Brian reported that he hooked up with our new friends and some folks they were helping to adjust to Cuenca as they were also planning on eventually moving here. The park was vibrant & colourful and everything good that we enjoy about it. The young Ecuadorian man that we had introduced as a "helper" has now been recommended to several other people, so we're glad to see that he appears to be building himself a new business. The sun was shining and Brian & Fredi really enjoyed their outing. Fredi collapsed and slept right after the long walk, first of course, greeting Shelley effusively.
|2nd Century Roman Amphitheater in Amman|
Brian got home and naturally Fredi went nuts and as it was quite late she needed to go outside immediately. Brian said the party was great! At least 20 people attended and the birthday boy was overwhelmed! It is gratifying that when one of the expat community has a special occasional you realize how many acquaintances you make in a short time. All together a satisfying evening!
|Bedouin Sheep & Goat Herd|
The morning dawned dark and overcast on Tuesday. We had planned on taking Fredi to Parque Paraiso but decided against it, thinking it would probably rain. It never did. We spent the day mostly inside puttering and that was OK too! Up bright and early on Wednesday, Brian set off to Gualaceo & Chordaleg on the bus with another couple to see the sights and have a bit of a road trip. Shelley & Fredi stayed home, went for walks, played on the computer, read & watched TV.
The first thing Brian commented on upon arriving home, was the cost. "We spent $3.45 each on today's entertainment, which included all bus fares plus a hot lunch". Chordaleg is famous all over Ecuador for it's multitude of shops that sell gold filagree jewelry. Nobody bought anything but our friends were all agaga on their first visit to this village. The bus trip was colourful and entertaining with all kinds of village people & students & music & chatter both there and back.
The last few years of both Brian & Shelley's working careers, we diverged from our main path and worked at things that were different. In both our cases, it was an attempt to bring back a joy of work. The process seemed to succeed better for Brian than for Shelley. After 35 years in the radio business and a couple of years of retirement, Brian went back and became a security guard for 8 years. He quickly worked himself up from a concierge type security guard doing night shift, to a roving supervisor to an account manager. The company he worked for was open and concerned about their employees and he managed to make a couple of good friends & was on excellent terms with most of the people he ended up supervising. Shelley roved from job to job, working for the Federal government, the Post Office, a sales office and doing temp (scut) work in numerous other offices. This was after spending 20 years working for labour unions and before that as a paralegal. She was seeking "job satisfaction" and instead found the same-old, same-old.
Both of us enjoy our retirement. We never find ourselves bored with the life we've set up for ourselves and don't miss the stress & pressure of work. This isn't always the case for retirees. Some people fade away, unable to adjust to all that time on their hands. Others find controversy & intrigue in the newspaper & their private lives that isn't necessarily healthy. Some settle in front of the TV or behind a bottle and cease making the effort to live. In Canada, at least, a lot more legislation has been put in place so that people are not forced to retire, so it becomes an option rather than a requirement. As we continue to insist on being individuals, this seems a good thing.
So, the thing is, does moving to Ecuador or some other exotic location alleviate any of the above negative symptoms? The answer is no. Ecuador had become our home after only 2 years. One adjusts to the strange and different and then you're left with yourself once again. Keep it in mind!
Our friend Jan, late of Canada, late of Holland and now living in Saudi Arabia (working on a high speed rail project) just took a holiday to Jordan. The pictures on this blog showcase only a few that he forwarded to us so we could get just a taste of another exotic locale.