Hard to believe that we have now been here three weeks. Time sure flies when you are having fun. While there are a lot of challenges to living here when you don’t speak the language, we are discovering that the more you try, the more the locals will help you. I am able to understand a little of what is being said and finding that I understand more of what I read. Now if I can just find that balance where I can understand what is being said and able to respond. But like anything worth having, it is worth working hard to obtain it.
Our Visas should be approved any time now and we are anxiously awaiting the word to take our passports in to be stamped. One of the things we were concerned about was that our apostilized documents would expire before the Visas were approved. That does not happen. As soon as you apply for your Visa and you are in Country, your documentation time countdown stops. That in and of itself is a big relief and took a big weight off our shoulders.
Once you have your Visa in hand, you can order your belongings to be shipped to you. This you must do as soon as you possibly can as you only have the first six months you are here to have them come into country duty-free. After that, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to have them shipped at all. Unfortunately, a lady who attends our church has discovered this fact the hard way. She has been here for over six years and decided that she wanted to ship her goods here that she had placed in storage. She figured that she would just have to pay customs and a duty fee. She was very wrong and is now upset that she can’t finally get her belongings here.
This is why it is extremely important that you pay attention to the requirements for not only obtaining the necessary documentation to live in the country of your choice, but also the requirements for having your belongings shipped to you.
When we first decided we wanted to live in Ecuador, we were told that yes, we could ship our belongings here without a Visa, but we would be required to place a $9,000 bond and there was no guarantee that the bond would be refunded in a timely manner once the Visa was approved. So we decided to place our things in storage until such time as approval is granted. It will only take 2-3 weeks to ship once we send proof of Visa approval to our moving/shipping company.
The same holds true if you decide to return to your home country. There is no guarantee that you will be able to return your belongings to your home country without being charged a fee by both your home country and the country you are leaving. There is also the possibility that you will not be allowed to return your belongings to your home country at all. Much depends on the rules and regulations that are in effect at that particular time.
We decided when we moved here that once our belongings are here, if we should decided to move elsewhere, then we would just sell everything we have and start anew. After all, it is just stuff and that which we wanted family to have, we already delivered it to them well before we left.
The next thing our on agenda is to prepare and Ecuadorian Will. This spells out exactly what we want done not only with our bodies, but with our belongings as well. Unlike in the U.S.A. where you can have a Living Will that says what you wish done or not done, it is not valid here in Ecuador. You must have a legal and binding document written here in this country. U.S. legal documents are only binding in the U.S. Now if we happen to be in the U.S. and something happens, any documents drawn up in the U.S. are binding while those drawn up in Ecuador are not. Since we currently have no plans to own any property in Ecuador, we only need to spell out what it done with our personal effects and ourselves.
Our son already has been designated on our U.S. bank accounts as having the right to access it and distribute the assets between himself and his sister. Anything we may have in an Ecuadorian account we plan on having it distributed to either a local charity or our church to distribute to those who are in need in our community.
This week, we will be attending a talk on the history of Cuenca and how it has changed over the years, that will be on the 21st of July. On the 26th of July, we will be going to a local zoo where we will be feeding the animals behind the scenes, going to a falcon rescue and then to dinner. Will definitely be reporting on that.
Until next time my friends, enjoy life. Don’t forget to spend time with your family and friends as they are far more important than how much money you earn or how fast you advance up the ladder.
Terri at the Drake’s Nest