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May 09 Journal

Please read the disclaimers


It is Saturday morning on the 5th April. Tui is laying on her back her legs in the air her tummy up towards the sun her head is to the left and her eyes lightly closed. She looks the picture of relaxation. We could learn a lot from our animals.

On 10th of Aprill we went to Peru

Let’s talk noise Well it is now Friday the 17th April. It is elections here in E. Election day is the 26th April. Political campaigning is rather different here. The biggest difference is it is LOUD. To start with people drive around in their cars which are decorated in the party colors they support. They have a load speaker tied onto the roof of the car and they blast out political statements from it. Now whether they do this freely or are paid to do it I don’t know. The loudness has been upped a level or two! There is a stage set up in town and at night (like right now while I type this) people stand on this stage with a fairly decent PA system and tell you why you should vote for them. Basically you can hear it from miles away. This was last night too whether it will go on every night till election I don’t know. But it does go till about 11 pm ish.!

So between Carnival, the disco on Saturday night, elections, the dogs barking at night the roaster crowing in the morning and the donkeys going off you learn to sleep with noise. I remember reading before we left that there was no noise control in E and that noise pollution was a problem now I know firsthand what they are talking about.


Tui Update It’s the 20th April and today we bumped into Tui’s first owners. We had just finished having our dinner outside at a local restaurant and talking with a nice man from Loja who spoke English (and Spanish). When Emily started screaming I jumped up. There were these two women and a boy walking off with Tui.

I called Tui back and put her lead on her. Our new Loja friend stepped in to translate for me. The woman said Tui was their dog and she wanted to take her home. I said no. I said I couldn’t let her go to a place that was going to hurt her. I said that this dog had been scavenging for food on the streets for months that they did not feed her or give her water. That when I got her off the street she was vomiting blood and had blood in her poos. They did not give her medical treatment. I said all of this very emotionally as I was angry.

Then she said if I didn’t give her back her husband would be very angry and come and have a go at me. So I said really load as I hate been threatened ‘bring it on’! I told her I have spent money on this dog bringing her back to health. Repairing the poor health that they had let her get into due to their lack of care of her. She now owed me this money.

Anyway after a 15 minute confrontation she went off to ‘talk to her husband’. I didn’t see her again this evening. I talked with a very good close local V friend of ours about what happened. He has advised me to give the dog back otherwise they will set bad rumours about us around town that we took their dog and it’s a small town. He explained that this is the way dogs are treated here and being here I need to accept this as part of the life here.

But I cannot put this dog back into an environment where I know she is going to be tortured for been given no food or water or medical, tied up all day is nothing short of torturing and animal.

So I see I have 4 options (in no order of importance or preferred option);

One is to work with the first family and help them care for Tui and ensure she has a good life. And if they don’t look after her then complain to the police about her being mistreated and take her back. In which case I’ll get a bad roamer about me anyway.

Two keep her and let the roamers go around. It’s one dog and sooner or later they will die off. I can live with this. If I’m the person that took someone’s dog let it be. At least the dog is well loved and cared for and her well being is what is the matter her not my reputation.

3 give Tui to a good home far away from V. In which case I’ll get a bad roamer about me anyway.

4 put her down. At least that way she doesn’t suffer in these people’s hands. In which case I’ll get a bad roamer about me anyway.

I would save all the street dogs and missed treated animals if I could but I can’t. However, I can save one.


Thursday 25th April

Girl’s night out Last night (Wednesday) I went out on my first girl’s night out in Ecuador. I went out for a drink and a bit to eat with my friend Catalina. Pierre looked after Emily. We went to Timothy’s Bar. We had a couple of cocktails each. Very nice cocktails beautifully prepared. We had a hamburger to eat. I must say this was like the old fashioned hamburgers I used to eat as a kid. Real burgers with homemade meat patties, fresh lettuce, tomato and onion on a fresh bun. It was a really good night out.

Today I am sad as Catalina has left Vilcabamba. She and her family are spending a few weeks in Cuenca to visit her parents there then they are moving to Galapagos Islands to live and work at teachers. I could think of a lot of worst places to work and live . Emily and I are going to visit them in Cuenca. We leave on Thursday. We will stay 5 days.

