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“Cuenca never wanted to attract retirees,”

said Ana Paulina Crespo, the director of international relations for the municipality. “In fact, we’re facing lots of problems over how to deal with a phenomenon that we aren’t responsible for creating.”

“Cuencanos are feeling like strangers in their own city,”

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation- … 93359.html

It reads like an IL piece especially with the prices, "live an upper class lifestyle for $1500." And that's for two people.  :unsure

I don't know what they're talking about, and just to expose such nonsense, a public sector nurse starting salary here is $1250, and I am 100% certain that these nurses are not living upper class lifestyles. My closest friend and his wife earn a combined $2200 a month, and they are middle class folk.

A pharmacist I know makes $1400 a month and she is not living an upper class lifestyle. A junior engineer I also know earns $2400 a month, and he is not living an upper class lifestyle.

So how two expats with a combined income of $1500 a month can live an upper-class lifestyle is beyond me. Especially when 1 Ecuadorian with the same monthly income can not live an upper class lifestyle.

vsimple :

It reads like an IL piece especially with the prices,.

Yes, but I doubt IL would publish some of those unfavorable quotes towards expats. It would sort of be like them saying you can live well here in Ecuador on your pension, but don't expect the locals to welcome you anymore.

I noticed over on the DrudgeReport today that Drudge posted a link titled

"Retirees flock to Latin America to live upper-class lifestyle... $1,500 a month..."
along with the following photo of a church in Cuenca.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9kTm9BXUAAhhP8.jpg

The link is for the same article in the Miami Herald but posted on the Charlotte Observer.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/n … 9.html#fmp

I wonder how many new recruits to Cuenca this article will generate.

Seems like the same old same old, saying 10,000 expats are negatively affecting a city of 350,000.  Always easier to blame the foreigners for your troubles at home.  Can't see them bending the Healthcare system too hard with such low numbers. If they are charging less than 1% what it would cost in the USA, then they can expect more of the same.  As I understand it now, health insurance in Ecuador, based on my income , would cost considerably more than my medicare in the USA..

Whether the grievances are real or not may not matter because perception is everything. A taxi driver from Cuenca who moved to Quito voiced such concerns mainly about rising real estate costs. Whether it’s true or not is irrelevant because he believes it. This isn’t much different than in some countries where they blame immigrants or illegal immigrants for crime yet they only make up a small percentage crime.

So it’s all about perception, and if locals truly believe it then to them it’s real.

Let’s put ourselves in Cuencanos shoes and see if they have justified grievances.  Considering that many expats there are retired folk we can’t merely say they comprise a small percentage of all Cuenca residents in terms of healthcare.

We would have to estimate how many Ecuadorian seniors there are in Cuenca and calculate and determine that ratio to expat retirees.  So let’s say Cuenca’s population is 600, 000,and local seniors make up 7%, which is based on Ecuador’s demographics of 65 years and older population or about 42,000 for Cuenca's seniors population. Then something like 6000 expat seniors is about 15% and that’s huge percentage for outsiders and could be quite visible within the healthcare system.

So what to do about that 15%?  Perhaps non-citizens should pay higher rates, meaning Gringos would have to be in country for at least 3 years before getting the preferable rates.  How many expats become citizens?

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that but what you suggested is possibly a solution if the new rules that mandate expats pay their fair share or 17.6% does not work out. So I think it will take some time (few years) to see what the numbers are after this new rule.

I tried to read this article from an unbiased opinion.  First of all, here in manta when I meet expats I've never met before (lately), they all seem to be heading back to the US.  From all the horror stories that I have heard from local expats here, I would never sign up for IESS or go to a govt hospital for care.  We have always paid out of pocket for all our medications and medical issues, including surgery and hospitalizations.  Even in private hospitals if you don't stay very proactive and know your issues, you could still die easily from the lack of knowledge/care.  I know this from experience.

