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Retirement in Ecuador
Friday, 23 May 2008
The Third Year
Mood:  happy
The Third Year 

The purpose of this Blog is to record our

experiences in retiring in Quito, Ecuador.



Perry was not planning to come back for

Christmas 2007 since he needed to work to

support his family, but he finally could not

stand being away from them so he arranged


with Jim to fly in and surprise the others for


Christmas taking a couple weeks leave without

pay.  Only Perry, Lorena, Perry Andrew and

doña Felicitas were with us for Christmas and

New Years.


The New Year brought sadness as doña

Felicitas, Lea’s mother, worsened and finally

passed away.  Rubyli was able to fly in from

Columbia, SC to see her during her last few

days as was her son Ruben, from Lima. His

daughter, Flor Angel also was present at the

end.  Doña Felicitas was almost 90 years of

age.  Her other son, Eleazar, had made

arrangements to arrive in March to celebrate

her birthday but she did not make it that long. 

Eleazar had purchased a non-refundable ticket

 so he arrived in March anyway for a week long

 visit with Lea and Ruben and they discussed

plans to take doña Felicitas’ ashes back to her

beloved hometown of Quivilla in Peru.



The weather during the early part of 2008 was

very rainy with much of the country’s lowlands

under water and crops ruined.  In the

mountains where we live at first there was no

problem but after much rain mudslides began

to flourish washing away roads and causing

much damage.   Perry had been processing the

 immigration papers for Lorena since the

middle of the prior year but there are so many

steps in the process now that we had to wait a

long time for final approval and paperwork.  It

finally came and we made plans to travel with

Lorena and Perry Andrew to the US about mid

-year but there were more delays getting final

instructions for medical exams and the final

visit to the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil so after

 nearly a year we were still waiting.



Meanwhile, our 30 year old son Jonathan

finally got married in Alexandria to Doralicia

Hidalgo of Panama who had been in the US on

 a work visa, so here goes another immigration

 action and wait. 



Jon is with U.S. Airways servicing jet aircraft at

 Ronald Reagan National Airport in

Washington.  At last all the family is getting

 settled down and all are out of school.



We are members of the Iglesia Biblica Luz del

 Valle (Valley Light Bible Church) that is very

near our home here.  The pastor and his wife

are Ecuadorians who lived many years in the

US but were called back to serve the Lord in

their home country after they retired.  The

church primarily serves the small village of

Lumbisi, near us.  It has only six rows of pews

 but they are always full.  Jim teaches Bible

classes on occasional Sundays.

 We are blessed with many flowers, fruits,

vegetables and animals and in spite of heavy

rains this year, have had a wonderful, peaceful

period of retirement and relaxation.  

Posted by Jim at 10:36 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 23 May 2008 10:50 AM EDT
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
The Second Year
Mood:  happy
Topic: Population Explosion

The purpose of this Blog is to record our

experiences in retiring in Quito, Ecuador. We are

at Longitude - 78.4333, Latitude - 0.2000, Altitude

 7,595 feet (2,314 meters). About 15 miles below

the Equator our temperature in the shade at this

altitude varies between 50 and 75 degrees

fahrenheight.  In the sun it can get to over 100

degrees in seconds and burn your skin in 15

 minutes if you are light complected.  The first

longitudinal line on the map below is the Equator. 

 Below it on the left side you can see Quito's

location. We actually live outside the town of

Cumbaya in the Tumbaco Valley, about 1,700 feet

 below Quito.


Population Explosion at Q3 

Well things began to get more crowded at Quinta

Quivilla in Quito (Q3), especially during the middle

and latter part of the year 2007. Earlier two

beautiful new Chihuahua pups were born to Cinchi

Roca and Coya (Cinchi Roca was the

 second Inca and Coya means the spouse

 of the Inca in

Quechua).  Lea named the pups

Chimu and Mochica for two pre-

Inca civilizations in Peru.   

Then we had a new litter of rabbits born to Chasqui

and Chasquina, our giant rabbits (Chasqui means

messenger of the Inca. That's him below, the big

white one. Beside him, inside the fence, the gray

 one is Chasquina. Watching from upper left is

Chimu and on the right one of our Persian cats,



Lea quickly gave seven of them away for

obvious reasons.

Meanwhile our chickens were rapidly

multiplying, especially Lea’s favorite Polish

chickens that are very small and

look like snow balls made of white

fur rather than feathers.  We are up to about 50

or so chickens now with more eggs than we can

eat (more chickens too!). A friend gave us two

 canaries and a few days later Lea found a lost

parakeet in a tree.  She quickly bought him a

mate so now we have continuous bird music all

day long. 


