Ecuador My Journeyby Ralph Sabean RAD-WRITER
We visited the hat factory while we were there and this is just one of the wonderful places to see and buy a hat or two or just take pictures. Imagine, this place is the number one producer of the Panama Hats so finely crafted and known World-Wide. While visiting the hat factory we were unaware that some News Personnel were taking our pictures as I was getting my hat reshaped and the band stitched back in place. I've had it for a year and a half and have worn it a lot including on my trip to Ecuador this time. Some of us were featured on the front page but just as tourists as we were Me Ralph, my wife Dianne, & Lillian her sister and as the picture shows here on a secondary page. Matthew & Jill, featured here are my son and his wife and all of us too. This is a secondary page picture and I added names to show you it was us. I have the original without our names appearing as well. The Hat Factory is located in Cuenca Ecuador.
The next adventure we had was when we went for a tour on a double decker bus of downtown Cuenca. I took many pictures of buildings that housed Government officials or dignitaries from the past when uprisings were common in these countries south of the border. We took pictures of statues and park like scenes and some men who were working building & always building more and more. There seems to be a boom in that industry because everywhere they are tearing down or rebuilding, I guess like almost everywhere.
On our next adventure it was when we were going to Chordeleg market and on our way we also took pictures of the wonderful scenery going through the Caha’s; the mountain range near Cuenca. In among these hills are sparsely spaced farms with horse's, cattle, (donkeys or mules, chicken and ducks. There were also a few inns or hotels in among the picturesque scenery. We stopped to take picture of wild Llamas close up as well and every time a new scene of exceptional beauty came up our escorts would stop so we could get grandiose pictures. The housing there is far safer than in our countries because they are walled in with cement eight feet high and many have shards of glass embedded in the tops of the cement walls for added protection. Even beyond that all the windows and doors are barred with steel or wrought iron.
The cost of renting a full sized house goes from less than three hundred for a smaller two bedroom house, to the more lavish one we stayed in with four bathrooms, four bedrooms at least and an upper patio with a place for barbecuing and a place to hang clothes as well and wash them. It also has a dining room, living room, and large kitchen, office, and bathroom on the bottom floor. It has propane showers and bathtubs as well. This one only cost three hundred and fifty a month. The neighbors are very friendly and helpful even when they don’t know you. The police are on top of their job as well though it is a more relaxed type of policing. (An example) If someone steals something worth only twenty or thirty dollars they don’t throw them in jail. They are warned then they are allowed to go. We didn’t have much need for their services so not too sure how severe they enforce laws but we try to be a very law abiding people so we won’t have to find out the hard way. Some dogs do run wild so you have to be a bit careful walking alone after dark. Take several people with you instead of being alone while walking in the evening is a very good idea. Another thing that will make you feel safer is if you leave any large amounts of money home just in case of being mugged and leave the flashy gold jewelry home especially on back streets.
Convert all prices to U.S. dollars
Use your head and be as careful as you would in our own cities and back streets and you will fare well and never have to lose valuable heirlooms or fancy cell phones or laptops. Another thing about this country is; it is only known for muggings or grabbing a necklace or cell phone or possibly a laptop. They are not known for serious crimes that are lives threatening and that is great to know if planning to live or visit there.
We also were careful to cleanse all fruits and veggies we buy because they could carry a virus that would not harm residents but may us. The same goes for water; use a filter or buy bottled water. Be sure it is a reputable dealer so you are getting factory cleansed filtered water. Too it is best not to eat fresh veggies even in restaurants because if they aren’t cleansed we could catch a bug from them. At home they just need soaking in a cleansing liquid for a few minutes. I’m not sure but it seems if everything was peeled it may not bother you at all. It would be the same if they were visiting our country because our bodies build immunity to the viruses lurking in food and water. Our families who live there say it is just something you get used to doing without even thinking after a while.
One other thing I remember is dental work, because while I was right there I got three fillings done and a cleaning for $120 total tax and everything. It’s very cheap. The cost of four root canals and 7 fillings they told me was approximately 500 dollars. The dentist are very skilled as well and they did all three fillings and cleaning with no anesthetic and I had no pain whatsoever. To me that is fantastic . An x-ray here in Nova Scotia today costs 67 dollars but that was three x-rays to tell me what was wrong with my teeth and I thought it was reasonable. Those dentists down in Ecuador must be pretty good because they didn’t even x-ray my teeth but told me to fix them I’d need 3 or 4 root canals and the fillings. They used x-rays here in Nova Scotia to tell me the same thing they told me in Cuenca after cleaning my teeth.
My wife also got her teeth done, two fillings and reconstruction all for 85 dollars. Apparently they use as little anesthetic as they possibly can get away with. My wife, her sister and I were the tourists going to Ecuador where my son, his wife & kids now reside and are planning their future residency. It is well in the works so we are hoping they will succeed as we too wish to retire in a warmer cheaper place of residence in our waning years. My son has been there for one and a half years approximately. He and his wife and kids all speak great Spanish now and are still talking courses to make it even better. We did pick up a few greetings and some other necessary words to speak to clerks at stores as well.
Owning a Car in Ecuador
Annual Costs of Running a Vehicle in Ecuador
($80/month x 12 months) (driving approx 1200km) This is for a SUV with a V6
Ecuador’s Mandatory Car Insurance: SOAT: $63.45 per year
Matriculation Total: $114.31 ($113.71 plus $0.60 bank fee
Auto Insurance: $575.40
Parking costs: $120 (approx. $10 per month)
Annual Vehicle Expenses: $2040.66 ($170.06/mo)
Don’t forget: these costs don’t include repairs or maintenance. We haven’t had to do much to our truck. A new Bosch battery cost $115. Fuel injectors cost $120 each plus installation. The clutch seal (including labor) cost $30.Understand it, those injured in a car accident are taken to the nearest Medicare center and the program pays for the costs – regardless of if it is a public hospital or a high end private one.
To sum it all up it would be nice to retire in a place such as Ecuador because if you want a place where medical is very cheap but excellent and no waiting you just call and you go the same day or the next. If you walk in you may be able to be looked after right away. I called to have the dentistry work done and picked when I wanted to come in. I really look forward to going back except the trip through customs is very hard on me. My bad legs will haunt every day the rest of my life. If I thought they could fix them some way by replacing the ankles and possibly at least one knee I would make plans to go just for that.
It is health care the way we need it in Canada. I am looked after well concerning Canada’s health care system, it just takes too long and when you get older you don’t know how long you really have so you want to cherish each and every day you live on this planet. The cost of living is about ¼ of Canada’s and rent is way cheaper. Taxis as well as bus fares are very reasonable. A quarter or fifty cents will take you anywhere in the city by bus. 3.00 is high price to pay for Taxi. $4.00 is high for the cost of propane for a month for heating water and Gas for the kitchen stove. At $1.40 a gallon for gas it’s no wonder Taxi and buses are still cheap there. If you want a retirement community then this is by all means the best I’ve experienced so far in all my 63 years of life’s.
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Created on Sep 23rd 2012 06:40. Viewed 134 times.