I have also heard that the # of expats in Cuenca has been dropping rapidly.  However, having never been there I take the info with a grain of salt.  When I rented a 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath here, I was paying $650 a month and trust me it was as basic as it could be and unfurnished.  I still had to pay for water and all utilities.  Yes we are looked at as walking atm's, and that's why I usually no longer wear makeup or even costume jewelry, except for special outings.  I never draw attention to myself since I'm so fair complected I stand out anyway. 

I'm still amazed that locals don't understand that we help their economy, especially since the govt just issued sovereign bonds to make up their fiscal budget for 2017.  Not to mention that they default so much on repayment that ecuadors credit rating is not so great.  If expats leave and quit contributing to the local economy, I think locals will have a tougher time in affording things and trying to live a better life style.  But their thinking is different than ours, and most, however not all, only see today and not in the future in terms of jobs and economy.  Even if they did I'm not so sure they would understand the concept.  So either we deal with it or find another place to live, and my guess is that we would face the same thing in any developing country.  Just my opinion.

Thanks for your honesty and straight shooting thinking.

mugtech :

As I understand it now, health insurance in Ecuador, based on my income , would cost considerably more than my medicare in the USA..

Well, I see someone on Cuencahighlife agrees with you.

Ricki  Andrew • a day ago
We are a couple that are already planning a plan B. No planes to GYE, impossible service at IESS, and soon to be twice as much as medicare. Portgual is looking really good,

I moved to Ecuador upon retirement because I wanted to continue to challenge myself.  I surely am not disappointed.  Living here is an extreme challenge.
I started planning my move here a good three years before my actual move.  I am not sure why but almost all information I read both in the US and from international sources was way over positive about the move from the US to Ecuador.  None provided an analysis of the challenges expats would face.  And the cost of living was under estimated.  There are things most US citizens are used to that are a lot more expensive here than in the US and fewer choices.  Just about anything imported from the US.  Many things non-existent.
And then there is Customs who will squeeze as much money from you as they can.  And not just a little.  Walking ATM is a good description of the general attitude of the locals.  Just about all will have a proposal for you to give them money.  Every problem you encounter here, and there are many, will have a $$ solution with a discount for cash.  And the onus is on the customer for all transactions just about everywhere.  People are friendly enough but expect, as a customer, to do the work.  Things that take a few minutes in the US can be several processes here that stretch over several days.
That said I have absolutely no regrets.  I love Ecuador.  However, I did not move here for the easy cheap life.  If that is your goal Ecuador is not for you.

JadeRiver :

I moved to Ecuador upon retirement because I wanted to continue to challenge myself.  I surely am not disappointed.  Living here is an extreme challenge.
I started planning my move here a good three years before my actual move.  I am not sure why but almost all information I read both in the US and from international sources was way over positive about the move from the US to Ecuador.  None provided an analysis of the challenges expats would face.  And the cost of living was under estimated.  There are things most US citizens are used to that are a lot more expensive here than in the US and fewer choices.  Just about anything imported from the US.  Many things non-existent.
And then there is Customs who will squeeze as much money from you as they can.  And not just a little.  Walking ATM is a good description of the general attitude of the locals.  Just about all will have a proposal for you to give them money.  Every problem you encounter here, and there are many, will have a $$ solution with a discount for cash.  And the onus is on the customer for all transactions just about everywhere.  People are friendly enough but expect, as a customer, to do the work.  Things that take a few minutes in the US can be several processes here that stretch over several days.
That said I have absolutely no regrets.  I love Ecuador.  However, I did not move here for the easy cheap life.  If that is your goal Ecuador is not for you.

Good post.  :top: And I'd like to add to what JadeRiver wrote.

Living here is an extreme challenge.

Spanish in itself is a huge challenge and there is no way around it for a person who wants to be part of society and not isolated, and I will delve into the Spanish aspect more later.

I am not sure why but almost all information I read both in the US and from international sources was way over positive about the move from the US to Ecuador.

