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Friday, May 25, 2012

Visa, Censo, Cedula...OH MY!!!

Ok folks, this is a long one.  So, go grab a beer or get ready to set your hair in rollers.   It's kinda app pro poh given how long it has taken to get this whole Visa, Censo, Cedula process done!!!!

Once your tourist visa has expired, you either need to get it extended, or obtain a more permanent Visa.  There are several different kinds to choose from and the number assigned to each type is confusing as they seem to change.   That's one thing everyone has to get used to around here...things change, and change, and then change again on a whim, typically with no heads-up, or lead-in time, and you can never rely on any particular source of info (ie; a government website) to be current.  What IS current is what anyone happens to be doing RIGHT NOW and that can be different between one person and another, one office location and another.  SIGH.

Like I was saying, there are differnent Visa types you can apply for, such as an Investment Visa where you stick $25,000 in a bank where it must stay as long as your Visa is active, a Student Visa, a Business Visa, or a Pensioners Visa where you must prove you regularly receive $XX a month from a reliable source (ie; Social Security).   I chose the Investment Visa but a different form where the investment is in the purchase of a house.

March 11, 2011 (AD) the process started .   It was to take an average of 3 months.  <enter sound of background laughter>

My attorneys are a very nice, youngish couple with teenage kids.  He doesn't speak English, she does.  They have a small office in a bungalow where they work side-by-side in an open area furnished with a couch for clients.  No highrise luxury, no reception area, no appointment needed.  Immigration is their specialty.

Because my passport stamps were hard to read, I had to go to the Immigration Police office to get a printout of my exits and entries to the country.   Then, off to get 4 passport-sized photos of moi made.

They completed my application and composed a letter (to the EC gov't) stating why I wanted to move here (because USA is such a mess!!!).   Then, off to a Notary to get a Power of Attorney notarized.

End of May.  I had requested several status updates and the response was always 'in process' but now there was another glitch.   Recently, the Director had been removed from his position which put everything on hold and the log-jam began to build.  By this time, my Tourist Visa was no longer valid...expired.  Technically speaking, I was now in the country illegally.  I couldn't leave because I wouldn't be let back in.

Middle of July.    I requested yet another status update, knowing a new Director had been named.  My attorneys responded stating they believed it would come through within the following 15 days.

End of July.   I received notice that Quito (where the Visa requests are processed) was ready to process my application and I needed to relinquish my passport so my attorneys could send it to Quito along with the $350 application fee.  Normally, it takes about 1 week to turn it around and have my passport back in my hands with the new Visa stamped.

New Requirements.  Word was out the government was now requiring a criminal background report before obtaining a Visa.   Since I robbed several banks back in the USA....oh....wait a minute....they robbed ME (of my job)!!!  Never mind.  Luckily, because my application was already in process, the new requirement was not being applied to me.

A month later.   Yet another status update request.   Foreign Affairs in Quito needed a certificate, from the Property Registry in Cuenca, showing that my property is the basis for my Visa.

September.  Excerpts from my attorney's response to my inquiry:  The situation has affected everyone and it is provoked by the changes in authorities and internal politics in the Office of Foreign Affairs.  I cannot explain the actual internal problems, but they are dispatching residencies in a disorganized manner; for example, clients that have had file numbers #1203, #1420 and #1475 have their residencies and including their cedulas.  Your file number is #1124 and has not been dispatched normally.  I don’t know the reason the Director does not sign off on the order to send to the Property Registry in Cuenca.

Another inconvenience is now they are making new changes and implementing an internet system so that the visa process can be tracked through the internet.  This change began this week and at the moment the system is down.

End of October.   Sigh.  My attorney had an appointment with the Director of the Foreigner's Division in Quito and brought my case to his attention, challenging him to explain why things were in such disarray.  He also handed him another copy of the document they had been requesting, but had no record of receiving.