But, of course, the biggest news of all was the

birth of little Perry Andrew Wesberry to

our son Perry and his wife Lorena.  He was

born by the new

water birthing

method at our local

brand new Hospital

de los Valles (Hospital of the Valleys), one of

the most modern hospitals in Latin America.  It

is only about a mile or so from our home and

Perry never touched the ground with the car as

 he drove Lorena to the hospital. Water births,

 where the mother is immersed and the baby is

born under the warm water, originated in

Europe and are little known or used in the USA.


  This method is much less stressful to both

mother and child.  After the drive to the

hospital we all needed something less stressful.


After getting all the papers filed for the new

overseas born American, Perry had to go back

to Alexandria to work to support his small, but

growing family.  

Lorena and Perry Andrew will stay with us until

all the papers and Lorena’s immigration are

approved.  Perry, needless to say, is very lonely

on the USA.  We, needless to say, are very

happy to have our daughter-in-law and our new

grandson here with us for a while. 


Lorena was in her senior year of college and

hoped to postpone the birth until she finished

classes.  As fate would have it, Perry Andrew

arrived three weeks early on the Monday of her

 final exam week so she missed all her exams. 

 Now she is trying to make up what she missed

so as to graduate with her class very soon.  This

involves several trips to the university in

Ambato carrying the baby all the way.  We are

getting used to the drive that passes through

the beautiful mountains of the northern part of

 “Volcano Alley”.  The most impressive is

Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano

that lies about halfway between Quito and



Packed up the Alpacas 

The saddest thing that has happened to us was

 the departure of our two Alpacas, Illimani and

Huascaran (named for the two tallest

 mountains in Bolivia and Peru, respectively). 

 We simply did not have sufficient land on our

 less than an acre property to produce enough

 grass to feed them properly.  Lea was rushing

out every other

morning to buy alfalfa

 or corn shucks to

feed them and as the


dry season approached we concluded that

even so they were not going to be able to eat

properly.  Lea made a deal with our

 veterinarian (we are her best customers with

all our animals) to send them to her hacienda

much higher up in the Andes abot 50 miles from

us.  They will be much happier there with much

land to roam and grass to munch.  They are

wonderful pets and beautiful to watch as they

graze in the yard. Lea has already visited them

once to be sure they are OK. We miss them. 




Lea coaxed three of Jim's friends into

calling a purposeless meeting to get him

out of the house on the morning of

September 22, his 73rd birthday.  The

trick worked like a charm on the

unsuspecting victim and when they

dropped him off at home he entered to a

Mariachi group playing birthday music.  It

 was like being back in Mexico again.



Lea invited about 15 of Jim's closest

friends and the luncheon, in true

Ecuadorian fashion went on from 1:00PM

to 7:00PM (Of course, in the old days

when we were young such affairs lasted

 at least 24 hours). Our daughter-in-law,

 niece and three household servants

thought up the idea and chipped in for

the Mariachis.  Here they are with Lea in

the photo below.


See more photos from our AOL Public Gallery

Posted by Jim at 6:04 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 3:31 PM EDT
Friday, 3 August 2007
The First Year
Mood:  happy
Topic: Who, What, Where, Why

The purpose of this Blog is to record our

experiences in retiring in Quito, Ecuador.

We had lived and worked here during

1974-79 and loved it.  We dreamed of

returning and we came back again after

 a quarter century to work here in 2004

with plans to retire here where the work

 ended. To that end we bought our

retirement home on our return.   Jim's

Ecuador project

ended in June,

2006 and after

three months in the US we returned to

retire here arriving on September 16,

2006.  It was nice to retire to the already

 furnished home and have our two

female Chihuahuas we had originally

brought from Mexico happy to meet us.


  They were especially happy because we

brought along a male Chihuahua. This

posting will try to cover the experience of

 retirement here up to now.  Later we'll

continue to add postings. And we'll try to

keep them concise.


WHO - We are Jim and Lea Wesberry

 originally from Atlanta, Georgia and

Quivilla, Peru respectively.  We have

been married for 32 years and have

grown children scattered across the USA.

 Jim's father was a well known Baptist

Minister in Atlanta. Lea's family lived

high in the Andes in a remote agricultural

environment. Jim went to Peru with the

Alliance for Progress in 1967.

WHAT - We chose to retire in here for a

number of reasons...friendships from

years past, the world's most beautiful

country, a climate that is never very hot

or very cold and many other reasons.

