Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cuenca, Our Cuenca

Amamos Cuenca!  We love Cuenca!

It's a City of immense beauty, a friendly City with kind and gentle people.  A City with life! 

You will see families 'living'...  folks working hard, folks who know the meaning of 'party-hardy'! A City that's big enough for services, but small enough to keep those old time values intact.  Cuenca feels like a small town in some ways...you can walk  most everywhere, folks remember your name, they look you in the eye, folks hug and smile.  Children are nice to each other and parents take care of their families.  And, we love the roosters crowing at all hours, the goats and cows along the rivers and roads and the church bells that toll each morning.  We love this rhythm of life!  Yes, it's noisy, but it's Cuenca!

We're so glad we're here!  We're happy we went through all the angst and trouble to get our residency.  But, we're also mindful...we're guests in this Country.  Our residency doesn't allow us to vote or hold public office.  You need full-blown citizenship for both.  But, our residency allows us to enjoy most all the other privileges that Ecuadorians do...discounts, etc. ...and we can stay here legally. We 'roll' with the ever changing laws and regulations.

We're still working at adjusting and blending in. The 'blending' part has been a bit hard...we're tall! and our Spanish is not-so-good and with a gringo accent and we're obviously non-Ecuadorian, but we are changing what we can, beyond the genes.......  Each day we're becoming less gringo, where we can.  We're working hard at learning our Spanish and changing our expectations and patience levels. No whining and complaining here!  We're so done with that.

There are many bloggers just here in Cuenca, that we can hardly keep up with all the news.  So much good, useful information out there.  We still learn alot from reading the blogs, too.  We are still absolutely stunned by the number of readers following us, too.

Originally, going back a couple years, we thought we were just sharing our experiences with family and friends back in the US.  There were just a couple blogs when we began our journey.  Our blog's initial intent was to share with our small circle, so that they would know what we were up to and we hoped they would want to come visit and enjoy, too.  We also wanted to show our friends and family that we don't live in a grass hut in the jungle!  Yes, we eat good food, yes we've lost a bunch of weight...yes, we're happy and safe.  Yes, we're enjoying the adventure!

Well now, according to our stats, we have readers from around the world!  Some of our newer readers stay on our blog for hours...  reading our story from  the very beginning.  From the stats,we know well over half of our readers are in the US.  We now have readers from every state and many countries in every region of the globe!  (And, we added a link to help with translation to your language.)  We are humbled that so many folks read our silly little blog, and return for more.  We hope the information, stories and pictures are useful, interesting and fun, as you plan your travels here or do your research to relocate here.  We love this City we now call 'home'!  And, hope you will enjoy it as much as we do, too.

'Our Cuenca' is the same, yet different from others' ...  Be sure to read all the blogs you can find on the Internet for everyone's stories and perspectives.  (Some of the blog links are on the right hand side of our blog.)  Many blog posts are about the same topics, such as all the frustrations with 'manana' (which could mean 'tomorrow', but could mean 'never'...'manana' just means 'not now'), finding a perfect place to stay (some newcomers move several times), some get sick with altitude changes and the stress of travel, food bugs, common flu and colds...or cancer.  You will read about the joy of the children, fun with friends, the beauty of the historic buildings and the Andes, the high or low levels of the rivers and the weather. 

You will share in the triumphs of  (finally!) getting residency or the discomforts of learning the language...at least enough Spanish to get through the menus and the taxi rides, at first, then the full-blown ecstasy of knowing enough Spanish to carry on a fairly intelligent conversation with a native Ecuadorian!  (That's our goal, too!)

Our Cuenca can be different from others', only because our experiences and preferences are different...  but, we share those experiences for those who love the animals, the markets, the countryside, the gardens, the food, the music, the art, the people...  Cuenca is a big City!  Lots to do, lots to share, lots of choices.

We've added some links to our blog, too, that you will want to check out...panama hats, orchids, recipes, holidays/events, etc.  Might give you a broader perspective of more things to do and see.  You can also do a search on our blog for various topics and also go back to see how we celebrated upcoming holidays and events last year (All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Cuenca's Independence Day...all coming up here very soon!)

We've lived here for over 600 days and there is still something new every day... a new, beautiful sunrise, a new flower in bloom, a new friend, a new, fresh start to each day. And, then...a knock-your socks-off sunset of pinks and golds and reds to end each day on a high note.

Our advice to newcomers?  Follow your heart.  Do what pleases you.  Be smart, patient and  kind.  Be respectful.  Take a lesson from those who live here...enjoy all that Cuenca has to offer.  Enjoy the little (and the big!) things and relax.
Be happy and grateful that you're one of the lucky ones...You're here in this extraordinary, beautiful Cuenca!!

Si!  *YES*, we love Cuenca!  We're going to be here for awhile.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy,

    Gracias por toda su información valiosa. Tengo una foto maravillosa de la ciudad desde su escritura y fotos.

    The monsoon season has officially started in the Willamette Valley LOL. I bet you don't miss the Oregon rain.

    We pasted 4 numbers on the back of the door. Each representing the number of weeks till we arrive in Cuenca.