Middle of November.   The government system still indicates my file is waiting on the document that was provided TWICE....6 weeks beforehand AND physically handed to the Director after that.   Why wasn't my file updated at least showing receipt of the document, even though the file may not be processed for awhile longer???   GRRRRR

End of November.  I received a communication:  This is to inform you that the Cuenca Property Registry will be sending the Oficio and Certificate on Thursday afternoon to send to Foreign Affairs.   WHAT!!!???   This was requested 2 months ago and it is just NOW being sent???   GRRRRRRRRRR

Merry Christmas.   My passport arrived back in my attorney's office with the official Visa stamped in it.  I was legal in EC!!

2012....we're not done yet.  That was only the FIRST STEP of 3.  First, you get the Visa, then you must get a Censo (Ecuadorian ID required only of foreigners) within 30 days, then once you have the Censo you have 60 days (from the date of the Visa) to get your Cedula (ID card required of ALL Ecuadorians) .  THEN you're done.

January.   Right after the New Year holiday, we went to the Immigration Police office here in Cuenca to obtain my Censo.   'No can do'.   They were out of paper.  All the offices in Ecuador were out of the special paper the Censos are printed on.    However, they expected a supply by January 15.   I had a trip to the USA planned for that time, but my attorney ASSURED ME all I needed to travel outside EC was my passport with the current Visa stamp.  I did NOT need my Censo.   I won't repeat the whole saga here, but you can go back to January of this year in my blog archives and read the bloody mess that ensued when I tried to travel.  

In Limbo.   January 15 passed.  Then, they said February 15.  Yeahhhhh, riiiiight.   Suddenly, I got an urgent call from my attorney informing me the Immigration Police office found 20 pieces of paper!!!  I dropped everything, hopped in a taxi (because my car was still at Chevrolet racking up a $3,400 repair bill) and dashed to the IP offices where others were waiting in line outside the gate (it was lunch hour).  Word was out, because several others arrived immediately after me.  The officers must've been playing soccer on their lunch hour as they returned in soccer uniforms.  At 3pm, they issued small pieces of paper with numbers 1-20 on them.  I was #12.   I was finished being processed and had my Censo in hand at 5:37pm...they close at 6pm and two other couples were still after me.   To help them get processed quicker, I informed them of what questions were asked so they would be prepared ahead of time.  I heard later both couples got in under the wire.

BUT.  Remember me saying a few paragraphs back that I had 60 days to get my Cedula?  Well, the orders for my Cedula were created when my Visa was stamped at the end of December.  Because of the Censo paper snafu and the delays it caused, my orders for my Cedula were now EXPIRED!!!!   The orders had to be renewed.  GAWD....another bureaucratic delay.  You would THINK this would be a simple matter that would take only a few days, maybe a week.   hahhahaahhaha HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Oh, that hurt.

Middle of April.   I got an email from a friend who's been very baffled at why my VCC (Visa, Censo, Cedula) process has taken over a year and still counting.   He applied for his on December 5th and proudly announced to me on April 14th that he was DONE with the entire process.   Bitch.

End of April.   Finally, my attorneys received renewed orders for my Cedula...two months after the original expired.  I was now able to make arrangements to travel to Quito for the final step of this saga.

End of May. I decided to take advantage of the need to go to Quito by staying extra days there.   I missed going to Otavalo and Cotacachi the last time I was up there, so the plan was to drive so I would have my car while there the duration of 6 days. 

I wasn’t able to get the same apartment I had before, but did find a nice 1 bedroom colonial apartment near the heart of the La Ronda area.  The kitchen had a dishwasher (rare!), nice bathrooms, TV, a plush bed, plus the bonus was a jacuzzi on the rooftop with outstanding views.   $40 a night. 

I made the 450 km (270 miles) trip in 7 hours (a bus takes 10).  The trip was uneventful but this time I was able to enjoy a lot of nice topography I hadn’t seen before due to long stretches of rain, fog, mist, etc.  It was clear all the way.

The next morning, my attorney’s assistant picked me up in a taxi driven by her husband.  We went to the Civil Registry building, arriving about .  First thing was to get a number assigned to us.  She handed the lady behind the window a $5 bill.  Not sure if that was payola or not, but we received a number.  Looking at the overhead monitors, we were only 15 numbers away from being seen.  Odd, as I have heard many stories of people getting in line at to get a number and by there’s 75 people behind them.   There were a ton of people sitting, waiting for their number to come up to go to one of 30 windows.  All of them for Cedulas, but most were Ecuadorian and only a handful of foreigners like me.