A few reasons come to mind, they have never lived here, they profit in some way and the same is true for newspapers which have paid content on their websites even if disguised. There are only a few honest newspapers that explicitly state that such an article is paid content.

But lets not dismiss many online posters who paint Ecuador as a cheap utopia, but ironically some of these bloggers have went silent, some have even moved to places like Mexico.

None provided an analysis of the challenges expats would face.

As I mentioned some have an agenda, but also realistically how can anyone understand what an Expat is going through unless they are walking in his/her shoes. I mentioned Spanish as a challenge and without it one will be isolated. I am putting in 3-4 hours a day of organized Spanish. That's right, 3-4 hours and I don't mean entertainment like watching all Spanish TV shows with Spanish subtitles to train my ears.

Learning Spanish has become part of life, and the 3-4 hours I learn is every single day and expect to be doing so for the next two years at least, and hopefully after that it will be limited to 1-2 hours a day.

Then there's the cultural differences, a mindset of some Ecuadorians that is just completely different. Yes, it's a challenge and it's the same like trying to think in Spanish, an impossible feat without the drive to try to be fluent (even if that is impossible for most of us). Personally my challenges have not been extreme and it's because of friends and acquaintances who I've asked to intercede on my behalf in many challenges.

There are things most US citizens are used to that are a lot more expensive here than in the US and fewer choices.  Just about anything imported from the US.  Many things non-existent.

Definitely, and lets not blame it solely on customs because even with duty, taxes and fees that are upward of 50%, there is still no justification for prices charged by merchants for many items. There are items that are literally 4-6 times the cost. Think about it, if you are paying $350 for a $75 item (e.g.  dehumidifier), then that is the equivalent of buying KIA but paying for a luxurious Mercedes Benz.

In all, I appreciate posters like JadeRiver because they tell it like it is without sugar coating, and this is something that we don't get from media entities with an agenda or even people who downplay the costs and challenges.

As for myself I also love it here, and it's full steam ahead. But it's requires a lot of effort on my behalf and allocating 3-4 hours to learning Spanish every day is no easy task especially for an adult, but thankfully I'm at a point where I accept it and receive a level of satisfaction. There's also the costs of living here that are much more than I have ever anticipated and I'm expecting costs to increase as subsidies will eventually be phased out. It might be a third world country but don't fool yourself with equating that with third world prices. Dinner for two with a couple of glasses of wine is easily $70-$80 at mid range restaurants, e.g. Lucia Pie House & Grill.

Lucies Pie House sounds like another gringo joint. No wonder you're paying those "mid range" prices.
Whenever foreigners move in and constantly talk about "cheap everything" Ecuadoreans listen and make adjustments. Now, as far as Spanish not being easy to learn. What's up with that? Most europeans speak several languages. Are they extra terrestrials?

norviato1 :

Lucies Pie House sounds like another gringo joint. No wonder you're paying those "mid range" prices.
Whenever foreigners move in and constantly talk about "cheap everything" Ecuadoreans listen and make adjustments. Now, as far as Spanish not being easy to learn. What's up with that? Most europeans speak several languages. Are they extra terrestrials?

It is not that Spanish is any more difficult to learn than any other language, it is more that people who have only spoken their native tongue until age 65 have that much more trouble with learning a new language.  Many USA citizens believe everyone should learn English, don't learn an additional  language because they cannot see any profit in doing so.

Don't go all cranky on us.  Everyone knows Europeans are very special, however it is much easier to learn a foreign language at a young age which the Europeans do.   Read up on the language learning abilities of the aged. I did.  I took an eight week course in Espanol which was mostly verbs.  The rest I am learning poco un poco and it is one of the challenges.  I think it is even more challenging for an English major such as myself due to the self inflicted expectations of proficiency.  To get where I am with English I took 16 years of courses not counting what my parents taught me before starting school, and I am still learning.  But again, I love the challenges and I love learning the Spanish language.  There are many very cool things about it.  Please just don't belittle me because I find it a challenge.