We will be definitely visiting them in Galapagos. Galapagos is one of the most wonderful places of the world to visit. They are basically living in a protected nature reserve.


Tui update I have been talking with people from FADA an animal rescue organization in Ecuador. They have offered their help if we have anymore problems. We had decided to keep Tui. But Thursday, day I was talking with Daniel outside the Restaurant La Rock. I had Emily with me and Tui. We had just got out of the car so Tui was not on the lead. Suddenly she took off tail wagging across the road to a two story pink colored house. She just ignored my calls. I realized this was her first owner house. They immediately put her on a chain.

So she made her own decision to go back. My friends helped me talked to the owners. I offered to buy her off them but they wanted way too much. They had dollar signs ringing in their eyes. She, Tui went back of her own free will, quite happily, I decided to leave it. Emily was very distraught. I said to her if Tui comes to us we will feed her and look after her but is she wants to go back to her first owners I won’t stop her. I explained to her we live in a very small town and the only way to stop Tui going back if she wants to is keep her chained or locked up and always on a lead when we go out. This makes us no better than her first owners as they keep her chained up.

Nina We headed back home on foot via the main square. When we bumped into Natalie who had some documents on laws here in E protecting animals. We got talking and I asked her to talk with the lady who has the boxer puppies for sale in town. So she did. And then we got in a cab and went to have a look at them together. Natalie has a website Vilcabamba TV. http://www.vilcabambatv.com/about_us.htm View the clip on boxer puppies to see Emily and me (and the one on April fool’s day (1st) to see me ‘in the starring role as ‘the fool’). If I had known I was going to be on Internet TV I’d have dressed up .

We didn’t take Nina home with us on Thursday as we had arranged to stay over at a house we were looking at renting to see what it was like and didn’t want to take a sick puppy with us. So I arrange to pick her up Friday morning.



Sleep Over Our ‘sleep over’ proved to be a valuable exercise. We decided not to take the house. We had been looking at moving house and running a small B & B. But at night the house we were looking add did not have good ascetics. The roof was unlined (no ceiling) and it didn’;t look good at night under electric lights. I want to get the mature ‘gringo’ market or ones that are coming here to look at buying property. So the look of the place is important. It can be simple not flash but it must be clean and look good. There were other factors that lead us to the decision to not take this house.

Nina We walked back to our comfy rental at 6 am on and empty stomach and no coffee. After breakfast I went with Emily to pick up Nina. She wolfed down my concoction I made. Made up of a stew of mince, peas, carrots and sea salt combined with a cup of cooked brown rice and cooked chicken liver. Add some milk formula for dogs and some local powder called Mescha (very good for hormonal development) and mush it all up together. When it is cold I add some ground linseed.

My second batch I have added some ginger and garlic too. Fancy some for dinner anyone??


Early in the evening Nina had diarrhea. I suspect the change in diet and the fact she ate way to much given the size of her where factors to the diarrhea.

We were in the village sitting at the Internet Café we hand out at talking to various people after having good pizza when who should come rolling in tail wagging from ear to ear? No other but the one and only Tui. So I guess either she got off or they let her off. I’ll never know. So she is back with us now. She hasn’t taken too kindly to Nina and gives her a growl if she gets to close. Nina will get the message soon enough. For how long Tui will stay I don’t know? For a long as she wants. At least if she visits us I can feed her and worm her and make sure she is healthy. So she’s a two home dog.



Nina Nina is sitting on my knees curled up asleep as I type this. She is about 1/2 the size she should be for her age (2 months old). I have a lot of work ahead of me to bring her back into shape.

Didn’t get much sleep last night. It’s like having a sick baby in the house. She had diarrhea during the night. I made a little blocked of area for her and a bed to sleep in. She cried a bit then went to sleep. I made plans to wake up a few times during the night so I could give her water with a syringe as she wasn’t drinking. She cried again at 1am which was good as it woke me up and I was able to give her some water. Then again at 3 so I was able to give her more water and again at 6 am at which point we got up!

