Today, we were able to accomplish everything we wanted to do. This happened because of the expert assistance of a bilingual driver who has started a business of assisting ex-pats with whatever they have need of.
We were picked up at our apartment at 9am by Juan Perez and he took us promptly to the main post office in Cuenca so we could open up a post office box. Juan is our translator and the whole process went smoothly.
The next stop was to the bank to open up an account. Again with Juan assisting us, everything went smoothly. The next stop was to the Mall to go to the cell phone store to purchase a cell phone. Juan knew exactly the kind of cell phone we needed and again the process went smoothly. We met a couple at the cell phone store who were also clients of Juan. They have been living in Ecuador for about 1 year. They moved to Ecuador from the U. S. (Maryland). They have a lot of information to share with us and we exchanged email addresses so we can keep in touch.
After the cell phone was purchased, we decided it was time for lunch. Juan knew of a good place to eat and off we went to the restaurant. Mike and Juan had the chicken lunch (with rice, potatoes, and salad). I had a similar lunch but with pork. Everything was very good and the bill for all three lunches came to only $13.
After lunch, we went to a food co-op where you can buy locally grown produce and which is less expensive than at the Super Maxi store. With Juan's help, we became members of the food co-op. All in all, it was a very good day and the weather was beautiful also. We also were able to get the large gas heater to work which warms up the living room just like a fireplace.
It feels like we're getting a little more settled now. We have plans on Wednesday to take a tour of Cuenca with Dixie and Juan. And then next week, Juan will assist us with more errands to be run. It's nice having so much help in getting the essentials taken care of.
I'm still studying my Spanish through my book which I love: "Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish". I'm about half way through and can pick out certain words in conversation. Mike has been terrific in conducting business in Spanish. We went to the Super Maxi store to get a discount card. The customer service lady didn't speak English and Mike was able to converse well enough in Spanish that she could fill out the papework for us. I don't know if I'll ever be that conversant in Spanish, but that is my goal. Also what is helping me a lot is the Rosetta Stone course that my sister gave me as a bon voyage gift. I've just started it, but I'm learning a lot.
I'm also feeling better. My cold is almost gone and I'm sure having the apartment warm instead of cold is helping. We're going to see a doctor next week and get established as new patients, again with Juan's assistance.
Well, that's it for now.