is a fun smurfs Christmas tree in Loja:

The garden continue to grow and we really enjoy eating fresh fruits, herbs and veggies from it...

and also beautiful flowers:
There is many colors of bougainvillea here, they are so bright and beautiful.

This one is a wild one, if anybody knows the name of it!...
It remind me of a poppy but in yellow!

We still buy some fruits at the market as we don't have everything in the garden yet!
I love the local dragon fruit (so sweet); some bananas are also sweeter than what you can find in stores!

There is many tropical fruits that we never saw before.
Some are kind of weird to us!
(sapote, guanabana, ice cream bean, ...)
 Sapote (has big black seeds and almost taste like a sweet pumpkin)


Guanababa open (a little too ripe!)

(some say it's a potato, other say it's a bean but it grow like a potato! and taste like it too!)

Cacao bean (too ripe as well!)

We still have some wild animals visits some time to time and we love it!
Deers, tropical birds, squirrel, and not long ago we saw an animal that looked like a pudu but we are not sure of what it is as the local didn't recognize it (looks like he never seen one!)
Groove-billed Ani that can be very noisy!

This little one once woke me up knocking on my glass door,
So tweety!

One of my best friend Squirrel!
They are different colors here and look like lemur when they move!

One little deer hiding! (Venado)

Beautiful Oriole


and here is what we saw few weeks ago:
It was a bit bigger than a dog
Looks like between a small deer and a goat
was kind of jumping when running!
(looks like it's a rare animal!...too bad I didn't had my camera in hand!...
but it might come back one day!)

We started a new big project on our land that will take few months...we are excited about it!... We are taking pictures on the growing project and I will do a little video in the next few stay tune!...

Thank you for stopping by!...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Friendship and gardening...

This month was all around making new friends, inviting others and meet new expats.
It's very interesting to listen to the story of each other; Why we came here, their story and life experience.
In the same time we are meditating on our own life and growing our awareness about it!

We are surprised how warm it is for the rainy season (almost too warm for us! - 30C or 86F and more).
It would be perfect to have our own swimming pool! (wish sent to the Universe!).

It was also a month were hubby worked in the garden and greenhouse;
Things are growing pretty quickly and we are happy to harvest fresh, organic tomatoes, herbs and more.

Here are some pictures:

Cute Baby Mango is growing up!

In the greenhouse the tomatoes are growing
and the other bed is ready for the cucumber, pepper and more...

Lemon bicolor

Chia seeds in bloom

Fig tree

Cherry tomatoes

Lettuce and Kale


Red Russian Kale

Lemons and bloom...


We also have beautiful flowers...

I am so impressed by how theses sunflowers are growing!

We thought that sunflowers had only 1 flower on top but this one has 9 of them along the stem.

The Poinsettia tree which helps me to think of Christmas a little!

We are still patience with our immigrant visa and container, wishing that this story will end soon!...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Another Season...

At the start of this month we finally bought a car and filled the papers to transfer our driver license onto an Ecuadorian one.
We are so appreciative to be able to go wherever we want, whenever we want without having to call a taxi and wait for 20 min!
As all the cars are imported, there is not much choices and they usually have to order them; They might have up to 5 cars available in each garages!
Also the basic standard cars here are way different than the basic standard cars in north America!
Most of the cars are manual, no electric windows, engine are 4 cylinders only ...etc...
We were happy to be able to find an automatic one with a bit of comfort!
The manual transmission makes driving aggressive and stressful.

This is the beginning of the rainy season; The rain is also different here, very thin to heavy showers;
It brings a special atmosphere to the scenery; with some mist and calm.
But the tempratures are also over 20C (68F).

The vegetation is thriving and the garden is growing; we were able to harvest few mulberries, strawberries and some Japanese mustard spinach (komastuna) that look like collard green.
Cherry tomatoes are coming soon!
We also planted more decorative flowers and plants.

This is also the mango season, they are so good.
We went to a wholesale market where we were able to buy them in bulk : 35 large mangoes for $10 (few week later they were 100 mangoes for $15) as well as 120 bananas for $5 and 50 oranges for $5.50 (then 100 for the same price!).

We also met other expats (there is about 200 expats in this small village!) and made new friends...

Not much this month! We are still waiting for our visa and container...

Mother nature offer us such beautiful scenery each day to be grateful for!