JadeRiver :

Don't go all cranky on us.  Everyone knows Europeans are very special, however it is much easier to learn a foreign language at a young age which the Europeans do.   Read up on the language learning abilities of the aged. I did.  I took an eight week course in Espanol which was mostly verbs.  The rest I am learning poco un poco and it is one of the challenges.  I think it is even more challenging for an English major such as myself due to the self inflicted expectations of proficiency.  To get where I am with English I took 16 years of courses not counting what my parents taught me before starting school, and I am still learning.  But again, I love the challenges and I love learning the Spanish language.  There are many very cool things about it.  Please just don't belittle me because I find it a challenge.

Isn't it more of a necessity for Europeans to speak, or have a basic level of proficiency in several languages?

If you took the U.S., broke a bunch of different states into countries with different languages, and then put them at war consistentely with each other, like Europe, then many Americans would probably speak more than one language, and there would probably be much more emphasis on teaching foreign languages at a young age. There just isn't that great of a need financially, or for safety that Americans need to speak several languages. It's still much more important financially, and for safety reasons that Europeans have a good grasp of various languages. Granted, Europe isn't as unpredictable as years past, but there is still an awful lot of bad feelings amongst many European Nations towards their neighbor's that could blow up at anytime, and lead to an uncertain future.

That doesn't mean it's not a good idea to study, and try and learn different languages. Especially if where you are moving speaks a different language, and personally think there should be more emphasis on starting children at a younger age in language courses in the U.S.

norviato1 :

Lucies Pie House sounds like another gringo joint. No wonder you're paying those "mid range" prices.
Whenever foreigners move in and constantly talk about "cheap everything" Ecuadoreans listen and make adjustments. Now, as far as Spanish not being easy to learn. What's up with that? Most europeans speak several languages. Are they extra terrestrials?

So you assume that Lucia Pie House & Grill is a “gringo joint”, because of the name? By that same faulty logic you would assume that Mizu is frequented by Japanese, and that Soulvaki is frequented by Greek.

Clearly that is not the case because in Quito, many restaurants are named after their cuisine rather than by the people who frequent them, for e.g. Lucia is American cuisine, Mizu Japanese, and Soulvaki Greek.  All of them like nearly all restaurants in Quito are frequented by Ecuadorians, a fact that anyone who regularly dines out would know.

As for why Europeans know multiple language, read what JadeRiver wrote. Many Europeans are beneficiaries of multiple languages because in some European countries children from as young as  elementary school are taught a foreign language, and from secondary school they are taught a second foreign language. A small percentage of students are also taught a third foreign language.

So comparing Europeans’ proficiency in multiple languages which for many was acquired in adolescence to people who have moved to Ecuador at as adults is an illogical argument, simply put it's like comparing apples to oranges.

Ok, I haven't gone cranky on any one, and I do get the picture about the aged learning new languages. My point is that Anglophiles were taught from the beginning that English was the only language that mattered. That's why wherever they go, they expect everyone to accommodate them. Now that the tables have turned their arrogance has gone to the back burner. I'm an Ecuadorean that has lived in the U.S. since I was nine years old. I'm bilingual by choice because my cultural heritage was important to me and that includes retaining my native tongue. I'm seventy years old and I'm certain that I could learn another language. Specially any of the romace languages. (Latin based) I have to hear my neighbors talk about how foreigners should only speak English But then, they're not migrating to another country because their pension is not enough, or the weather here stinks. Does that seem fair?

That is great.  If I lived here Ecuador since age nine I would probably be bilingual as well.  While I am sure there is the exception, I am also quite sure that very few US citizens move here expecting the locals to speak English.  Whether or not they choose to learn the native language is another issue.  I really would leave this thread alone but your generalizations ("...expect everyone to accommodate them...") and labels ("...Anglophiles..." do you know what that word means?  What does England have to with anything in this discussion?) pull me back into the conversation.  I believe this forum is designed to be helpful to expats.  I haven't seen anything in your contributions to this thread that is helpful.

