Moving to our house


We have a car! This time we spare the reader all the formalities involved…Happy to finally move to our house we also felt a little sad to leave our apartment and our friendly landlord Lola. Her advise and help got us through a few rather difficult situations. We are sure to visit her on our trips to Cuenca.


After a week delay and a lot of additional expenses we were finally presented with a date and time for the inspection. Our container was stored in an “almacen temporal” – a temporary storage area – on the outskirts of Cuenca. This is where our container passed customs and there was of course a lot of discussing, signing, approving and copying involved.
At the agreed time we were the only people to be seen. Old habits are hard to shake and we didn’t yet get used to the Ecuadorian way of interpreting time! About 45 minutes later a car with 4 officials pulls up –pleasantries are exchanged – and we finally move on to the act of opening our container! Our hearts are beating hard – what if they do not let our solar panels pass? Our stereo, that we declared as used, our brand new fridge? A random search of our boxes begins – many are unloaded and put back together in a hurry. A stressful hour later we get the OK to transport the container to our house!
The road going up to our house is rather steep and bumpy with telephone and electric wires hanging low. We had asked people in town if a 20 ft container could get to our house and were told that this was not a problem. Dan and I had even measured the height of the wires and were positive that it would work. But because we are in Ecuador and because we learn every day we had asked around to have a little truck on stand by – just in case!
Turns out that our truck driver – used to crossing the Andes on sometimes more than precarious roads – refuses to drive up to our house…It took two trips with the small truck but a few hours later everything is staked in our eating area.


After only a short while Dan had located all parts of our bed and put them together. That night we sleep in our very own bed in the midst of cardboard boxes!
The next day is spent unpacking kitchen utensils and moving around boxes. Creating enough space to arrange parts of our cloths and shoes is rather challenging!
The caretaker who was watching over our place for over 25 years agreed to stay with us! Efren grew up in this neighborhood and is well respected. He is a huge help and together with his nephew Gonzalo they are getting our gardens back into shape. Lots of new plants are put into the ground so they can grow during the approaching winter. This might sound strange for people used to a European or North American climate; Ecuador has only two seasons: December – May is considered winter with more rain and the other half is their summer. Working outside on our own property is very rewarding and temperatures – between 70F – 86F are perfect!
With Efren’s help we found a “maestro” – a person that does masonry work – and Patrizio altered an existing building so it could serve as Dan’s tool shed in the future. Happy with his work we contracted him to continue on with our project.
Dan is busy tearing out floors and bathrooms, old electrical and beams that need replacing. We are also planning on moving and enlarging the main entrance and the necessary machinery (backhoe) is scheduled to start work next week. In preparation for winter and bigger water masses we will also add a liner to our reservoir. Irrigation is a very well planned out system here; a big water storage high up in the mountains is opened up on Saturdays for our area. Every property receives an hour of water per hectare and a lot of people grow Talapia in their water reservoirs. These fish eat mosquito larva and add variation to a daily menu!

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