Monday, March 16, 2015

Putting it All Together

Lots of good news to share with our family and friends!  Old news first, then the new stuff. 

We - hopefully - are done visiting the Cuenca Ministario de Relaciones Exteriores office.  Saw them today with our legal assistant, Javier, and paid the final $8 to the Ministario office for. . . I still don't know for certain, but I'm guessing we are now in the computer based information system the Ministario office has up and running.  We have a couple of documents received from them today (per person) which we need to safeguard and bring with us to Quito when it comes time for us to travel there to finally obtain our Indefinite Visas and Cedulas, Pensioner's version. 

We will according to Javier visit folks in an associated law firm in Quito who work in association with our law firm here in Cuenca, Coloaustro.  They will be with us when we go to the Ministario office, and assist us in the obtaining of the sought after Visas and Cedulas.  The timetable for that is in the next two to four weeks according to Javier.  We will wait for Coloaustro to give us a call on when we need to travel north to Quito. . . and hang loose so to speak until then.  Looking good so far.  We know we will get our photos taken for the Visas/Cedulas then. . . hope the photos turn out better than what the Cuenca office did with our visages.  I for one don't want to look like a criminal getting a mug shot or something like that!  We will get our fingerprints taken for our Cedula cards too.  Good luck on that one folks. . . they can have 'em, but it's hard to read 'em!  You know we will be cooperative, of course. . . and thankful to God for getting us to this important milestone. 

We now have a dogsitter for our pet Chihuahua while we travel to Quito on business.  Courtesy of Pastor Fernando of Iglesia Verbo Cristiana who is bilingual, we have a connection to a lady veterinarian and her student veterinarian daughter who have agreed to do the dogsitting at their house - with the added benefit of a fenced in green lawn backyard, which the little guy hasn't had in freedom since we sold our house in Palmdale months ago.  I imagine he will be supremely delighted to run around a yard free for the first time in months - a real treat!  All for a very reasonable price which the dogsitter services at cannot match. . . not even close!  So we know we are getting the local's pricing on the deal, and not being Gringo gouged.  Thank you Lord, for folks like Chio and her daughter Carolina who are fair and willing to help us in our time of need.  Another definite answer to prayer.

On to new news: meanwhile, Carolyn Anne has started a beginner's Spanish class last Wednesday.  Hitting the basics, and with the help of an Internet site I found called Butterfly Spanish on Youtube, covering the Spanish alphabet and sounds with numbers the first week here at home.  The class is taught at Iglesia Verbo by Laura, a church member, and Carolyn Anne is the only student enrolled.  One on one instruction for $8.50 an hour!  Two hours a day, three days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) a week.  We can financially handle that for the time being. 

There is not a critical need for the class, but Carolyn Anne was set on getting formal instruction from someone other than - ahem - her loving husband.  Getting another perspective on learning Spanish for a time is fine for now.  In time she will realize that perfection - in this case perfect native Spanish fluency - is not a worthwhile goal for an expat.  What is worthwhile is joining local conversation groups that speak both languages for free - no charge except for the restaurant food/beverage costs.  There's several here in Cuenca she can participate in.  All in due time.

For my part, while we were getting Carolyn Anne enrolled at the Arco Language Institute offered at Iglesia Verbo Cristiana, I picked up an application to be an English as a Second Language teacher.  I don't have a Curriculum Vitae like so many other retired (or not) expats, but I do have my lifetime of experience teaching in the classroom, a good many years of them teaching some very difficult students in various K - 12 pubic school districts in my home state of California as well as Colorado for a short while.  They are not demanding I supply a professional C.V., but do want at minimum a resume.  That I can type up on my desktop computer, then send as an email attachment and get it printed on someone else's printer - don't have the printer working just yet still.  The pay is not huge at $10 an hour, but not out of line for what happens here in Latin America either.  Hours would be either six or eight hours a week, which would fit the US Social Security rules for what an expat receiving SSDI is allowed to make (45 hours of work a month).  An extra $200 to $300 a month income would be helpful, but not the reason why we came here to retire.  We came here to enlarge the Kingdom of God, and make the name of Jesus Christ famous!

Back to Carolyn Anne again: the very same person who has volunteered to care for our dog while we obtain our Indefinite Visas and Cedulas in Quito is also a volunteer coordinator for Iglesia Verbo's medical clinic located in El Centro here in Cuenca.  Connect, connect, connect. . . and, as I reminded my wife in Chio's presence, you don't have to speak a word of Spanish to volunteer at the clinic.  You just have to have a willing servant's heart!  So Carolyn Anne is going to add volunteering at the clinic to her schedule probably next week.  As with the Taylor University (Upland, Indiana) students already volunteering and ministering there at the medical clinic, there are people there who can translate for you on behalf of the patients and yourself.  It's not an obstacle from serving if you only speak English.  

We're getting where we hoped we would be, hopefully, by the Grace of God!  Please pray with us for Jesus to be made manifest in us, that the Cuencanos would see Him, not us. . . and therefore Glorify God for all He has given them through us as willing servants.  This is an exciting chapter in our lives.  We don't want to miss out on what God has in store for us!      

No comments:

Post a Comment