The English are very similar to Americans in attitude. The rest of Europe can speak different languages but not them. Oh no, what would be the reason? So the argument you just gave me doesn't hold water. You have to understand that speculation is often the cause behind high prices. I eat out quite often and I see it even here in the U.S. So you guys are helping Ecuadoreans catch up to that malady. Now, I think you might have misspelled Souvlaki in your attempt to sound world class. I visit Quito often as I have family there. So, please don't try to sound like an expert and talk down to me. I could be your guide and Spanish teacher amongst other things.
Have a good day!

You misunderstood. I left Ecuador and moved to the U.S. with my family when I was nine years old. My mom worked for the Ecuadorean mission to U.N. Sixty years later I'm thinking of moving back to my roots. The U.S. has strong cultural ties to England, like Ecuador with Spain. That's why I used the word Anglophile. Or did you think that Americans created their own culture out of nothing? I contribute to this forum from a different perspective. By letting foreigners know what Ecuadorens are thinking. Instead of an inside click with their own questions and answers, that keeps them in the box.

Profit sounds monetary. When people are truly cultured they see themselves as part of the global community. That entails learning how others think. Understood, that learning a new language when you're older is not as easy. But, if the drive and interest is there you can do it.

Yes, but your Medicare covers only 80% the rest is on you. The latest healthcare in Ecuador would cover everything including dental. No pre-existing conditions, no copayments, no deductibles. Not to mention complete drug coverage. Can you find that in the U.S. at any cost? Of course time will tell how efficient it will all be.

I was no longer going to participate in this website, but of course, I was bored and checked my spam, and thought I would check some of these posts out as I was deleting them.  This thread "made me a little bit cranky", so I just couldn't resist.  To be clear, I'm very young when considering the thinking of an expat here in ecuador.  And to be totally honest, the past 4 years haven't been the best in my lifetime.  However, in the past couple of weeks I have had work done on my house (if anyone wants to buy it let me know), and my contractor, who is from Ecuador speaks 3 languages and is currently learning Mandarin.  My Spanish is minimal, and I've paid for lessons, which was a waste of time and money, and I've tried Rosetta Stone, but it's hard for me to practice because my pronunciation is all wrong and I have no one to practice with on a daily basis.  I took a year of Spanish in college and a year of Latin in high school, & it has not helped me in any way.  At this point, I get by, pray daily to move back to the US, and do the best I can in speaking the phrases and words I know, which, by the way vary in diff parts of ecuador.  I honestly have no desire to learn Spanish any more so I have given up on that and spend my time in what I find makes me happy. I also, never expect Ecuadorians to speak English, but usually as I'm trying to learn to speak my Spanish with them, they're more interested in practicing their English and I just go with it. Sorry to digress, but my contractor, who is from Ecuador was able to explain many cultural differences here to what I am accustom to.  Interesting as I have other Ecuadorian friends who have never been able to do that.  He seems to have more of an international thinking way about him, and honestly, if I knew more people like him here, I would maybe like it much better?  (And trust me, I don't expect much from many expats here either, so I'm not bias.)

I do however, get tired of people saying how Americans think.  Sorry, but that was the culture I was raised on, and I'm not "one of those", who thinks or expects  everyone should speak English.  However, I would argue the point, that it's not an universal language as so many across the world have learned to speak it or desire to.  Funny how so many successful corporations across the world have US ties.  And no, I'm not saying the US is the greatest country in the world, as I have not travelled to many, but it's what I'm used to and in my mind, what I'm comfortable with.

IMO, to compare ecuador to the US is literally impossible, not even close, but again that's my opinion and in the culture I was raised with, I was fortunate to have the right to have an independent opinion.