When I went to window #23, a nice lady spoke pretty good English (self-taught she said).  I handed her my papers which she reviewed with puzzlement.  Uh oh.   A quick rattling of Spanish between her and the assistant and all was ok.  

Then, she announced that she needed to go look to see if my orders had arrived.  Uh oh.   She went to a back room and returned a few minutes later…they were there.  Whew.  

Then, she inspected all the papers over and over and over….futzing with various copies….gathering them together and clicking them on the desktop so they would be orderly.   With a pencil, she inspected every word, every letter….cross-checking the data with the data on my passport.  Everything HAD to match…not ONE typo or no Cedula!!!   I was holding my breath.   Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, check, check, check, tap, tap, tap…it all looked ok she announced.   Exhale. 

Now, to enter the data from the papers into the computer.  ARRGHH.    She confirmed with me my hometown (Port Angeles).   She informed me Port Angeles was not in their computer list to choose from.  I must be the first person from Port Angeles to request an Ecuadorian Cedula.  Well, DUHHH!!!   But, it would require someone to enter Port Angeles into a database so she could select it and I would have to wait while that is done….maybe 2 hours.  UGH.   Then, my assistant spoke up from the waiting area behind me…something about Port Angeles being a barrio (neighborhood), not a city.   I wasn’t ABOUT to challenge it…I just kept my trap shut.  The lady said she would need to ask her supervisor if it would be okay and left her window.  She came back…OK.    Another inch closer.  

She continued to enter information in the computer, verifying my mother and fathers’ names.   Then, she wanted my address in Cuenca.  Uh oh.   My street has no name and my house has no #...but, that is pretty common here in EC.   I gave her the two major cross streets.   Then, the power went out and the entire room was dark.  SH_T.  Was the data lost?   Will we have to come back later?  Then, SOME of the lights came back on and supervisors were telling all the staff to hurry up.   My person said ‘but I’m doing a foreigner’ which must take much more time.  They must’ve been on backup power.   After a few minutes, all was back on.  Whew.

What ‘area’ do I live in?   I responded but the area I said was not in her list.  So, she read off the choices in her list….I was the last one ‘Yanuncay’ named after the river a few blocks from me.   At the same time, the assistant chimed in from behind me ‘Sucre!!’.   Again, I kept my trap shut.  My area is not Sucre….Sucre is the area where my attorneys’ office is located.  Aye, aye, aye.  

Next, it was photo time.   Look into the camera and do NOT move!!   Flash.  I looked over to her and then FLASH!!!   Woops….I thought the first flash was it…apparently it’s the second one.   Do-over!!

On to finger-printing.   Right hand 4 fingers, then left hand 4 fingers, then thumb and thumb together.   She called out for a man to come inspect the results.  He came in with a walkie-talkie thing that had a flashlight built into the end of it.   He flashed the light onto the ends of my fingers and looked at the print results and announced a code to her.  My prints were valid.  Thank God they didn't figure out I had all my fingers transplanted from a hand model last year!!!!

After she finished everything, she turned her monitor to face me so I could verify everything she entered was correct.    This was critical as this would be the data that appears on my Cedula.

Ummm….my address is wrong.  She pointed to my electric bill where it stated 'Max Uhle'.  I informed her that was not my address…that was the address of the ELECTRIC COMPANY!!   I pointed out on my bill that my address doesn’t appear, it says ‘sin nombre’ (without name).  OI VEY!!!   She corrected it to what I had told her before.  

Ummmm….my dad’s name is spelt wrong.   It’s not Edwar…it’s Edward.   Ooops.

Ummmm….the name of the street nearest me is Primero, not Pirmero.   Oh my garsh (that's for you Brian) golly gee.

Ummmm…my dog’s name is Gracie, not Grassy.   GOTCHA readers!!!   That wasn’t one of the questions on the form.

