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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10 Simple Pleasures of Living in Cuenca Ecuador

We are enjoying our life in Cuenca. Cuenca has so many simple pleasures that this video could go on and on for hours. Do you have time? LOL Instead, this five minute video is of us living our daily life in Cuenca and enjoying every minute of it. Fortunately, I remembered to take out my camera to record some of these simple pleasures of daily living in this beautiful city high up in the Andes Mountains. Enjoy the video!

             

Sunday, October 28, 2012

$300 Cuenca Ecuador Rental Home Tour

This is a brand new (never lived in) tri-level home 3 bed for $300. There are some people that have said on forums that renting in this price range you will be living in a hovel...but we are exposing this untruth that has been floating around on some of the Cuenca forums. This home is in a gated community of about 7 other homes that are still in the construction phase. This home in the video has been rented.


          

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cuenca Ecuador Rental Inflation - Local Cuencana Speaks Out

According to the Cuencana in the video below, Gringos coming to Cuenca will spend $600 or more on a rental when they don’t have to. We already knew not to spend that much on rent BEFORE we came to Cuenca, and that is why we pay a local rent of $250 per month for our 2,000 sq. ft, 3 bedroom-3 bath, plus office home.

                 
But that was then. Nowadays, the Ecuador blogosphere is full of blogs with people bragging about what they’re getting for $600 a month. But according to the local Ecuadorian in the video, they could be harming the economy for at least, some of the locals. BTW, this is not the only local who is letting us know about the rental inflation.

This is an unsolicited video from a local that just started talking to Frank and I while she was showing us a beautiful new home (never been lived in) for $300 per month, and I kindly asked her if I could record her thoughts on video, and well, here it is.

If the owners and landlords of the rentals in Cuenca KNOW and SEE that the gringos are willing to pay $600 to $900 on basic rentals (and they do and they are) then of course, they will gladly KEEP raising the rental prices just for them! When gringos come here and just pay whatever, without a care in the world, they are the ones hurting Cuenca and making it VERY difficult for the local Cuencanos to find a home for their family, and now you can hear it straight from the Ecuadorians.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you know we don’t just report our opinions, we report the facts and/or our experiences. As such, we occasionally catch some blow-back,  but remember, we’re just the messengers.

BTW, this home in the video has recently rented, but there may be more coming up! Remember never accept an asking price. Always, always, negotiate. This home in the video was actually going for $350 but Frank negotiated the rent down to $300! So please never accept asking prices!Tour of this home coming up in next video.

Do you want a rental for $300 or less? Then click here! 
Read Disclaimer:

This video and article is not intended to denounce or condemn anyone. The ideas mentioned in this article and/or this blog as a whole may or may not apply to all persons in general, but only to those that have an interest in living well on less in Ecuador, and integrating within the population in order to do so.

For more about going local, integrating with the population and having the time of your life in Cuenca Ecuador, a lot of people are recommending the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Featuring "La Casa Cuencana" from the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide

In this video we interview Ecuadorian business owners, Martha and Johnathan of the La Casa Cuencana" hostal in Cuenca. This is just one of the hostels that we feature in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide.

La Casa Cuencana has individual rooms, group rooms, and family sized rooms with private bath. Martha and her son Johnathan told us they would give travelers a discount if visitors stay 3-days or more in her hostel and show her they bought the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide...a one page printout of the ebook will be enough to show her you bought the guide.  Of course, this is her thank you to us for featuring her hostel in the DIY Cuenca Landing GuideHere's the video.

                 

Stay tuned for a video tour and more photos of La Casa Cuencana hostel coming next week! Until then, Adios Amigos!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Free Restaurant Guide Updated: Banana Verde Cafe! Traditional Ecuadorian Food!

We wrote the free restaurant guide when we first moved here, which was over a year ago and a few things have changed. Some of the Almuerzo prices have gone up, plus one of the restaurants is gone...yikes! So we updated the restaurant guide with the new prices, plus added two new restaurants. You will find all of the addresses for the restaurants in the free restuarant guide.  Click here for the new updated version.

Banana Verde Cafeteria

We're pleased to tell you about a wonderful little Ecuadorian Traditional food cafe that we stumbled upon.  Banana Verde has been added to the restaurant guide because it is a neat snack food cafe. It's not the typical full meal almuerzo restaurant like the other restaurants in the restaurant guide.
 

If you happen to be out and about in Cuenca and want a delicious Ecuadorian snack with a cup of "real" (Columbian) coffee for $0.50 then this is a good place to try out. We liked the atmosphere  because of the unique decor, and the owner was friendly and accommodating. She smiled a lot, until I took the photo of her. She does not speak English.  She was very happy we are advertising her restaurant in the guide book. (BTW, we do this for FREE we never charge a dime to list anyone's restaurant or hostel in our guide books.)

Most food items on the Banana Verde menu are $0.75 cents up to a $1.50.  In Ecuador many of the traditional restaurants show you what the dish looks like as does this cafe, which is nice. Here, take a look!
Frank ordered the Banana Verde from the menu, which is the first one on the menu above. And below is a photo of the actual plate so you can compare it to how it looks on the menu. Looks the same. Frank enjoyed the food.

Here's the $0.75 cent menu. I ordered a chicken empanada for $0.75, which is not shown on the outside menu, but is listed in the actual menu inside the cafe. I also had a cup of Colombian coffee for $0.50 cents which was a real treat because usually I am given a cup of hot water and a jar of instant coffee.

Here is the chicken empanada 

 We talk more about the Banana Verde Cafe in the Free restaurant guide

Be sure to grab yourself a copy today. It is our gift to you for being loyal readers/subscribers of the Discover Cuenca Blog!  Be sure that after it downloads to "save" it on your computer so you can reopen it whenever you want. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Restaurant El Monarca en Cuenca

The interesting and fun thing about trying out different restaurants in Cuenca is being able to relish in the history and beauty of some of the colonial buildings in historic Cuenca.  Many of the buildings have been restored and remodeled, like this one, but not all of them retain the old world charm of the colonial period.

This restaurant had beautiful antique furniture, obviously restored.  The tiles were beautiful with hardwoods in between, which was something we’ve never seen anywhere else in Cuenca.

When eating out in new restaurants you never know what kind of setting and ambiance you will be in until you go inside and try it out. We feel that part of the dining out experience is in the atmosphere and décor of the restaurant. We’ve lived here going on 15 months now and we still appreciate and are amazed at the beauty of some of the buildings.

The murals on the wall in this restaurant we're absolutely amazing!
The old furniture was lovely and restored
 The old world charm was all retained

 

The El Monarca Restaurant served the typical almuerzo and it was good.  On this day (each day is different) the menu was cream of tomato soup, roast beef with gravy and rice, a vegetable and a small desert in a lovely atmosphere, and all for just $2.50.

But the ambiance alone was worth the price.  The beauty of this restaurant / hotel was amazing so we took photos to share with our readers. Photo below is the hotel lobby.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

10 Questions to Ask Yourself to See if Cuenca Ecuador is Right for You

Are you thinking of moving to Cuenca Ecuador? Here's 10 questions to ask yourself to get an idea if Cuenca is right for you. Cuenca is a beautiful, wonderful city but it is not for everyone. 

1) Will I be ok eating locally-made/prepared brands of foods? Most people would not want to pay $8 for a regular sized jar of Skippy peanut butter or $5 for 4 ounces of Kikkoman soy sauce, or $3 for a Hershey’s candy bar, or $4 for a can of Pringles potato chips.
 

The brands you are used to (Imports) are two to three times as much here as in the US. And some brands you know and love, you can’t even find here. Just letting you know. Now, you can buy the locally prepared peanut butter and potato chips but they’re different—they will take awhile to get used to.
 

2) Will I be able to continue my job online or will I be able to run my business online? We have only experienced one Internet service here and Etapa is “Just ok”. On a scale of between 1 and 10 our Internet has been about a 5, which for us is just mediocre. Our experience has been this: it has gone out for days at a time, and in the evenings, after 5 or 6pm the Internet is VERY slow and it has always been that way. To find out more about our Internet experience click here

UPDATE: January 2014 - Etapa Interent has improved; it is faster and more reliable, however, it still cuts out intermittently during the day. Streaming is much better now since they updated their service to a faster speed.  If we were to rate Etapa now it is now about a 8 score out of 10. We think that is pretty good.  

We've heard from expats who have used TV CABLE and the reviews have been mixed. 

And we’re just letting you know, if you live on the coast, the Infrastructure is not that great. When we were staying in San Clemente, the electricity went out every day at 4:00pm until about 7:00pm…that means no Internet unless you have an Internet backup on your computer. They do this to conserve electricity.
 

Even in Salinas the Internet is not as good as it is in the Andes. For those of you who rely on a pension or SS check you may not care about the Internet, but for those who rely on online work, and especially those that require reliable streaming will VERY much care about Internet connectivity. If your business involves streaming or live chat then think again about moving to Ecuador. Just letting you know. We have friends that can do that in Cuenca, but not in Salinas.
 

3) Will I be able to deal with the laid back, “no care attitude” towards my business affairs? If you are the “type A” personality that needs to take charge and have your tasks and business errands done a certain way, according to what you have been used to for years, it isn’t going to happen like that in Cuenca or anywhere else in Ecuador. In fact, you may get disappointed and frustrated at the lack of attention the Ecuador bureaucracy handles your affairs.
 

Everything takes more time here. For those that need to use the mail system, there are some challenges. But still, it never ceases to amaze us that we have not lost one package in the mail. It helps that we have streamlined the mail set up, as we outline in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide, but there are other issues which don’t necessarily apply to most people. We wrote about that here.

When picking up packages at the post office, it may take a long time (up to 20 minutes sometimes) for them to find a package among the thousands boxes and packages that are disarrayed in their tiny shipping/receiving room, but they will locate the package. Especially around the holidays.


It may seem like no one cares about your affairs. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they can’t do anything about rushing your dealings any more than they can rush their own dealings. Everything seems not as organized but actually, they do have their own organization system that may seem antiquated to us, but for them it is what works. The point is, you will need to be very patient to do just about anything here. This is the case, at least for now. Smile, and be happy knowing that you are in the “best retirement city in the world, Cuenca Ecuador!”


4) Will I be able to handle all the guards with sawed-off shotguns in the banks and government offices and in the streets? We personally know of one expat couple who were mortified by this and the tall barred gates around the homes. Seeing this not only shocked them, but it made them more in fear of ever living here. Obviously they did not do their homework about South America because all of Latin America is like this and had they known this they would not have wasted their time and money coming here.


Some people get used to it, however, and later realize (after the culture shock wears off) that the Ecuadorians themselves want the guards, the tall gates around their homes; and that foreigners don’t have a monopoly on the need for security. The Ecuadorians too need security in their homes and in their persons. And that security here is built into the expectations of the culture. And this is actually a good thing.


5) Will I miss my children and grandchildren once I move to Ecuador? The number one reason why expats move back to where they came from is because they miss their children and grandchildren. Many people say that the US lacks family values, and to a point this is true because many people do not have their priorities in order and families move apart physically and emotionally. When we put work in front of our families it separates families. If your family lives nearby you now and you visit with them often then you will miss them more than those people who are already live apart from their families.


Frank and I just met up with one expat couple who are seriously thinking of moving here, but only if they can find it in their budget to travel back to the states at least three or four times a year to see their children and grandchildren. Bring your children with you! Come before they are adults. It is something to think about. However, with the new lower fares, frequent travel is not totally out of the question.
 

6) Will I be able to get over the culture shock and adjust to speaking a new language? Most expats do not speak very much Spanish. They want to take classes and most do, which is great, but it is not that easy learning a new language unless you really put a lot of time and study into it. As long as you are willing to keep learning, we think you’ll be fine. Our experience is that immersing yourself with local interactions speeds this up quite a bit. See our video about expat gringa rents $200 apartment as she touches on this in the video.
 

If you have never set foot outside of the US or if you have gone to Mexico only to stay in the resorts, you may be a bit taken aback over everything being so different than what you are used to. Most people get through it and then decide if Cuenca is right for them, but we have met potential expats, who after months of being here, were still in shock over the look, feel, smells, people and language barrier that they remain indifferent to Ecuador.
 

We think it takes at least a year to really decide if Ecuador is for you because by then you have at least learned some Spanish, acclimated to the high altitude and weather, and have really seen and experienced the culture.
 

7) Will I be ok living in Cuenca where it is cloudy more than it is sunny? And what about all the rain, will I be able to deal with that? Like we said earlier, you need to experience at least one year in Cuenca (two different seasons) to really get a feel for what the weather really is like here. Most expats say they like the weather with the exception they are cold in their homes (this is me) sometimes. Or, either they don’t like the weather at all. It’s up to you. Some people like overcast skies 250 days a year.
 

8) Will I be able to accept the high prices on popular necessities such as computers, cell phones, laptops, televisions, quality furniture, quality linens, kitchen appliances, vehicles, etc, etc? And the fact that there are no thrift stores in Cuenca to speak of? This is a BIG wakeup for frugal folks, who like to buy used appliances, furniture and cars, clean and restore them. 

A 1980’s used car here costs around $4k. Buying electronics you can expect to pay two to three times as much. Name brand kitchen appliances are very expensive here, and the lesser known name brands break or wear out after using a few times. An “Oster” Blender costs over $130 dollars on up! And an Oster Juicer costs almost $200! Be prepared to spend some money on things you need here, i.e. come well financed! You will at least find that the produce that goes in the $200 juicer is reasonably priced.

9) Will my body be able to deal with the high altitude? We know of several expats who had to leave Cuenca because the altitude was making them sick. Most people who move to Cuenca only have slight altitude sickness (dizziness, shortness of breath, headachy) for the first 3 days. After a couple of days your body becomes adjusted to it and acclimated to the thinner air. You will probably adjust to the change just fine, but there are a small portion of people that continue to feel sick and must leave Cuenca. Some people with certain health problems may not adjust too well. For more about altitude sickness click here


10) Will I really like Cuenca enough to move there and live indefinitely? No one can know for sure if they will like a certain place, until they actually go there and experience an extended visit. You just have to come here and see the country for yourself. We do think that there are a lot of people who come to Cuenca for the wrong reasons, particularly because they have read all the hype in 2011 about how cheap Cuenca is. Cuenca CAN BE cheaper than living in most cities in the US but it can also be more expensive than many cities in the US. If the only reason you are coming to Cuenca is because you heard it is cheap, then buyer beware.


Cuenca can be relatively inexpensive for a certain type of people who do not allow their surroundings to rule their happiness and for those who are not that demanding. Most expats that come here feel they need to have certain standards met, which Cuenca does offer that standard at a lower price but not much lower. 

The point is, lower than what? If just one percent of New York and California moves to Cuenca Ecuador, it’s no longer going to be Cuenca Ecuador. Some expats are having a difficult time living on their retirement check, so all we’re saying is if you come here with high expectations of grandeur it’s not that much cheaper than a lot of other places.


