Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moving Day

Rachel and I have been anticipating our move to the Imbabura for some time.  Like every other special 'event' in Ecuador living, it is an adventure.  You see there is no Mayflower,  North American Van Lines, or other such corporate 'cookie cutter' household mover here.  It's all about doing the best you can with what you've got.  We hired Transportantes Espinoza who specializes in moves between Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Quito.  I don't think they have much competition.  It's not like the yellow pages are full of movers.  When people move here it's usually across town. They call their uncle Pedro who has a pickup and start loading.  That kind of a move from Cuenca to Otavalo just isn't practical!

Our friend Noshy got us in touch with Juan who owns and manages Transportantes Espinoza.  He's a friendly, warm man who exudes confidence in what he's doing.  We reserved our judgement on whether to recommend them until our move was complete.  To be honest, there were some huge misunderstandings.  For example, we were assured that we would have a 20' truck.  When the 15' truck showed up my heart sank.  I knew it would not be big enough!  It wasn't.

We did however have a contract.  The contract said they would pack our things and move us from Edificio Palermo in Cuenca to Calle Pedro Perez in Otavalo for $1583.  They did.  Nothing was broken.  There were plenty of things that could have broken.  They packed things like the professionals they are.  I've never seen furniture packed so meticulously.  First they wrapped each individual piece in a styrofoam material and then again with heavy cardboard and then tightly shrink wrapped.  Our only concerns were that boxes and items that were clearly marked with up arrows would remain in that position.  Apparently that was just a suggestion.  In the end that 15' truck did not have breathing space for an Ecuadorian mouse when they were done loading.  The really bad news was that the refrigerator, the bicycles, and a few odd ball boxes didn't get on board! 

With the refrigerator and bicycles on the sidewalk and the truck packed to the gills like a Thanksgiving diner's stomach, I was concerned that the overflow would be strapped to the top of the truck.  I had visions of the Beverly Hillbillies racing through my mind.  Much to my relief another van showed up and whisked away our precious LG side by side and our Mongoose bicicletas.  A deal was a deal.  We paid no extra for the second truck.  That was Juan's mistake, not ours.

Rachel and I claim thrift as a virtue and necessity in an early retirement without social security.  We could have taken the one hour flight from Cuenca to Quito and might have been waiting for our household in Otavalo many hours before the arrival.  That's not the way we do things.  Instead we rode in the truck with Fernando.  It was wonderful.  We've ridden on the bus from Cuenca to Quito before (see earlier post) and it can be tiring and a real stress on a 60 year old male bladder.  (Rachel claims a nurses's bladder that can go 24 hours without relief).   Tires blow and the bus is typically crushed to overcapacity in certain stretches of the trip.  This was different.  We knew there would be no additional passengers.  We could actually stop for nature's banos.  We could look out the expansive windshield and see stretches of the Pan Am Highway in a way that we'd never seen it before.  It was beautiful!

Our 12 hour odyssey through the Andes in the moving van was wonderful but we were pretty spent by the time we arrived in Otavalo.   When I say spent,  I mean we were a bit frayed.  We just left beautiful Cuenca and the safe and convenient confines of Palermo some five hundred mountainous kilometers behind and we had no idea about our new digs.  We had never seen it before.  We only knew we would be in a house in a compound with two other houses in Otavalo.  We figured we could live most anywhere for 8 months while our house was completed.  Let's just say we were a bit disappointed.

There are certain adjustments that have to be made when you are in a purgatory move.  A purgatory  move is when you have all your stuff with you while you're waiting for what you think will be heaven.  We're hoping that our heaven will be in Yanapamba.  Purgatory may strengthen our character and help us appreciate what we've had in Cuenca and what we hope to have in our next move to Cotacachi.   We're used to being able to use our own washer and dryer.  We are used to having robust internet in our house.  We are used to hot showers as long as we want.  Privacy was never an issue in Palermo. Having a Super Maxi minutes away from home was wonderful.  Anything you wanted was a hop, skip and a bicicleta ride away.  Welcome to the other Ecuador.  Thank you God for this growth opportunity.


No comments: