Friday, Apr 29, 2016

I slept for 12 hours. I feel great. My spirit is upbeat and I’m ready to take on Cuenca!

We are going to look at a 3 bed/3 bath apartment this afternoon. I forgot to ask if it is furnished. In Ecuador an unfurnished apartment means you bring not only your furniture but your own stove and refrigerator as well. I don’t want to buy those things nor have to worry about moving them around with us.

We met Annette Basso, our neighbor from St George, UT who lives in Cuenca with her husband Greg, for breakfast in El Centro. Annette and Greg moved to Cuenca last October. We moved to Bahia de Caraquez this past January. We haven’t seen each other since arriving in Ecuador so it was great getting caught up with her. Greg is on his way back from a trip to the States so he wasn’t able to be with us this morning.

Annette loves Cuenca and shared many things about the area and the people, the places to visit and see, and things that may help us settle into our new city more easily. In many respects living in Cuenca is like living in most any first world country. The availability of foods, restaurants, shopping, theater, arts, and housing is plentiful and modern.  Modern in so far as availability and functionality of things like appliances, furniture, tools, cars, etc, but it maintains its old European architecture throughout the city-scape, cobbled-stoned streets, and quaint feel of a village.

Annette and Greg bought a great home in El Centro in Cuenca. It was a short two block walk from where we enjoyed breakfast. Entering Annette’s home I felt instantly at peace. It is warm, inviting, and comfortable. It is nestled on a cul de sac which creates a sense of solitude amidst the business of the El Centro district. Looking out the windows I can see the patchwork pattern of red tiled roof tops of this 500 year old city laid out like a tapestry, and beyond them, the green covered mountain slopes stretching like fingers tickling the white clouds that roll over their peaks. The sun is out, the sky is blue. This is a magical place on earth.

We said goodbye to Annette and went to look at a few rentals. There seems to be a wide price range in rentals in the city. We looked at two similar places and one was $650 per month and the other was $1200 per month. They were both unfurnished which meant an investment and a commitment I am not ready to make yet. Personally I want a place furnished, near El Centro, for $500 per month. Wish me luck!

Our friends from Bahia, Paul and Janet, are living in Cuenca for a month before moving onto Mexico. They were in Bahia during the Quake and were already scheduled to come to Cuenca the following Monday. We contacted them and made a dinner date. Again, after what we have been through, it is nice spending time with familiar faces and people we like. It’s making our move into Cuenca more gentle, and giving us a bit of a transition period into our new surroundings.

On our walk to dinner we passed locals washing their clothes in the Rio Tomebamba. 20160429_17411720160430_102654 During dinner with Janet and Paul we spent a lot of time recounting where we were and what we were doing when the earthquake hit. What we did after, who and what we saw. It is therapeutic and little by little helps me, and I believe all of us, ratchet ourselves back down to “normal”.

Cuenca, for as large as it is, is easy to walk and get around in. There are plenty of paths, walkways, and steps to get you from one area to another safely without getting run over from the heavy traffic.

Easton had called on a rental ad today. He set up an appointment with a guy for tomorrow who will pick us up and take us around and show us various rental properties. Maybe by tomorrow we will have our housing situation resolved!20160428_174921