She is eating again this afternoon. A bit of the concoction I made up. She also loves bread and butter. Plus some of the food she has been used to eating the last two weeks. I have restricted the size of her portions so hopefully her digestion will improve. I need to give her time for her stomach and intestines to gear up. She’s now drinking of her own accord too.

Martha (the breeder) went into Loja yesterday and she bought back some supplies from the vet, the same as she is using. One is a mineral, vitamin probiotic powder you add to the dogs water and the other is a calcium and magnesium supplement. She is pretty playful given her lack of size.

Nina and my trip to Quinca (Emily and me leave Thursday this week for 5 days) are my birthday presents. I’ve arranged for her to stay with the breeder while I am away. Martha is a lovely lady on a learning curve about breeding. She is taking excellent care of the puppies now she has them back home. She made the mistake of taking them off the mother to soon (at 1 month of age). She gave them to a shop to sell in Loja. The shop did not feed or look after the puppies. Martha bought them back home two weeks ago and is working with a vet (giving them vitamins etc) to try and save them. They have had their first vaccinations and been wormed.


My Birthday We had a drink and nibbles at home last night before going to Timothy’s bar for a burger. I really have taken a liking to Timothy’s bar. I also had a Pina Colada again. Honestly they make the best cocktails in the world in V as they use real fresh squeezed juice from fruit that was picked just hours ago. Most restaurants have outside dinning here where you can sit with your dog as long as the animal is on good behavior. So that’s my burger and cocktail allowanced used up for the month .

Nina was heaps better last night. She cried for a few minutes when I put her in her bed to go to sleep. Then I didn’t hear a sound out of her till 6 am! Pretty good for only her second night away from the litter. Maybe the fact that I have sacrificed one of my old jumpers as a blanket for her may have helped. It’s an old polar fleece so it’s nice and warm and has my smell. She snuggled up on it and fell asleep.


Monday 27th April

Election update Elections are over. Yes!! There are no loud speakers blasting out political campaign propaganda. Peace and tranquility have returned to Vilcabamba. E has the same President and Loja the same Mayor.


Fridge update You may remember we had a very noisy, leaky fridge. The landlord replaced it with a condom fridge, which by the way is a very good fridge. I’d buy one for our house.

Anyway the landlord is preparing a 3rd apartment for rent on the property. The work has been going on since we got here on a part-time basis. The apartment is nearly ready and they have been fitting it out. It’s very tastefully done with nice wooden furniture, nice tiles, a new bathroom and bed. Imagine our surprise to see our old fridge sitting on the front lawn on our way out that other day. Imagine our surprise to see our old fridge being put into the ‘new’ apartment!

Let’s hope it has been to the repair shop and no longer runs like an old Peruvian car and leaks like a sieve. It still has the knee binding tape we used to fix the broken rack on the door in place. 

Are there is never the perfect landlord.  I actually like our landlord a lot. He is a very very nice person.


Horses and Oxen I was walking with Emily back into town after picking up the laundry the other day. When just ahead of us to big two storey high wooden gates flung open and out poured 8 beautiful horses with no riders or saddles on them all different colors. They were in excellent condition. We both stopped in our tracks, what a beautiful sight. At the back of the group was one person on the last horse. The horses knew were to go and headed off in a group at a gentle trot.

Then just yesterday as I was heading home after dropping Emily at school up ahead of me was another group of stunning horses trotting down the road in town with one person on a horse behind them. It is so much more enjoyable, pleasant and enthralling to be pasted by a small herd of horse on the street then a procession of cars.

Then today (Wednesday) just as we got to school we saw two big Oxen with the wood ‘harness’ across their shoulders walking along the road with their owner walking beside them. Bugger they are big animals. They were in very good condition too. Again, I stopped and stared at such a beautiful sight; so much more in harmony with life and nature then cars. One presumes they were off to plough a meadow.


Other stuff in general A while back Pierre was talking with Jacqueline (a friend here) about showers and plumping and hot water. She asked, “why do you need hot water in your shower and kitchen?”

Pierre replied, “so you don’t have a cold shower and have hot water to wash the dishes.”

Jacqueline, “But it’s warm here you don’t need hot water in the shower. And you boil water on the over if you need hot water for the dishes.”