Finally, everything was done.  She informed me my Cedula should be printed and ready for pickup the next day, Thursday, around ….IF there are no problems.  Apparently, the final output had to be reviewed one more time before handing it over to me.  IF there were any problems, she would call me.  I never heard from her, so I presumed all was aok. 

We left the building and the assistant made a call to my attorney in Cuenca to inform them we were done.   We made arrangements for the assistant to pick up my Cedula in lieu of me because she knew the process better than I.  Then she would send it down on a plane and I’m to go into my attorneys’ office to pick it up.

I’m going to publish this blog entry NOW, even though it is Friday and it will be Monday before I know I have THE real, live Cedula in my hot hands and I am done….FINITO….with the 1 year, 3 month long process.

Wish me luck!!!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trip - Playas (General Villamil)

After getting my car out of the repair shop (for the umpteenth time) I was itching to go for a long drive.  When my friends and I (me and my friends?) took the big circle-trip around Ecuador in March, we had intended to spend a night at the beach town of Playas on the way back to Cuenca.  But, we chose to forego it and headed directly home.  So, I have had Playas on my mind.

In Spanish, 'Playas' translates to 'beaches'.  However, there is a town commonly refered to as 'Playas' even though it's formal name is 'Playas General Villamil'.   So, if you aren't clear, you could be misunderstood as simply going to the beach versus going to the TOWN of Playas.  Comprende?

I pointed my car to the Cajas for yet another trip up to 13,000 feet and down the other side to Guayaquil (GYE).   I made it in 3 hours...a record.   Another hour and I was in Playas.  

The highway from GYE is a nice, wide, smooth, mostly flat, mostly straight, 4-lane that one can easily cruise at 120 kph.   I fully expected the road between the main highway and Playas to be crappy because Playas is such a small town.  But, I was surprised to find it, too, was a 4-lane separated by a wide median and I was able to zip into Playas in no time at all.

Playas is the get-away place for GYE'ers.  It's packed on weekends and holidays.   Knowing this, I made this trip on Sunday since most people would be leaving and returning home.  This also made it easier to get a hotel room on the fly.

Upon arriving in Playas, I was not impressed.  In Salinas, another popular beach town, you arrive to highrise condos lining the bay in what looks like a mini-Miami Beach.   I wrote blog entries on the Salinas area back in August if you want to look back in my blog archives.  Back to Playas.   The primary streets were paved, whereas most of the side streets were dirt.  Both were riddled with potholes, some enormous.  I asked myself 'what is the draw?'.  Like Salinas, the areas away from the beach are pretty dismal, but AT the beach things improve immensely.  

Playas has a nice wide arterial with lots of parking along the beach.  It was hot and humid, but the humidity was tolerable.  There were some arts/crafts vendors along the sidewalk, but not very many and not very interesting.   The beach is wide and long at Playas.   Between the street and the water, one traverses a long wooden walkway across a semi-sandy, semi-grassy area before hitting the sandy area of the beach itself.    Several large, round huts house casual restaurants.  Hawkers yell out their schpiel about their food at anyone who happens to walk by in an effort to entice them into their restaurant...a mini competition of sorts between rivals next door to one another.  Of course, there were the usual assortment of vendors pacing up and down the beach selling their wares to those plunked down in their beach chairs underneath rented umbrellas.

There are only a few high-rise structures at the extreme end of the beach.  Otherwise, the malecon is lined with low-rise buildings, mostly hostals (hotels) and several abandoned buildings and empty lots.  I spotted one 4-story hotel that looked tidy and clean...the Nathalie.   I stopped and inquired of availability and cost.   I took a 2nd floor room, on the beach side, double bed, private bath, AC, TV, balcony,and secure parking...for $20 a night (tax included).

In the evening, I walked to an outdoor restaurant and enjoyed a plate of camarones (shrimp) and a couple or three large beers.  Instead of seeing a lot of dogs, this place had a lot of kitty cats running around, but none would say 'hola' to me.

The next morning, I decided to not hang around.   The beach was very quiet as most people left town the night before.   I knew I would be bored out of my mind.  Playas is a one-thing town...the beach.   Outside of that, I could not see anything else worthy of doing.

