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!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Month 3: A month of paperwork!

We started this month with another trip to Machala (near the coast); 5.30hours drive, and this time we decided to stay for the night.
It was a wise decision as when we arrived to the minister around noon, they told us that we wouldn't be able to finish the application because they needed to cut the electric system off for the afternoon!
So we needed to come back the day after at 8:30am; We were the first here and it took us about 2 hours to make the applications (for the investor visa) for the 4 of us; Unfortunately we were missing some papers again but they gently accepted to take our application and we had to send them the missing papers.
To obtain those papers was another story! and they added 2 more by email the week after!

The Hotel in Machala was descent but very noisy like the city itself!
Driver have they hands on the honk!

Back home, it took us few weeks to get all the papers; We needed to go back few time in Loja (1 hour drive) in different buildings to get them; Some required a week to make; for 2 of them we were lucky to meet a worker who help us go through all the buildings, desks, official papers, line up and more otherwise I wonder if we were able to get them!... I am grateful to have met this person!.

So, now we have to wait few weeks (maybe a month) to get an answer from the Minister in Machala to have our application accepted.

This is a long and difficult process that we didn't imagine like that! It required a lot of patience, road trips and time...

On another side, we were working on the papers to get our container from Vancouver.
And they asked for the immigrant visa that we are waiting for!
Another option was to hold a certain amount of money at the bank to clear the custom tax if necessary and we will have 180 days to show the visa to get the money back!
We try to do this option to accelerate the process, but it didn't work as we expected!
The bank wasn't familiar with this procedure and we needed to go back at least 6 time to get it; to finally give up on it because they wanted us to make a false declaration about our marital status!

But we are getting there!.

In the garden, we had some friends who gave us some cherry tomatoes, kale and Chinese cabbage as a welcome gift (how sweet!) and we bought other flowers and ornamental plants and palm trees.

The green house is finished (some opening need to be fixed); and we need to work inside and get some tomatoes and cucumber plants.

We also harvested the very first fruits in our garden (so exciting!), they were berries; actually called 'Morera". = Mulberries and are very delicate.

And our very first delicious strawberry.
We already have some citrus on some trees and everything is growing pretty fast!

The weather is really like Spring all the time! Some days are pretty windy and it's cooler in the morning and evening. We had few showers and they are welcome!.

Already 90 days that we arrived! Time goes fast! and we are glad to have made the 180 days visa on the consulate of Ecuador recommendation!

It was also the month of my Birthday; I got a pretty flower bouquet;
Flowers are one of the export products from Ecuador; they are pretty cheap compare to US and Canada.
This bouquet did cost only $3.50!

We also hunted down for a car and this was interesting too; As all the cars are imported, they only have few in stock and they don't have all the models available; So we ordered one and it must be here soon... 
Check next month for this update!.

So, here is a little diorama with some pictures of our garden (chickpeas, baby tomatoes, fruit trees...) and some stunning views we have all around.
Also the Yucca tree with their beautiful white flowers...

I hope you'll enjoy this update...
Thank you for stopping by.