Pierre inquired further about this statement.

Turns out the local people here in V only have cold water in the shower. They all take cold water showers or wash in the river (which is freezing). They wash their dishes most of the time with cold water too. Jacqueline was taken back that we want hot water in our shower and Pierre was taken back that they only have cold water showers.

The people in V are strong people!


Friday night (15 May).

Emily, the puppy and me have been to Cuenca and back. We have been home for a week and now it’s the first opportunity for me to write. Well not really, I should be in bed as I’m stuffed but I’ve got to write as I’m weeks behind now.

We have been FLAT OUT BUSY since we got back. Christ, Vilcabamba is a busy village at times. As I type this I can hear the music coming up from the village. It appears there is some religious celebration this weekend so a stage has been set up in town. Fortunately tonight the music is local music in Spanish with guitar backing. No base or modern stuff so it’s loud, but not unpleasant. Nina the puppy is asleep on my knee which doesn’t aid my typing as I have to sit further back from the laptop to allow room for her. She’s growing!!



Conferences There were two conferences here one over the weekend and one during the week (plus a third one starting this week). The following is an extract from Mike Adams E news letter and a link to the natural health conference that was during the week.


The first Vilcabamba conference on natural health and longevity has just finished, and it was an amazing time of "group juicing," making mani paste chocolate pudding, learning health-enhancing isometric exercises and exploring the beauty and vitality of medicine from Mother Nature. We'll have video clips posted on NaturalNews soon.


Here's my summary of the events, which were attended by 25 people at my ranch in the Valley of Longevity:



The conference last weekend was hosted by Brian O’leary http://www.naturalnews.com/026002.html


I won’t go into the detail of the conferences as I’d take up to much room in this journal and it’s all covered on Mike’s website.


These conferences do a lot for the village. They bring a lot of people in who stay in the accommodation places and spend money in the village. So my hat goes off to Brian and Mike. They contribute a lot to the economy of Vilcabamba – excellent work!



Up the mountain Emily and I and the dog got back on Thursday night last week. Friday was full on, Emily went to school and Pierre and I went up the mountain with some people who are interested in the land.


We took both dogs with us. This was the first time either dog had been on the land. They loved it there! We got a taxi up to the top house, had a look around at the top of the mountain and then walked down. Tui and Nina just ran around in the long grass and between the horses legs and were just full on all the way down the mountain. Needless to say Nina crashed on my knee in the taxi on the way back!


Yes, we have a horse up the mountain now. It is our friend Rome’s horse. He ran out of grazing for him so we offered the use of our land. The horse’s name Alasane (not spelt right probably). He is brown all over and very placed and not to tall. We would like to buy him one day money permitting. In the meantime he has heaps of grazing and it is wonderful to see him when we are on the land.


We got down in time to pick the kids (these people are staying in V for a month and their kids go to the same school as Emily) up from school and then spent the afternoon in town networking and catching up with friends.


Pierre went to the opening night of Brian’s conference at 6. I came home with Emily exhausted and had an early night. We had spent 3 hours up the mountain and walked down.


Pierre and I split Brian’s conference over the weekend between us. Pierre went on Friday night and Saturday and I went on Sunday. Sunday was topics I am interested in – reincarnation and hypnotism and Friday/Saturday was topics Pierre was interested in.


Saturday was unpacking day and laundry and sorting out everything from Cuenca and going into the village for supplies day for me and Emily. I got into the village around lunchtime and left late afternoon. No one had seen me for a week so there was a lot to catch up on with a lot of people.



The conference runs all day so I was at Brian’s from 9.30 to 6 pm on Sunday.


I took the dog with me on Sunday and she was a great hit with the crowd. I must say I’m getting a name for myself with my dogs in town as I go everywhere with my dogs and my daughter. Pierre and Emily joined us for lunch and we meet a lot of very interesting people.


Sunday night we had dinner with Keung and Caroline and their kids. Emily had a big wooden chess piece fall on her big toe and she was very upset for some time and her toe was turning black in a part. We were thinking of going to the Hospital for an x-ray. She was inconsolable and really crying. Then this little girl Emily’s age came along and her dad (Howard). He said she was a healer and could she just sit with Emily. And we said sure. 10 minutes later Emily just got up and ran off with no regard to her sore bruised toe and she hasn’t thought about it since. Just amazing. Howard and his family are staying in V for a few months and his daughter, Ambrosia, and Emily are becoming good friends and play with each other in the afternoons in the park in town.