On the road again!!  Back to GYE, through it, but stopping for lunch at the cleanest most modern McDonalds I've ever seen, then out the other side of the chaotic city and into the countryside.  This time, however, I chose to take a different route home to Cuenca.  I headed for Machala, a medium-sized city, then I would take the back way up to Cuenca.

The drive to Machala was interesting.  The highway, albeit mostly 2-lane, was flat and followed along the base of beautiful steep hills and through endless banana plantations.

Once I arrived in Machala I looked for signs to point me towards Cuenca.   I saw ONE.   But, I had to dive into the city, find my way through it, then come out the other side somewhere in order to get on the final road to Cuenca.   There was NO help in the form of signs to follow.  Downtown Machala was a mess of streets under construction and congested traffic.  I saw a really neat church I wanted to get close to and take a photo of, but it was a challenge to navigate through the tangled traffic to get there.  After about a half-hour of this, I finally asked for directions OUT of Machala to the road to Cuenca.  More pothole riddled streets and detours and I finally found what I was looking for.

The trip between GYE and Machala was new to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery along the way.   The route between Machala and Cuenca was NOT new to me, as Kathleen and I had travelled it last July when we were taking an alternate route back to Cuenca from Loja.   However, that time was totally in the dark and saw nothing.   Wow, she missed out on some tremendous scenery that I now got to see.

As opposed to the usual, and shorter, route from GYE to Cuenca where you have to climb, climb, climb to 13,000 feet then descend to 8,000 feet, the route between Machala and Cuenca circumvents all the dizzying winding and climbing elements.    The climb is so gradual you almost don't notice it.   The road follows beautiful river gorges and slices through quaint little towns.  Though prettier and easier to drive, the road is not in the greatest condition.   Lots of patched holes and plenty of holes waiting to be patched.   Lines would be nice, too.

Last time I travelled this route was with Kathleen and we experienced the adventure of a lifetime when we encountered a bizarre detour due to (unbeknownst to us beforehand) a large slide that wiped out the road the year before.  In pitch black, we were routed onto what could only be described as a one-lane logging road for several kilometers with us asking ourselves 'is this REALLY the way to Cuenca?'.   If you want, you can read all the exciting details by looking in my archive postings for last July and selecting 'Day Trip - Loja'.  THIS time a new bypass had been constructed....though I use the term 'new' loosely.   Yes, it was a different route, it was paved (sorta), but it is still not the permanent fix almost 2 years after the slide occured.

After I completed the bypass, I was back in familiar territory just an hour away from Cuenca.  But, uh-oh....FOG.   THICK FOG.    I had to poke along at 20 mph trying to keep up with the car in front of me so I could follow his movements.  If he went off a cliff, so would I.  This went on until I was 15 minutes outside of Cuenca where I was able to wing my way home.

A whopping day and a half trip consisting of 800 kilometers of driving, another adventure marked off the list.

Enjoy the photos.


Playas, malecon and restaurant huts.

Playas, looking to the left.

Playas, looking to the right.

Modified motorcycles act as taxis in Playas, versus the traditional cars.

Park in the center of Playas.

A teeny tiny chapel along the beach road in Playas.

A church on a hill overlooking the town of Progresso on the way into Playas.
(No, I didn't find any soup processing plant)

Gajillions of banana trees on the way to Machala.  Notice the clusters that are wrapped.

Beautiful symetrical canopy trees 50 - 75 feet wide.

Monument at a roundabout on the way to Machala.

Farmer with burros monument upon entering Machala.

Church in Machala.

On the way back to Cuenca from Machala.
Notice the road up ahead, just to the right of the cross.  Gives you an idea of the scale of the surrounding hills.  The rock outcrop on the right reminded me of a nose.

On the way back to Cuenca from Machala.

On the way back to Cuenca from Machala.
Notice the size of the yellow truck cross the bridge, in relation to the surroundings.

On the way back to Cuenca from Machala.

