A New Kind of Blog

There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Reading abroad

 Living in Ecuador is off the beaten track but fortunately it allows both of us to write, publish, and communicate with the world of authors and readers in a number of ways.
Over the last two years, this blog has enabled us to visit with readers from 111 countries more than 36,000 times.  For us, it has been a huge success because we have interacted with countless families throughout the world. Some, who have moved here, have become good friends. Others have had a steady discourse with us over long periods of time. But, coming up with new postings has become more difficult because many subjects of interest to possible expats have already been covered by our blog or by other blogs. We would appreciate your comments on subjects that you might be interested in. We will research them and give you our take on the problem or question.
            Meanwhile, we continue to write. Loretta is in the process of finishing a memoir called Jonny First which will be sent to her agent in New York by the end of July.
Loretta has also just published her first ebook novel on Amazon.com called, Soulmates, a Story of Love, Passion, and Obsession That Transcends Life. Bill too has published an Amazon.com ebook, a Caribbean adventure novel called Chinchorro Reef, Kidnapped at Sea.
Electronic books like these are the new publishing trend. Already Amazon.com sells more ebooks than conventional hardbacks and paperbacks. What is interesting for those of us who are expats is that an ebook can be downloaded to a PC in less than a minute and can then be transferred and read on your PC, Kindle, iphone, iPad, Blackberry, or Android device at your leisure. Often an ebook at Amazon costs between 0.99 cents per book all the way up to $10.00 which is considerably less than a print book. Some are even free. Sample chapters can be downloaded at no cost before you purchase a book.
The other great advantage for expats is that very few English title books are sold in Cuenca. Purchasing a print book from the US and having it shipped via USPS almost doubles the cost of the book and it takes weeks to get here instead of a minute with an ebook.
Reading an ebook on a hand held electronic reader like a Kindle is a change from the familiar and comfortable feeling of holding a bound paper book in your two hands but it is remarkable how quickly it begins to feel completely natural.  It appears to us that ebooks are the way to go for voracious readers located in places where English language books are not readably available.  Ebooks are a change in how we read but, when you think of it, the reason we read is for the content inside not the device we hold.  

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