Nina Update

Nina is growing. Emily and her have developed a wonderful bond. Here are 3 photos showing Nina going deeper and deeper into sleep while on Emily’s knee at La Roca Restaurant. She becomes so relaxed that her head falls back. Both girls are very happy!



Playing together.











Up the mountain. Monday and Pierre was up the mountain with 10 people from the conference showing the land. They left at 10 am and returned at 7.30 pm!! They walked all the way up and down, what a day. I used the time Emily was a school to catch up on my unfinished unpacking and the house. I then did the usual and went and picked Emily up from school at 12.30 then got side tracked by all the new people in town. There were so many people to talk to and listen to and meet. Pierre and the group got in at 7.30 and we finally headed home at 9pm.


As anyone who is in their own business and has something to sell over half the work if not more is sales. So you have to meet with people and socialize and be available. We are in real estate here in E and it’s a 24/7 job jus tike anywhere else.



Health Conference. ‘Tuesday and Pierre attended the first day of Mike Adams health conference. It spent the morning making a large batch of home cooked dog food and the afternoon in town doing networking again.


Emily at School

On Monday mornings the kids have to line up and sing the National anthem and other ‘nationalist’ songs. They have to repeat what the teacher says. All this is blasted out over a PA one foot in front of the kids. At a volume that no doubt damages their ears drums. Emily and us hate Monday mornings so we are generally ‘late’ on a Monday J On the Monday the photos were taken we were early due to meetings we had that morning.





Tui Update. You may remember that Tui was on heat a while back well now she is very very pregnant. She hardly moves most days. Mind you today (Sunday 17 May) she did manage to find some energy to come into town with us. She didn’t last long and took herself home and was the first one home. I am estimating she will pop out the puppies within the next 7 days. So we are going to have a rather large amount of dogs!



Loja Wednesday and I opted not to go to the Mike ‘Adams second day of the health conference as we just had too much on in Loja. Sven was back in E for a week to finalize his title, so today was the day to do this. We were in Loja by 10 am. We went to the lawyer at 11 and started the paper work. Then it was time to squeeze in a trip to the organic health shop in Loja to try and get some soap not full of perfume and chemicals, which I got. It is very hard to get some basic natural products here that I took for granted in NZ, like soap and toothpaste. Then we squeezed in a bit of lunch a Frog n Grill, a fast food joint that you get some nicely grilled meat and chips and rice and salad from. No it’s not grilled frog. Don’t know why it has this name.


Then it was off to the optometrist to get some new specs for me. The lenses’ on my current everyday pair are very scratched and it is effecting my vision. The optometrist checked my vision and it hasn’t changed. I picked out some nice new frames which are a nice torques blue metal frame and they will be ready around the 22 Mayo. Then I’ll use my old purple frames to have a new set of my reading and close up work lenses put it. I somehow managed to lose this pair of glasses on the plane coming over. I put them in the front pouch in front of my seat when I went to sleep and when I woke up they were no longer there.


In only took me 45 minutes to get new frames and do both prescriptions again. I had to read the eye chart in Spanish as the optometrist only speaks Spanish. I didn’t do too bad even if I say so myself. It’s the fasted yet for me to pick new frames and have both my prescriptions checked.


Then it was back to the lawyers to continue the paperwork with Sevn. We were finally finished at 6 pm! Pierre headed off home on the motorbike while Sevn, Emily, Nina and I went to SuperMaxi for supplies. Yes Nina was with us in Loja. We then shared a taxi back to V and got in around 8.30. As per normal another full on, nonstop, long day in Loja.


We are not the only ones to suffer from this full on Loja phenomenon everyone I talk too encounters the same thing. Every time they go to Loja it is just full on.