If you are interested in moving to Cuenca, and saving money, integrating locally and experiencing Cuenca with enjoyment rather than stress, many people recommend the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide; after all we wrote it with you in mind. If you are interested in renting a locally priced house or apartment then we highly recommend a new rental service geared for expats just like yourselves!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Expat Family Robbed in Beach Home in San Vicente, Ecuador

This news story was originally posted on Latin American Current Events, on October 8, 2012
You can go to the article by clicking here.

There are several reasons why this robbery/assault happened to this family; here are just three. One, they lived on a barren stretch of road where there is hardly any traffic (so the article states). Two, they lived in a development with no other homes, and thirdly, they did not have a house alarm. And, not to mention there is not a tall wall surrounding the home. All of these factors will be against you when it comes to personal safety in Ecuador, no matter what city you live in, including Cuenca. 

Here's the story of this robbery and assault. At the end of the article is a link to the story told by the wife.

Ecuador: Family from Chicago living near Bahia de Caraquez, victims of home invasion – assault


On October 7, 2012, at 12:30 am, an expatriate couple from Chicago, Illinois and their thirteen-year-old daughter were asleep. In their newly constructed home, at a development outside of San Vicente Ecuador called “Palmas de Briceno”, three assailants broke into the residence through a window. Two of criminals were armed with handguns, and the third wore a mask. The development is located 17 km north of Bahía de Caráquez Ecuador.

According to the husband, he was awoken by his wife’s screams. She had been pistol whipped after awakening to find a pistol aimed at her head. Another assailant pointed a gun at the husband and father and was ordered to silence his wife. The unarmed thug with the mask ordered the victim to give him the keys to the car. When he tried to tell the thief that he didn’t have the keys, the assailant went to a drawer and pulled them out.

The husband and father ushered his daughter and wife into a bathroom and briefly struggled with the assailants on the other side of the door to keep them from entering. The bandits stole electronic items, cash, cellphones and left in the victim’s vehicle. It was later found abandoned by police.

The victim and his family who reside in the only home in the development of about twenty seaside lots, tried to get assistance from an Ecuadorian living near the property without any luck. He attempted to get help without any luck on the sparsely driven road by the project. Then with limited time on his daughter’s phone, he put out an SOS on Facebook, on the Expat group for Ecuador. One of his friends realized what was going on and help coordinate the police to arrive about an hour and half later. The victim attempted to call the fire department in San Vicente but because of his limited Spanish, they hung up on him. Finally he made contact with the police department and attempted to get directions to the property.

A fire truck and police arrived. With no stretcher, they constructed a makeshift unit with bamboo poles and a sheet to get her to a pickup truck. She was then transported to a hospital in Bahia Carquez where she received treatment for non life threatening injuries. She has been released from the hospital.

The wife is now home with her daughter and husband who were not injured. He submitted to authorities that he believed that the assault may have been an inside job from one of the contractors working on the house. He believed that with only one of the men wearing a mask and knowing where the car keys were, that it pointed to someone with knowledge of the house. When the husband and father was asked if they planned on staying or leaving Ecuador, he responded that the family had not discussed that topic yet.

                                                                       ***

To read the wife's account of what happened click here:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Desayuno (Breakfast) en Cuenca Ecuador

We have posted a lot of videos on having almuerzo (lunch) in Cuenca Ecuador. In this video we are having desayuno (breakfast) in Cuenca. It is a simple meal but tasty, especially when you're out and about and you can't wait for lunch. The special priced Ecuadorian meals are:
desayuno - breakfast
almuerzo - lunch
merienda - dinner

          

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tomebamba River Walk

Cuenca boasts four wonderful rivers. This is the Tomebamba River that runs North of Cuenca. It's family day (Sunday) and the river areas of Cuenca are usually bustling with Ecuadorian families doing laundry, playing ball, picnicking and enjoying their day. It is beautiful spring day  (October 7th) and it feels like it's about 80 degrees outside.