Comparing health care and those costs to the US, in terms of your post, again in my opinion, is like comparing apples to oranges.  Yes there is some decent health care here in the Quito and GYE.  Yes I have paid out of pocket for specialists and yes it's cheaper.  Is the quality of care the same as the US?  Absolutely not.  Is healthcare in the US, in terms of cost outrageous?  Yes and that is the main reason I moved here, and the quality of care, regardless of cost, is now one of the reasons I need to move back to the US.  If u think IESS is quality care, then ok, you are entitled to your opinion as I am.  Have I ever used it or would I?  Never.  The best private hospital in my town almost killed my husband in less than 24 hours.  They were more concerned about how I was going to pay than his medical needs.  Recently, I've heard the same story from more than one person. 

I've now forgotten why I wanted to post on here, but would just like to end on a positive note.  Ecuador has pluses and minuses as any country does.  It's not all bad, but it's also not for everyone, and neither is the US.  Everyone is different and nobody likes the same thing in this world or we wouldn't have so many options to choose  from.  I contribute more than most people into Ecuador's economy and sometimes feel I get nothing but criticism in return.  But that's just a fact I have learned to accept and live with at this point.  (An example, my grocery bill here, is comparable to an average mortgage payment in the US each month.  It's my biggest expense).  Sorry, but I just can't eat every day the way Ecuadorians do.  I'm not used to it and my body physically can't handle it.  To me, rice is eaten when you eat out at a good Chinese restaurant, but that's because I wasn't raised to eat rice.  We never ate it in my family unless it was a seasoned box of Rice O'Roni.  And trust me, I wouldn't eat that these days. 

IMO, many expats here can have a great quality of life, whether they are "bilingual" or not, but it's for each person to decide and up to no one to judge.  I hope this post doesn't come across as rude, not my intention, and would be a great face to face conversation, but just from my "younger" life experience in living here. 

In my generation growing up and working in the US, there's was always so much judgment on the way you dressed and the designers you could afford, the school(s) one attended, the amount of money your parents made, even up to the type of car you drove, that I hoped to get away from that living here.  However, on these forums and living here in person, I almost feel like I'm judged more today than ever in my life, but maybe some of that is just my perception of what I think people think.  Life lessons and learning from them never stops, that's what Ecuador has taught me.

Great post.  Thanks,  And good luck with your future decisions (meant in all sincerity)

Hello,
You have quite a lot to say and I find your comments interesting. It seems that you've tried to learn Spanish and gave up on it. Well, I suppose if I tried to learn Mandarin I would also feel the same. I'm sorry to hear that you're moving back to the U.S. I'm sure you'll feel more comfortable in your familiar surroundings. For me it's not so easy as I've spent over sixty years in the U.S. To go back now would entail some readjustments but I can do it. I think of myself as an international individual, rather than an Ecuadorean or U.S. citizen. My family was involved in diplomacy so it's not a strange concept for me. I'm originally from Quito but considering Cuenca as an option. It's a smaller city and more livable from what I've read. I was there shortly during the eighties. My mom was well acquainted with it and knew Cuencan society. In fact she had her debutant ball there when she was young. I still have publications from back then. It appears to me that most expats don't understand the history behind colonial Quito or Cuenca for that matter. The architecture is an expression of artistic tendencies that go back to Spain and are also influenced by indigenous groups. So it's more than a "cheap" and comfortable place to live. Now, I'm going to make some comments about American idiosyncrasies and don't be offended. I'm currently living in Central Florida in a subdivision with an association. I have to tell you that I've stopped attending the meetings because the residents turn meetings into a brawls. This seems to be quite pervasive amongst the expat community in many countries as well. Ecuadoreans for the most part are not racists. We're a multiethnic society. However, under the appearance of equality, there are strong feelings of class differences. Some would want to deny it but it's there. I suspect that most expats don't care about such things. Having said that, it plays an important role dealing with Ecuadoreans. I made comments on this forum and some "gringos" jumped on me trying to show their "expertise" and make me sound dumb. It's often subliminal in the way they deal with people but some of us pick up on it right away, specially someone like myself that has been exposed to both cultures. I have a Canadian acquaintance that's living in Cuenca that tells me that Americans look down on the locals. I suppose they pick on the poor peasants, because some Ecuadoreans are quite cultured and polished. There's an expression in Spanish and it goes like this. " In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is the king. Have you read the article on Cuenca Highlife that talks about how gringos impacting the health care system, higher real estate prices and so one? Now, remember I'm not talking about you personally. So please don't get defensive. My intentions are to open some kind of understanding on why there's a gap there. So learning the language is only one facet of the it.
Have a good day!