On the way back to Cuenca from Machala.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

To Kill a Hummin Bird

Cum uh listen to uh story bout a women named Nahna, a poh mountaineer barely kept her family fed.  Thin one day she was cookin up some food, nen burst from the oven came uh bubblin Cuy.   Guinea Pig that is….Cuenca tea.  Well, the first thang yer know ol Nahna’s uh freakin out!!  Kinfolk say Nahna, ya gotta git out har!!!    Said, Sur de America is the place yer oughta be, so she loaded up her truck (but it wasn’t a current model 2012 so she wasn’t allowed to import it) and she moved to Cuen kuh nee.   Eh Quee Door, that is.  No limousines.  No movie stars.

I met this lovely lil ol lady here in Cuenca. She’s the spitten image of ‘Granny’ of Beverly Hillbillies and she IS from Tennessee!!  Well, one day big-hearted Granny took in a young woman an her dahg ‘Bruttus ‘ uh-needin a home.    The young lady was also from the Sath…..North Carolina tuh be specific.  Things went well fer awhall but then Granny took to noticin some odd behavior of her roomie.   Now, we all know folks from the Sath tend to love their critters n-such and Granny wuz no ception….even though they sometimes ate their critters but only if they’d been previously smushed by a cahr….otherwise known as roadkill.  But, I dah gress. 

Ms Nahna….that’s her name…Nahna….has lotsa hummun birds in her yahd.  They flit about her yahd and chirp like they done did won the lottery.  But Ms Nahna’s roomie had a prahlem with all that thar ‘noise’ them hummin birds were-a-makkin (I think that’s one word, raht?).  Missy Nahna wazun happy with her roomies’ at tee tude to wards the hummun birds.  Well, to make a long story shert, there was a bit of a conflict tween Miss Nahna and her roomie after she discovered her dang roomie trahd to, well shall we say, tune the lahts out on them pretty lil hummin birds lahf.

Thiz is the stery Ms Nahna rote ‘bout her sperience.  I didn’t change one dang werd of it.

Mrianna came back to the same lovely garden at mating time every year.   It was not large, but had several tall old trees in which to build her nest and lots of flowers to give her nourishment. It had always been a comfortable safe place to raise her chicks.   Her mate, of course, left immediately after the mating ritual and left all the work to her, as was the way with hummingbirds.

The older lady who lived in the house spent a great deal of  time in the garden and Marianna felt secure and serene in her presence.  When Marianna made her mad dashes to the  brilliantly colored flowers she often heard " beautiful" or " amazing" almost whispered as the lady smiled and watched her flitting from plant to plant.   The lady  probably did not know that Marianna also scooped up a thousand or two insects and spiders during her short forays every day in order  to have protein for herself and to give to her chicks when they hatched.

Marianna sang her song of chirps happily and peacefully, and felt sure these chicks would live to carry on their family as had the others before them.

Then,  one day, a younger woman came to live at the house.  Marianna watched as this one  sat outside for long periods, too.....But this  one felt different somehow.   Though there were happy sounds coming from her at times, there was a sense of something dark and brooding as well.

Marianna always began her song of chirps at daybreak, as did all of her species.  Had the humans been familiar with bird language, they would have heard her say, " it is morning....I have rested through the night, and now must tell all that I have a nest in this tree, with tiny eggs that will hatch into beautiful hummingbirds.  Beware, they are yet young and I will protect them with my life if need be." Over  and over she chirped her song throughout the daylight hours, and was very tired by nightfall.

One morning early,  her song was interrupted by the banging of a long pole on her tree.   She paused her chirps  for a few minutes and wondered why the younger  human female would try to hurt the lovely old tree. Surely the tree had caused no harm.  She watched as the  woman  left the tree, moving her legs swiftly and slamming her feet hard onto the ground.   She felt a agitation and an  anger coming from the woman, and again paused her chirping song in sheer confusion, but began again, as it was the duty of female hummingbirds to send their message during the daylight hours.

Again on another morning, the tree was attacked brutally by the woman, this time with a long round hollow pole that caused a sound that frightened Marianna  and vibrated through the poor tree.  As before, she interrupted her song, and again she felt the anger, but this time it was accompanied by the words, " murder...kill...snap your neck.". She paused her chirping for a longer period this time, but her duty was clear and she resumed her song.