Up the mountain again Thursday afternoon was spent showing the bottom part of the property to Chris and Rose and Zach. We had Emily and Nina with us as well. This was the first time for me visiting the bottom plantation. There are banana trees for as far as you can see and they have a lot of banana’s growing on them. There are coffee trees and Papaya trees with the biggest Papaya’s I’ve ever seen! We bought 3 big bastards home and are patiently watching and waiting for them to turn yellow\orange so we can try them. I also managed to harvest 4 ears off the last of the sweet corn and we bought a load of banana’s back too. The veges have gone to seed and the plantation is in need of some TLC.


I managed to get stung by an Ecuadorian wasp on my right thumb. Boy did that have me dancing around! Zak has some very effect Chinese oil for insect bites which took the edge of it. My thumb was pretty swollen on Friday and Saturday. 4 days later and it’s still hurting a bit but the swelling has gone down. I’ve broken out in a rash on my thumb and my right wrist. It’s going away – slowly. Chris got stung too but he didn’t hardly react. So wasps and me don’t get along either in Ecuador. J


We got back into V around 5 and went to the Hidden Garden together for a well earned nice Mexican dinner. We had a wonderful conversation over dinner with Chris and Rose. They are very lovely people. I do hope they decide to move to V as I would like to continue our interesting conversations.



Up the Mountain again!!! Friday afternoon was spent up the mountain again showing the top half of it to Chris and Rose. We went up after school so Emily could go to school in the morning. We didn’t take Tui as she had opted to stay at home, so just had Nina. We did not make it to the top this time as we could not get a 4x4 taxi so only made it a 3rd of the way up. I got to see some new areas of the land I hadn’t seen yet and we found the horse too and gave him some love and attention.


Howard Friday afternoon as we got out of the taxi from the mountain we bumped into Howard and Hillary and the kids. I showed Howard my swollen thumb and he offered to do some remote healing on it there and then. So we sat down on a bench in the park together. Nina was on the bag we use for shopping fast asleep at my feet.


So here we are the two of us me with my eyes closed and in a state of relaxation in the centre of Vilcabamba on a busy Friday afternoon. People were walking by us and I’m sure they were wondering what we were doing. Kid’s stopped to talk about the dog and we had to quietly ask them to leave. Anyway after ½ hour we stopped. I felt a lot of muscle movement around my head and sensations around my head. My ears had sensations in them too and towards the end my body temperature increased a degree or two. When we spoke Howard said he wasn’t able to work much on my thumb as he was drawn to my head and had I had any injuries to my head in the last year. At which point I told him about my accident



Healing and Work Pierre did several hours of work on the PC in the morning. I had a second healing session with Howard. It was nothing short of brilliant. He said he was called on to work on my head again. I can’t justify in words what the healing session was like. I can only really say I am convinced that Howard can heal people and so can his daughter. Thank you Howard!



Ambrosia came with her dad and played with Emily and Pierre baby sat. The girls get along really really well. After my session Howard offered to work on Pierre for half an hour. It is really good that Howard and Hilary and the kids are staying on in V for a month. I hope they decide to stay of longer.




Over the course of this last week we have met four awesome new families with wonderful kids. 3 families home school their kids. They are all looking at moving to V!


We meet up with the family from South Africa. They have a daughter Emily’s age too and they play together really well and are becoming close friends. Emily’s circle of friends has doubled in one week Unfortunately 2 of her 3 new friends leave at the end of this week. I’ve put it out to the stuff that they come back here to live in V. I must say sorry to this wonderful family as I just can’t remember their names. I’ve just met too many new people this week that my brain is named out.


The SA family is really lovely and they invited Emily back to their house to play for a while. She had a ball.









The Schanauzer We did more top secret stuff today (Monday 18th May) then went and had a lovely lunch at La Roca restaurant in town with Keung, Caroline and their son Thomas. The owners of the restaurant have a schnauzer dog (female). She’s grey and has this cool hair cut. She has the same hair cut as the schnauzer in this picture just she is completely grey. Where the hair has been cut it is like touching silk. La Roca has a lovely covered outside dining area which is a good place to sit if you have dogs with you.


The schnauzer and Nina played and played and played they chased each other around and around.