I, personally never look down on anyone.  I am honestly one of the most giving people in the world.  I will personally do without to help someone who is need.  My only expectation is that they must be trying to help themselves and just not expect a free hand out.  I've never been given anything for free in my life.  Left home before I was 18, never went back and have educated and supported myself my entire life.  I worked hard for what I have, but I also know at some point in life. We are dealt a crappy hand and all need help.  I also believe, we must all take responsibility for all of our decisions and consequences that go along with them, and blame no one for what happens to me in life.  I have helped financially and with material necessities, many Ecuadorians since I have lived here.  However, I am not a wealthy person, and can not afford to help everyone.  I also never tell anyone, expats included, when I do choose to do so.  I have bought numerous wheel chairs for those medically needed, who could not have one based on govt insurance here.  I have bought all the water at super maxi and delivered to those in need when water was scarce here.  I helped others who lost everything in the earthquake.  That includes grocery gift cards, food, water, towels and bed sheets.  I think my biggest problem here is feeling safe at all times, getting things I need or want when I want them, and not being able to support myself here.  I get majorly bored not working and using my mind and talents.  Don't get me wrong, these are things we take for granted in the US, and wish were different until they actually are.  Ecuador has taught me many life lessons for which I am grateful and would have never learned working so much and trying to survive in the US.  But for me I'm ready to go back to my life as I knew it with a new found appreciation to those things I took for granted.  If I was older and retirement age, my thought process may be different.  But in hating to depend or ask if we can afford to make a purchase, that lifestyle just isn't for me at this point in my life.  At my age, I've never experienced the way women are treated here.  In the US, this was way before my lifetime.  So I continue to make the best of every situation here while I'm still here.  Apparently, I've not learned or mastered all that I'm supposed to on this journey in my life.  Positive thoughts always!!

Sophe, I see that you're in Manta. No wonder you're stressed out. After the earthquake, I would be too.
You're probably better off moving back to the U.S. You'll only deal with rotten politics and a crappie health care system here. Otherwise, everything else is status quo. Thanks for your generosity in helping needy Ecuadoreans. All the best to you!

The earthquake is the least of my worries...I had spent the day painting my walls around my house and then taking my dogs swimming.  I was so exhausted I just had no energy to cook dinner.  My husband wanted to go out to eat, but I became extremely unexplainably sick to my stomach and told him to give me 10 minutes before I showered.  I laid down on my couch for a few minutes and the earthquake started.  I spent the whole minute holding up my big screen tv I brought from the US while wedged between the wall. My husband wanted to go outside and I told him to take the girls (my dogs), who basically slept throughout the whole thing.  I left less than a week later to Miami cause I just couldn't take the after shocks anymore.  While there, my husband decide to be an asshole, so I cancelled my return ticket, drove my rental car to where I used to live in Daytona and stayed 3 additional weeks with my friend, telling him my return was based on his attitude while I was there.  I lived in Florida where we have hurricanes, which I will take any day.  I was never scared during the earthquake, just after.  One day I will go back the US to live, but it's just not God's will for us yet. I've learned patience here like crazy, as before I was an instant gratification person.  Which is not a bad thing as I could afford to do what and when I wanted cause I worked my ass for it.  I have a few more projects to complete here and if I don't sell my house, I will still live a decent lifestyle.  But I'm already planning my next Miami trip very soon to get my contacts and stuff I want and a really really good steak and bottle of wine.  Btw, I did just drink a bottle of 2011 Paradux bottle of wine tonight, made my day.  If I could just get all my wine I have in storage here, life would be grand.  For years & most of my life, at every holiday and birthday, my wish would be for peace and happiness.  I have learned here that there's no such thing, it's just a daily choice that you make.  I hate to admit that I'm afraid if I move back to the US, I will just once again be caught up in the whole stigma of working to live. But I had a great life and not so sure that's such a bad thing.  Probably why I'm still here.  That's the lesson I haven't mastered yet, but believe me I'm working on it.  I've learned that I can't control all aspects of my life, I have let go of the stress (except occasionally), and it's on Gods time not mine.