She became more careful in her feeding times and places, trying to avoid the younger human and the feeling that emanated from her.

For a few days, all was calm and comfortable  again as both the humans were away from the house for  a time, but when they returned, the angry words from the younger human woman were more vile than ever.  On one particularly  beautiful morning, as Marianna  chirped her song, a stone hit the tree...then another, but this one hit very close to her nest.   Fear gripped Marianna as she realized the harm was not meant for the tree, but  for HER!!  And her children!  Noooo!!  This cannot be!!   She had always been safe here...well, except for the time a cat  had come into the yard and thought he might have a small snack of Hummimgbird , but when Marianna had dived and taken a small, but painful chunk out of his ear,  he had run away never to be seen again.

But this....this was a human....bent on her death and the death of her children, all apparently because her chirps were annoying to the young woman. A great fear passed throughMarianna, but a great determination rose in her, as well.  She raised her voice and delivered her warning louder and faster, rising even earlier in the morning and chirping later after dark, although the energy she expended  was dangerous to her.

As time passed, the female human's  words became louder, more threatening and more frequent.   As Marianna sat on her nest one morning, a great stream of water came from the ground.  It flew from a long round tube with something on the end of it that propelled a strong stream  directly at her nest, and there was something in the water...slimy and sticky with white bubbles in it.   It stuck to the tree and the leaves, suffocating them, and made her feathers stick together for a while making flying impossible.   Fear surged through her!  Then a long stick with strings hanging from one end came flying into the tree. It stuck in the branches well above the top of the wall surrounding the property.   More terror!   If the woman would attack with weapons, what would she do next?

The following day passed without incident, but marianna could feel the tension building in both the humans.   It was like heavy black cloth blocking the light.  Something was coming.   The next day, near mid morning,  close to her tree, she heard soft but stern words," you need to leave my house...now.". The older woman had drawn a line, Marianna could tell.  There were a few other words after that, but the angry woman appeared in the yard after some time, possessions in tow.

Marianna flew to the bottlebrush tree in the front yard and watched as the angry female human  got into a car along with her belongings. She could feel the vile anger leaving and peace returning.  The older woman removed the long tube with the poison in it from beneath her tree and said soothing words as she looked up at Marianna.  In the world marianna and her ancestors had known, survival sometimes depended on simply staying out of harm's way.......building your nest above the reach of most predators and living one more day.

Early the next morning, Marianna flew again to the bottlebrush tree and looked down the street that had taken the younger woman away. On this day she chirped slower, but louder. Had the older lady been capable of understanding bird language, she would have heard Marianna  say into the wind, directed at the angry young woman who had tried to murder her.... "birds were here before humans.....we have survived  dangers you can not possibly imagine, and I am better at this game than you are, BITCH!".

Now, you’re prolly wunderin…..geez…now I’m talking like her!!!   You’re probably wondering why I published this story in my Ecuador blog….right?   It’s because there’s a moral to this story.

If little things bother you, git yer goat, or otherwise rattle yer nerves….then don’t come har!!!  South America, or at least Ecuador specifically, is not your answer the phone in 1.325 rings, or we open another teller window if more than 3 people are in line, or customer service is our #1 priority, or if you are the slightest bit inconvenienced you can sue the other person for at least 20 million dollars, or we cover our hair, eyebrows, lashes, arms, chin, and all parts of our body that MIGHT have a ¼ inch of hair on it if we are serving you hot dogs, or if you don’t have an I-Phone version 4.7392 or higher then I can’t interact with you, or ‘what?’ I can’t get a job unless I have an MBA even though I show the best, natural, aptitude, or ‘yes, I understand everything you are trying to say to me even though you don’t speak my native language, nor have you TRIED to speak my language, and you are a VISITOR here’.

Git a grip on yerself, take a dose-uh-reality pill and, maybe, just maybe, you might enjoy the simple way of life that exists here and yer blood pressure readin’s might jist make yer doctor dance a little doh-see-doh.

Thee End
Yes, that thar is the mop the roomie done did threw up into the tree in an effort to silence that dang hummin bird from all its racket!!!

About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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