What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.
We were young and had alot of energy and dreams that we feel we could not enjoy in the states. After working so hard for many years we barely had enough for a two car garage in Sante Fe, but that money saved over a 9 year period bought us a piece of land and coupled with a 7 year bank loan here in Ecuador, we built our dream at the time. To have a little hotel and restaurant, different in the respect that it had hot water and private baths and all the amenities that did not exist at the time to cater to US and European Tourists.
How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
I would have to say that up until about 6 or 7 years ago, everything was according to expectations.....But the anty was upped here because of the dollarization and the high prices, and the extreme laws, etc. Before, Ecuador was a 'little lawless banana republic' and you could pretty much do as you wanted, and we did. After running our business for 20 years, we sold the property a year and a half ago. We still live in the area, we have bonded here with the 'natives' (the indigenous) and we have 44 Indigenous godchildren and we are very well respected in the little community in which we have lived for almost 30 years now. This is the kind of 'small-town' respect that only existed in the USA in the 50s...where everyone knows you, and there is mutual respect among all.
How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
We have had to suffer through robberies...which we found out were common here. There are many, many cultural anomalies that lay right below the surface here. Culturally, in the eyes of Ecuadorians, it is 'alright' to rob and take advantage of someone who is 'richer' than you are. It is a childlike stance...we were not used to it. We were not used to the abuse and the downright corruptness of the place. About 25 years ago we purchased an oven. When we took it home it did not work. We promptly took it back to the store and the owner at the time said, "that is your problem." We would not leave and finally, finally, we got some satisfaction. You never boast here. You never count your money in front of people here nor let them know what you have. They are astute as to how to get what you have, unfortunately this is not always the case, but in the majority of cases it is.