                

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Garbage Pickup in Cuenca Ecuador

If you live in a house in Cuenca Ecuador you'll need to know about the garbage pickup rules. Garbage pickup is much more efficient here than in the US. At least in our experience.  The garbage truck does not just come around once a week but it comes around three times a week to pickup your garbage! And there’s no need to sign up with any garbage pick up.


Garbage pickup in Cuenca city limits is Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They even come by and pickup the garbage when there is a festival/holiday in town, on a Saturday! Sometimes it's almost dark before they come by and get the garbage, but I don't believe they have missed a garbage pickup day yet.

It is interesting to watch the garbage truck. It never actually stops, it slowly coasts by your house while one or two guys in blue jumpsuits jumps off the back of the garbage truck and scurries to grab your garbage and then quickly darts back onto the garbage truck while it is moving down the road.

You know these guys are in good shape with all the running they do. You'd probably want them on your futbol team.

Garbage pickup is pretty efficient in Cuenca with only a few rules to heed. You can't put anything out that is not in a plastic garbage bag or they will just leave it. Garbage needs to be placed up high in the steel grates that are made just for garbage or all of the stray dogs will find your garbage and you'll have a big mess. This happened to us one time when we didn’t know any better.

When we first moved here we were told the garbage men would only take your garbage if it was in a big, black, plastic garbage bag. But we have since learned this is not the case. As long as the garbage is in a plastic bag, small, big, medium, shopping bags, the men will pick it up for you. They will not pick up loose garbage or anything that is not in a plastic bag of some sort, however.

And that’s just about all you will need to know about garbage pickup in Cuenca Ecuador, that is if you live in a house. The condos and apartment buildings probably have the big dumpsters for you to put your garbage in.  

If there is something else you would like for us to write about, just let us know in the comments or in the email above. If we have any experience in the subject we’ll write about it. To find out more about saving money and living well on a local level, and a bunch of other stuff, when you move here, check out the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide. Hasta Luego!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Why I Won't Ride a Motorcycle or Bicycle in Cuenca Ecuador


The bus driver was speeding down the road like many do here in Cuenca, when just a short distance ahead the light turned red. The bus driver knew he wouldn't be able to stop in time to not hit the car in front of him so he swerved and went into the right hand lane. Unfortunately, in the right hand lane was a man on a motorcycle. 

                               


We saw the motorcyclist, and the bus driver must have also, but none the less, the bus driver was just going way too fast; it was either swerve into the right lane and hope the motorcyclist sees the big bus barreling into his lane, or hit the car ahead.

The bus driver swerved into the right lane and sideswiped the guy on the motorcycle. It could have been fatal but luckily the cyclist was driving defensively, saw the bus, and was able to only get sideswiped, and he and his bike crashed to the ground. 


The bus stopped. 

The motorcyclist slowly got up from the pavement, took off his helmet, and slowly limped to the door of the bus. We thought he was going to yell at the bus driver, or take down information... and well, you know everything you would do in the US had you just been hit by a big "something ton" bus while you're on your bike. 

 The motorcyclist is the guy on the right

Instead the guy just said to the driver in loud Spanish, "what's going on? Didn't you see me?" We couldn't hear what the bus driver said back to the motorcyclist because the music on the bus was really loud. The guy simply went back to his cycle and someone got off the bus and helped him pick up his bike and the bus drove off. 




Ecuador ranks second in Latin America for number of traffic accidents.

Lately, in the last few months we have seen more cops ticketing drivers who are driving too fast. Hopefully this will help curb some of the traffic accidents that Ecuador has. However, all this new police activity, did not seem to bother this bus driver and prevent him from driving erratically and almost killing someone.  

In 2010, there were 50,000 accidents in Ecuador, which killed 2,500 people and 15,000 were seriously injured, while already this year the country has recorded 5,160 deaths from traffic accidents. Read the full article here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Etapa Internet, Cuenca Ecuador – Just When We Thought We Were out of the Woods!