WHERE - We are located about 15

miles below the Ecuator in a beautiful

valley about 1,700 feet below Ecuador's

historic capital city of Quito and have a

bit less than a acre of land in an area

 that was rural but is rapidly being built

up. Land here is measured in hectareas,

not acres. A fifth of an hectarea is a

"quinta" and this term is used for small

 rural homesteads.  Thus we named our

place "Quinta Quivilla"

WHY - We decided against retiring in the

US due to the high cost and the varied

weather conditions and against Peru due

to the history of violence caused most

recently by the Sendero Luminoso



Also Lea’s mother who is physically



incapacitated by osteoporosis lives with



us and is no longer in a condition to be




 The First Year They say that the first

year of retirement is the most difficult.

  We would agree. Getting used to not

working is as hard as getting used to

working. (Of course, Lea is not retired,

 she still works full time managing Quinta

Quivilla, comments on retirement are

really only Jim’s).

We found our place in great condition

when we returned after three months in

the US.  The flowers and plants were

beautiful and the animals were all in

good health.  Lea’s niece, Flor, had taken

 good care of her

grandmother and

her father, Ruben,

 had popped up

frequently from Lima to see her and



Jim fulfilled a prior commitment to be



keynote speaker at the second annual



Ecuadorian Encounter on Recovering



Values in October.  He had spoken at the



 first event the previous year.



He also spoke on values at the 44th



Anniversary of Ecuador’s national airline,



 TAME, in December. Other than these



and attending a few professional



sessions of auditors and accountants, it



was all rest and relaxation for Jim during



 the remainder of 2006 (but not for Lea



who remained very busy as usual).




The big event of the year 2006 was the



marriage of our youngest son, Perry, to



Lorena Castro of Quisapincha, Ecuador.



 Perry had visited us quite a few times


more than normal since we moved to



Quito and it turned out that he was more



interested in Lorena than us.  She is an



 English major and teaches English at



elementary schools.  She continued in



college and will graduate in late 2007.



 They fell in love and were married in a



traditional Ecuadorian civil ceremony at



our home.  The weather cooperated and



it was a beautiful and unforgettable



event with about 50 persons present,



 mostly Lorena’s family.  As a result our



family took a great leap in size.  Now



between Lea’s family in Peru (and the



US, twelve have emigrated legally so



far), Lea’s brother, his wife, Jacqueline’s



family and Lorena’s family here in



Ecuador we have more Latin American



 than US family members.



At Christmas, 2006, we had with us only



Perry, Rubyli and her husband, Joey, but



 Jonathan came for his brother’s big



wedding on a flash visit.



Things calmed down for the first part of



2007.  We got to know Lorena’s family



better and really like her grandparents



who are in their 80’s and own a small


farm near Quisapincha where Lorena



grew up.  Coincidentally Quisapincha is



 nearly at the same altitude as


Quivilla, Peru, where Lea grew



 up, almost 10,000 feet.  Both are very



tiny places but Quisapincha is on a high


plateau overlooking the larger city of


Ambato, Ecuador while Quivilla is deep


down in a valley in the Huanuco Province


 on the great Marañon River between


towering mountains.  The Marañon later



flows into the Amazon.



  At Quisapicha we especially enjoyed

 two occasions: the harvesting of

potatoes by hand on Lorena’s

grandfather’s (see photo)place and the

annual bull spectacular in the town. 


This latter was not a bull fight as is the


custom in the big cities, but just a big


celebration where local bulls were


brought into an arena and local young


folks tried to provoke them.  These


annual events are common in Ecuador


and Peru and feature one or more local


bands playing native music, colorful


dancers and usually some young


valiant gets hurt by the bulls.  Unlike bull


fights, the bulls themselves never get




During the potato


harvest a group of family



and friends gather and


after the ground has been loosened by


 hoeing, they form a line across the field


 squatting or kneeling and gradually


scratch out the fresh potatoes by drawing



their open fingers through the loose


earth.  It is quite an occasion with lots of


happy talk, joking and singing.  Lea


especially enjoyed it, as did her niece


Flor, as they do similar harvesting in


Peru, but slightly differently as to filtering


the soil manually.

Jim has spent much time this year

 catching up on his reading of non-

professionally related books including

biographies, histories, historical novels

and classics.  His exercise consists of

swimming at least an hour each day in

our solar heated pool.


In May Lea and Jim went to Panama

where Jim did some work for the USAID

Anti-Corruption project there including

three speeches and several press and TV


 We were surprised at the new

skyscrapers going up and the obvious

rapid development of Panama into the

Hong Kong of the Western Hemisphere. 

 Panama is now said to be the best

overseas retirement place for Americans. 


 We still prefer Ecuador.


Posted by Jim at 7:20 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 September 2007 9:16 AM EDT

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