Making Progress

It amazes me just how much “stuff” we have accumulated in the four years we have been in Florida. I really thought I had purged all of the junk and non-essential items when we moved from Northern Michigan to Florida. Obviously, I must have missed something! I know that I never found that “safe place” I had put things when we moved, so no telling where those items disappeared.

Today we wired the funds to start the visa process and for the move to Cuenca, Ecuador. To do something like this at our age is both scary and exciting all at the same time. Feel like a kid right before Christmas wondering what will be in the packages that I open.

The visa that we are going for is called Visa-via-Cable, this means that when our Visa’s are ready, we can drive to Miami, Florida to pick them up from the Ecuadorian Embassy there and that when we are ready to leave for Ecuador, we will not have to purchase a return ticket, which you have to do for other Visas. The process will take approximately four months, barring any problems with obtaining and processing documents. We will need to obtain Certified re-issued copies of our birth certificates from the Secretary of State where we were born, letters from Social Security certifying our retirement income, FBI Criminal background checks and Police background checks for the State of Florida. These also must be certified. Once we have those in hand, then we need to send them off to be apostatized and then hand delivered to the Ecuadorian Embassy, once we have been given the green light that what we have has been correctly issued.

I have started packing those items we don’t use every day or won’t need to use anytime soon. All containers packed for shipping in the container, must be done in a certain way and they must be inventoried and all boxes numbered in sequence. All items that are considered “loose” items, must also be sequentially numbered and listed in detail on the inventory. To make it easier, I am listing the loose items at the end of the list of packed items. To give an idea of how the list looks, I’ve created a list below. As they say a picture paints a thousand words.

Box #         Description                                          #Items                      Status


1-K              China                                                        32                                 Used

2-FR            DVDs                                                      132                                  Used


3-BR            King size bed mattress                       1                                     Used

4-BR            King size headboard/footboard       2                                     Used

When listing items on the list, I have to be very detailed on some items, but things like china, eat utensils, and such, all they need is how many pieces. The “used” status is to show that it is being shipped from my home as opposed to buying there in Ecuador. I could ship an items still in its original box, such as a dishwasher, but it would still be classified as used. While some things I will give a general description and the number of items, others I will be very detailed on for my own piece of mind.

Once we have everything packed, I make a phone call and order the container it will be transported in and when that is delivered, we will have four hours to get it totally loaded and sealed with a numbered seal. The container is then picked up and transported to the cargo port here in Florida for shipment. It will take approximately three weeks for our goods to make their travel to Ecuador. We will have to be there when they arrive in Ecuador.  At no time is the seal broken during transit, and if it has to be broken, they must notify the company we are using to explain why before the seal can be broken. When our goods arrive, we have to arrive at the port in Ecuador to accompany the port and custom agents as they open the container and make sure that what is on the inventory that I’ve provided and what is in the container is one and the same.

There will be certain items that we will not be able to bring with us, our car, any gasoline powered tools, spray paints or gas containers. We can bring our gas grill, but will have to get the propane in Ecuador and have an adapter put on our grill so we can use their propane tanks.  Once all is inspected and deemed to be acceptable, the container is re-closed and put on a truck for delivery to our new home in Cuenca.

Wishing all the best life has to offer and thank you for following me as I prepare for Ecuador. Until next time,

Hasta pronto,

Terri at the Drake’s Nest

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