You may be aware that I've been writing a weekly column the past few months for La Tarde, the afternoon paper here in Cuenca. A couple of weeks ago the folks who own both El Mercurio, the much larger and more widely circulated morning newspaper, and La Tarde contacted me with a request to start writing a column for each Sunday edition of El Mercurio.
Of course I agreed. I am quite happy to now reach a bigger audience and honored the "powers that be" think enough of my work to give me this opportunity. Plus the editor of La Tarde asked me to continue writing for her whenever possible, as has the owner of Cuenca High Life, a local online publication.
With this blog and all these other venues I hope I don't run out of things to say. My wife assures me that has never been a problem in the past---------.
Here's what was in Sunday's edition:
HELLO EL MERCURIO READERS!!
I have been writing a weekly column in La Tarde for the past few months, and now it is my honor to write for this newspaper each Sunday. Since more and more gringos (yes, we call ourselves that too!) are arriving in Cuenca it is important that we get to know each other.
Please understand from the beginning that I am only one man and do not pretend to speak for every foreigner in the city. So I will share with you my personal experiences and observations about adapting to life in a new city and country with a different language.
I would very much like for this column to become a conversation between you and me. My email address will always be included at the bottom and I encourage you to send me questions or comments. There are certainly many things I want to know about my new culture and surroundings, and I’ll bet you too are curious about all these new people you see around town.
The main thing I’m guessing you wonder about is, “Why are you here?” The opportunity to live in the United States is perhaps a dream for some of you, and yet here are all these gringos leaving their native country and coming to little Cuenca, Ecuador. This must seem very strange.
Several years ago my wife and I saw the value of our savings plunge just as we were nearing retirement age. Rather than remain in the States and continue to work for too many more years trying to correct this problem we made the decision to relocate so we could retire and enjoy the rest of our lives.
Why Cuenca? For us a lower cost of living—beautiful weather all year—proximity to the US and our children—kind and gracious citizens, both Cuencano and gringo. We love living here so much. Thank you all for making us feel so welcome.