Thursday, April 26, 2012

US Embassy Visit

The US Embassy sent a couple of their folks up here to talk to us about all things Embassy related.  All the information is available on the state department website but it was nice to have people here who could answer specific questions.  I found out things like:
  • If, for some reason, I get stranded in Ecuador, they will lend me up to $2000 to get back to the states and to cover incidental costs in the meantime.  They hang on to my passport until the money is paid back--it still sounds like a good deal--far better than being stuck in a foreign country.
  • They can help with absentee voting.
  • They will provide mailing services to get documents to places like Social Security and such.  Apparently that's an important service.
  • If you get locked up in prison, the guy from the Embassy will visit once or twice a month (now that's comforting).
  • If we have to be evacuated, it's up to the pilot of the evacuation plane whether or not a pet is allowed to leave as well.  He suggested finding a local who could take the pet for a short period of time in case that were to happen.
See?  Lot's of informative and useful information.

After that I went to Serendipity for lunch.  It's one of two restaurants where you can generally count on English-speaking customers.  I figured there would be more than usual right after the meeting and I was right.  The soup of the day was cream of tomato and it was fabulous.

Sitting at the table right next to me were a couple from Wisconsin and their tour guide from Quito.  We struck up a conversation (surprise) and it turns out the guide brings small groups of people up here to show them around and she asked me if I would be willing to tell her group why I love Cotacachi.  Of course I would!  I love telling people about all the fabulous things here.

I also discovered a shared ride service that goes from Quito to Otavalo for around $15 and then the bus from Otavalo is just 25 cents.  That sounds a lot better than the car services.  I have her email address and I'll be getting more information from her about that.  It's great to have an alternative to either the bus or a very expensive car service.

It doesn't take much to make me happy, does it?

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