Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Six Days to Go

Ahh.  There it is.  Right there in the middle. Cuenca.  July 30 Monday.  Flight leaves at 6:00 am.  That’s when I depart for the three month visit to assess what living in Ecuador is like and study Spanish. Call it killing two birds with one stone.

Outer space view of region in Ecuador surrounding Cuenca
My new friends at Hablando Con Amigos en Espanol in Burlingame wished a cheerful, smiling adios last Saturday. They were all happy for me. I expect to speak with much greater fluency when I come back to converse and laugh in Spanish with these interesting people.
The major items are completed---fully funded.  I’m ready to go except for a couple loose ends to tie.  I need to buy a piece of luggage.  It has to be big enough for what I'll take and with wheels for it to suit my taste.  I also still need to write my home stay family--- the Fernandez de Cordova-Lafebre family--- an e-mail of introduction.  I’ll include my picture and a little personal history. I’m a little worried about being able to connect to the internet from their house, but the student coordinator from Simon Bolivar told me they have a home network.  I hear internet access in Ecuador is mostly via Wi-Fi and network connections instead of cable. 
That’s pretty much it.  I’ll schedule a yellow cab to do the pick up a good two hours before departure.  I intend to make time to shop for a gift before I go. Gerard Tretton, who started the Ecuador Expats page on Facebook has helped me in more ways than one and Ecuador Expats has been an invaluable source of boots- on- the- ground information about Ecuador.
One subjectively important task I completed since last contributing to the blog was that I booked a room near Quito airport.  When I arrive I'll hold over until the next flight to Cuenca. I have a place to stay that's near.  I now also am the customer of a mail forwarding company for future deliveries of mail, scanned and digitally delivered or slow-mailed, take your pick.   A friend will mail my rent checks for me while I’m gone and another will water my garden flowers and plants.
I bought a cell phone that will work in Ecuador too.  Some kind of different chip is needed for use in Ecuador that isn’t in the cell I’m using now.
While I’m gone I’m planning via Skype to attend the meetings of the writing group to which I belong that gathers every two weeks in San Mateo. The connection ought to enable me to continue as a presence in the group, and I hope it works out.