Regular readers know we’ve been back and forth with our Etapa Internet since we arrived. The last article told how we had everything brand new. The very nice head technical engineer at the Etapa office made sure we received a brand new modem. The phone line was replaced with a brand new one. And even the line originating from the telephone pole outside of the property, coming into the home, was replaced with a brand new one.

After all of this brand new equipment, we’ve been basking in pretty good internet, for Ecuador. So we thought. It lasted about three months. Not a bad streak. But, alas, it was not to last.


Some of our readers may have noticed that we have missed days where we have not posted anything. Well, this is because our Internet has been “in and out” for several weeks now. We’ve been at the mercy of Etapa for the past ten days. In the mornings it works ok until about noon and then it goes “out” for the rest of the evening, or the connection is so slow that trying to get any work done is impossible. But for the past two days it has just been “out” and no “in”.


Calling them on the phone doesn’t usually get the service techs to come out any sooner, so we end up rushing in the morning to get downtown to Etapa before the crowds show up. We get a number and wait for the next available service desk to open up so we can let them know the internet is not working. We have gone into their offices three times in a six day period and told them each time that in the evenings we do not have a connection or it is so slow you can’t get any work done.


What happens is the service tech will come out and he does his little techy things with the Internet, gets it working again, then leaves, and the next day, or the same evening it goes “out” again.


We thought since we had a new modem, new cable, and outside line that we wouldn’t be having these internet connection issues, but here it is 3 months later and we are having problems again.
We’re not the only ones who have grumbled about Etapa Internet service. Just the other day a local gal said Etapa was the worse service and she uses “Punta Net”. We have nothing to say about punta.net or any other service, except for our experiences with Etapa.


We sit here at Etapa’s mercy often. You can’t go anywhere and do anything else because the tech might show up. We’ve been waiting for two days for the tech guy to come out. You wouldn’t want to be gone while the tech was trying to fix your internet, would you? That would just push you back another day or two. Not only that, but after they come out and it (temporarily) works that evening, and then the next day’s evening it doesn’t work again, and we go back down to their offices the next day, they say it’s a brand new order and you have to wait two more days in a queue before they’ll come out again. I have to remind them in my broken Spanish that this is still the first order, as it never did get fixed, and so we deserve to be put at the front of the line, well that’s my reasoning anyway. Does it work? I don’t think so…


As soon as we do get the Internet back (no telling when that will be) we’re going to go hook up with “Cable TV” Internet so we’ll have a backup Internet. We’ve heard good and bad things about this Internet Company. We said we were going to do that in our last article but the internet started working so well that we blissfully relented.


It is unfortunate that we may have to pay for two Internet services but we work online and depend on a service that will be reliable. Let’s just hope that they both do not go out at the same time. Now that would be really third worldish.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Toasted Corn Nuts Recipe

Dried hominy and corn is used in food preparation throughout the region of Ecuador. Boiled hominy is added to soups, casseroles and other Ecuadorian dishes. Another way to use dried hominy is after it is boiled, roast it in the oven with a little salt and oil to make corn nuts. I remember eating the packaged corn nuts in the US. They are good.

Here in the Andes, roasted corn nuts are also used as a side dish for encebollada soup. We also like them roasted, and so about once a week I make a big batch of roasted corn nuts to have around for snacking on. 

 

Roasted Corn Nuts

Rinse 1lb of dried corn


Boil corn with a tablespoon of salt for 1 hour

Drain corn

 Spread the corn evenly in a baking dish or cookie sheet

 Add a tsp of salt and a couple tbs olive oil to the corn and mix well


Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a  325 degree oven, checking on them periodically
You may want to stir them around a bit after about a half hour

Enjoy your roasted  corn nuts. They are kind of hard to stop eating once you get started.
Great for trips, hikes, and taking along with you to work.
Corn nuts are also good with a little Cayenne on them for those of you who like your food a little bit spicy. (Add the cayenne with the salt and oil before roasting)