Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cribbage in the Wind - Part 2

March 27, 2016

This week is “Semana Santa” and we’re entering into the end-zone of season finale during “high time” along the Ecuador beaches.
It’s been sort of a weird season this year; slower than usual. The potential “El Niño Phenomenon” that scared many otherwise out-of-country tourists has yet to have any considerable effect around the Olón area.
That is not to say its impact hasn’t been felt elsewhere in the world.
The Canadians’ currency situation diminished the usual number of visitors from there, and all the main-stream media stories about the “Zika” and other mosquito borne illnesses has frightened others.

However, many friends have been sick here recently with a virus (and in some cases, an underlying bacterial thing).  These folks have been horribly and miserably sick for about 10-days to two-weeks (high fever, headaches, aching, bronchial and sinus issues - and some report vomiting and diarrhea). 
It does not appear to be caused by mosquitoes…rather a flu going around the world, since we’re hearing from people in other countries that have it too.

The Olón beach packed with
Easter crowds.
Yet life goes on here in Olón.
Same wonderful town as always.
I love that the local people here live in the present.
They have taught me so much about being in the “now”.
The Olón beach is packed at the moment for Easter weekend with in-land Ecuadorian tourists.
Business is booming, and in Olón, our other big town party of the year is coming up next (first week or so in April).

One of the great things about living here is all the interesting people we get to meet -- from all over the world.
Olón has made many improvements to the town over the last year. 

Our new wide sidewalk along the Ruta.

New and improved soccer field
and sports complex

Bathrooms soon to be available in our
town park.

On the gringo front, a number of expats are now here permanently. 
Cyndy Wergin and her husband Roger Thomte have been a wonderful addition to our expat community.
They have organized volleyball games and also recently started a Cribbage tournament, which many of us are enjoying.

The current Cribbage Tournament is being held on Tuesdays, 1PM at the restaurant "360" atop Rincón de Olón.

Great snacks and fun during the
Tuesday Cribbage Matches.

A couple of weeks ago, Annette (and Dee) managed to put together a fun, last-minute surprise birthday party for Deb Anderson (tricky to pull off, since it was held at Deb and Cy’s place, for some pool time).
A “girls’” day with lots of laughs, good food and companionship.

Sneaking in to surprise Deb.

"Help!  Help!
I can't get up"

And then, I guess last but not least…the cat is out of the bag.
I sold my lot in Olón a few weeks ago, and am making plans to return to the States.
This is not a last minute decision, but one I have been gearing up to do for some time.
I am so grateful for the time I have had on this adventure here, but after six years, I am ready to come home.
I miss my family – probably the biggest factor that lures expats back.

It was not an easy decision, but the right one for me.  And I never thought that Ecuador would be my final “landing spot” anyway.  I figured 5-7 years here, and I’ve lived in Olón six (out of eight years).

But as the time moves closer to my departure, coming to terms with leaving this place I love so much, and saying “good-bye” to the wonderful friends I have made (locals and expats)…I find myself alternately veering from excitement to melancholy.
And scared. I don’t kid myself that the transition back to the States is going to be difficult, and probably more of a culture shock than the adjustments made when I moved here.

One of the first posts I ever wrote on this blog was called “Cribbage in the Wind” about the preparation of moving to Ecuador.  It was tough!
But I'm finding it tougher to leave here than I expected.

I will still be sharing some journal notes and posts here, as I make this transition. 


  1. Oh Leigh... this is a big transition for you and understand the fear, but you have always been one to look forward to the possibilities of the unknown. I remember having a "last dinner" with you (Lean Cuisines as I recall) at your Dad's house the night before you headed your car to NV. I was in awe of your calm and excitement. I think I was more afraid than you were. I'm glad you'll continue the posts as you transition. I always love reading your posts. XO

    1. Oh, Laurie!
      I remember that night.
      Was so much easier to do at 21-yrs....
      I'm scared spitless time around.

  2. Well that does not make me happy AT ALL. But it's not about me (but just this once), so I am happy for YOU.. I am hoping you switch up your blog to a Repatriating one and keep us in the loop. And, are you taking Daisy with you?

    1. Thanks, Karen.
      You and Randy are some of my oldest friends here. We've known each other a long time (and arrived in Ecuador right around the same time you guys did).
      It's hard, hard, hard saying goodbye (for now).
      And Daisy is too old and frail to take back to the States. She would hate it anyway - she's too used to running free on the beach.
      Some lovely friends of mine - Annette and Dan -- have graciously agreed to take her.
      She loves them, and they love her - and right now, Annette and I are working on re-homing her to their place.
      I'm going to miss you guys, and happy for you all that Ecuador has fit you all like a glove.

  3. When do you fly back to the states? Do you know where you are going? I'm dying over here, let's try to skype soon, ok? LOVE YOU!

    1. Hi Scooter!
      I sent you a PM on FB.
      I can't Skype - my speakers are shot.
      I miss you guys so much, and hate it that we are all so far apart.
      I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you back!

  4. Hi Leigh
    Ive been checking out your blog, its got some great info on olon!
    Myself and my girlfriend are visiting olon in a few weeks and plan to stay for a month or more.
    I hope you dont mind me asking, is it easy to find an apartment to rent? were trying to be as economical as possible and most places online seem to be quite pricey.
    Thanks for all the info on your blog!

    Best, Jamie.

    1. Hi Jamie!
      Sent you a private email.
      Thanks for including your email address so I was able to answer your question on a less public forum than here.
      Sure you all are going to enjoy your time here.
      Thanks for your kind comments about this blog.

  5. HelloI am in KC wondered if I could speak with u as I want to move to Ec. Thanks

    1. Hi Savannah!
      I replied to another comment of yours on another post.
      I'm not sure if people that comment get notification when I reply.
      I would like to speak with you, but you will need to provide here in the comment section your email address, if you are okay with that.
      (I do not give out my personal email address here on this blog for privacy and security reasons).
      Also, I think if you start reading this blog from the beginning posts -- starting back in October 2010, many of your questions might be answered.
      (See the right hand side bar that shows all posts, read from bottom up -- clicking on the first month at bottom).
      I'm from Kansas City too, so I'm wishing you the best of luck on your Ecuador dreams.
      It is a beautiful country, wonderful people, tranquil lifestyle.
      Wishing you the best!