Which was good from Tui’s perspective as she was able to sit down and rest. Normally every time she sits down Nina is bouncing around her, bouncing on her and wanting to play. When you are heavily pregnant you don’t want to play! However, Tui is very patient with Nina and never shows any aggression towards her. If Nina gets too carried away or Tui’s gets feed up she gives her a firm low growl and Nina backs off.


The schnauzer is three years old and still very much a puppy. She had way more stamina then Nina and could really handle corners. She ran circles around Nina.


After lunch Pierre had a business meeting at Sambuca and Emily, Nina, Tui and me got some supplies then joined Pierre and the group he was with. We met another lovely couple who have just arrived in V from America with their 2 year old son and are moving here too!! I’ve never experienced so many people moving to one small area of the world it is quite a phenonemum. We had a very interesting conversation with them and with Darren and other friends who were sitting at the table.


Also got to catch up again with the SA family and Emily was invited to go with them to a dinner party so she is out again tonight and won’t be home till 9 pm. It’s 8 pm and I could go to bed now but I have to wait till Emily comes in.



Centipedes Let’s talk about centipedes. Okay, I remember a story my mum told me when I was little about a night she climbed into bed exhausted and started to fall asleep when she felt this thing crawling up her leg and it bit her! Letting out a scream she jumped out of bed and flung the bedclothes back and there on the bottom sheet was a centipede. For me the upshot of this story is that I have had a dislike for centipedes. Now I don’t recall ever encountering that many centipedes in my life until now. Tonight alone I have collected two off the floor (using a folded piece of loo paper) and put them in the toilet. All up I’ve collected about six out of the house since we have been here.


Emily thinks they are caterpillars and picks them up and puts them outside so they can get on with their lives. As for me I have a phobia of one ending up in my bed!



Spiders I wanted to take a moment to talk about spiders. Spiders, again another creature that I have a phobia with as I am sure many of you reading this have too. Now here in E there are many spiders and some of them are poisonous. There is for example the banana spider that lives banana trees. Now considering banana trees to Ecuador are like what sheep are to NZ (7 for every person living there) that means that there are a lot of poison spiders here in banana trees alone Considering I’ve got a small banana grove of 3 plants outside my front door I probably have one living right next to me. But that was not my point for writing this segment.


Then there was the time we visited Mike Adams ranch and followed up into the bush a bit to inspect the new path his workers were cutting. Because they had been cutting down the vegetation they had disturbed all the spiders! One had to keeping dogging and ducking to avoid walking into these spiders that were dangling down. I’ve never seen some many spiders dangling down in one area ever. Where they poisonous or not I don’t know and don’t want to know I just wanted to get out of that bush.


I can handle looking at a spider in my house and even having a few live in the corners. I can handle picking them up on paper and putting them outside. I won’t even kill them unless I have too. But to be walking through the bush with dangling spiders all around you and not knowing if they were dangerous or not was not a pleasant experience.


But that was not my point for writing this segment either I wanted to share with you a lovely stunning, breath taking, picture that Pierre took last week of a spider on our land.






Up the Mountain again!!! Its Tuesday night and Pierre went up the mountain again showing the land to another family (and then again on Wednesday with Keung and Caroline, Holy etc).


We then all meet for dinner and were joined by other friends at a local restaurant just out of town. One tends to go out for diner a lot here in V as it is show cheap compared to NZ. We had Emily and Nina with us. Ecuador is great for dogs. You can take your dog with you were ever you go. Nina was asleep on the floor in the restaurant. It helps to have a dog that doesn’t go pepe everywhere.



Up the Mountain again Pierre was up the mountain again with Keung, Caroline and Holy. I used the time in the morning to catch up with Leonor who I haven’t seen for weeks as I’ve been too distracted with all these ‘new’ people in town. Pierre got back in around midday and we all had lunch together. Emily was very tired tonight and very teary. She has had a full on few days playing with all these new friends and 3 late nights in a row plus school so we paid the price tonight with a tired pumpkin.