The stigma of working to live, as opposed to?

In the US, we work to live for several reasons.  I loved my job and profession and it made me feel as if I had a purpose.  I made good money, have no children and lived the lifestyle I chose without anyone telling me I couldn't.  Here, I don't work to live, I'm bored out of my mind.  It's hard for us to travel together cause I can't find a decent kennel for my dogs, and I refuse to not treat them as they are accustomed.  They didn't chose to come here.   I have no independence here, have to watch what I spend and no longer have access to what I consider necessities of life.  I won't list any, cause I refuse to be judged by my opinion of my lifestyle.  I have learned material things aren't important as I once thought, but I absolutely detest having to depend on my husband to support me.  It's just not in my DNA and I was never raised that way.  Trust me I do not live an extravagant lifestyle here, but I'm sure others would think I do.  I seldom leave home, cause there's nothing here that I really want to do anymore.  I've done it all.  And people who I thought I could trust and considered friends just keep dropping like flies with all their lies, gossip and deceptions.  I'm not used to that either.  So I would rather work to live and live the lifestyle that I used to.  That's what I meant.

Sophems :

In the US, we work to live for several reasons.  I loved my job and profession and it made me feel as if I had a purpose.  I made good money, have no children and lived the lifestyle I chose without anyone telling me I couldn't.  Here, I don't work to live, I'm bored out of my mind.  It's hard for us to travel together cause I can't find a decent kennel for my dogs, and I refuse to not treat them as they are accustomed.  They didn't chose to come here.   I have no independence here, have to watch what I spend and no longer have access to what I consider necessities of life.  I won't list any, cause I refuse to be judged by my opinion of my lifestyle.  I have learned material things aren't important as I once thought, but I absolutely detest having to depend on my husband to support me.  It's just not in my DNA and I was never raised that way.  Trust me I do not live an extravagant lifestyle here, but I'm sure others would think I do.  I seldom leave home, cause there's nothing here that I really want to do anymore.  I've done it all.  And people who I thought I could trust and considered friends just keep dropping like flies with all their lies, gossip and deceptions.  I'm not used to that either.  So I would rather work to live and live the lifestyle that I used to.  That's what I meant.

And so you are returning to the USA when?  Sounds like you need to return soon.

Sophems :

In the US... I loved my job and profession and it made me feel as if I had a purpose.  I made good money ... and lived the lifestyle I chose without anyone telling me I couldn't.

I'm bored out of my mind....

I absolutely detest having to depend on my husband to support me.  I seldom leave home, cause there's nothing here that I really want to do anymore....

And people who I thought I could trust and considered friends just keep dropping like flies with all their lies, gossip and deceptions.

Mugtech's point -- return home -- is spot on. :top:

Over time, the sheer volume of your posts about Ecuador's not offering you a decent life .. has moved beyond venting .. and is clearly a cry for help.

You have a choice and know what you want .. so take Mugtech's advice.

Complaining on forum threads that you can't take it anymore won't make a difference in your life until you take action.

No one with options should have to endure the suffering involved in your isolation and your living for months and years in a place that is not right for you.

The status quo is producing unrelenting misery for you.

Give up the struggle.

Do the right thing.

cccmedia

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