Today has some amazing highs and some flattening spirit killing lows. By 5 pm this afternoon we had agreed on a price for some land that Keung wanted to buy with a business partner and were all set to sign everything tomorrow. Then late this evening Keung phone to say the deal had fallen through because his business partner had just talked to him and he had a financial crisis. So we went to bed feeling very deflated. So we have learnt ‘it isn’t sold till the monies in the bank’ lesson yet again. L



Music Music again Okay some of you may remember how happy I was when the elections were finished and we had quiet at night. But how I was also wondering what the next event would be and how long our quiet would last. Well it lasted less than a month. Tonight, Wednesday is the second night in a row we have had music blasting out from the town. These last two nights the music has been very loud and went on till 1 am last night.


So what is it now? Well, it’s the quest for Miss Vilcabamba. So each district within Vilcabamba has a competition to pick their most beautiful girl then they go into the final where one will be crowned Miss V. So I figure we have at least 3 more nights to go and the final will be on Saturday night.


Then also this weekend is Ecuadorian Independence day. The day they got their independence from the Spanish. The official day is Sunday but the celebrations go all weekend. So things are set to get w5rse noise wise. The town will be packed to the max on the weekend, we are thinking of going away for a few days J


Then next week there is this big celebration every day of the week for Emily’s school as it is their anniversary. So they start with a big parade on Monday.


I’m becoming very keen and so’s Pierre to move to our land and have some quite nights!!!


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again when they told us there is no noise control in E they meant it.


My advice to people if you are coming here to live in E’ in any town, but from my own experience especially V, and you don’t like noise at night – BUY OUT OF TOWN.


P.S. on the music front we have had another week go by. This week every school and many hotels were putting a marching band together for last night’s celebrations. Sorry I haven’t worked out what this last lot of celebrations was actually for. So all week they have been practicing drumming, blowing the bugle and other instruments. Which wouldn’t have been too bad if they could actually play? And if they didn’t’ start their practice at 8.30pm EVERY NIGHT for two hours!!!


And when you think it is over because the parade was last night. Tonight, the Hostel next to us has ramped up their stereo so here we go again!




Cannon Fire And to add to the noise, if it wasn’t bad enough, they have discovered cannon fire. You are nearly asleep after spending an hour in deep relaxation or you have double ‘ear plugged’ your ears when BANG the house shakes and you are sitting up right in your bed. A cannon blast has gone off. There is no timing to them I guess they let it off as soon as they have reloaded it or something. I know it’s a cannon as they’ve been doing it during the day too for the last two days and you can see a big plume of smoke rising up after the blast. It’s nerve racking stuff!!!!


Now, V is predicated to grow in size so I’m telling you perspective buyers out there, again, buy out of town if you need peace and quiet.



Horse Riding






Emily enjoyed her first horse riding lesson here in E. She shared Lunar and Thomas’s lesson.










30th May – Tui Update


In the early hours of this morning Tui gave birth. I was awoken at just after 2 am by a high picked squalling sound. It was the first baby letting mum know it was there. It was a magic scène to witness. She completely gave in to the process of birthing allowing each wave of contractions to go through her body like a tide. She breathed deeply, rhythmically through each wave of contractions. Never once did she make a sound. Between babies coming out she rested and closed her eyes.


We have four healthily stocky strong babies. A couple were born breach so my little bit of work in this process was to give them a getting pull as they got their heads ‘stuck’ as they came out and turn them around so Tui cleaned the face first and promoted them to breath through her breath and licking. She ate all the birth sacks and clene dup most of the blood.


So now we are a 6 dog family. We are surprised by the amount of noise these little guys make constantly talking to mum. Mother and puppies are doing well.


As I type this Nina is trying to get comfortable on my knee so she can have a rest. But I think we have come to that point in our relationship where she has grown so much she’s now too big for my lap. Either her bum falls off or she’s gammed up against the arm rest of the chirr or her legs hang off.




To conclude this journal I’d like to add some more photos as they speak 1000 words.


Emily wearing traditional Me and Marco our lawyer discussing business
Cuenca dress while sharing a local treat


Our dear friend Virginia


Some photo’s of life here in V

Washing day for one of the locals Local traffic in V


Parking in V Drying the coffee


Our favorite fruit called Pitahaya. It’s the fruit from a cactus.

Also known as dragon fruit. Tina will remember me eating one

in Sydney. Now I eat two a day!