We made it! After 3 flights totaling 12 hours and an 8 hour drive from Quito to Cuenca, we’re here in Ecuador.
Tres mil gracias a mis ninos. Thanks to my kids for being such troopers and great travelers. An epic journey that not many 2 & 3 year olds could make without going crazy or at least driving their mother insane. Thanks also to their mother for not going insane — except when it was needed to get past American Airlines & TSA bureaucracy in Miami.
I will never fly American Airlines again. It’s a good thing their going under, but a bad thing that the government is going to bail them out. I’d rather not fly again at all, and we may just rip up our return tickets and sail back home — or at least back to Miami where our flight home to Seattle will be an Alaska Airlines codeshare.
Thanks to Alaska Airlines, by the way. I had a great 6 months there working on the mobile project and test automation for their web services & Quality Center integration. It was fun & challenging and the people were great to work with. I’m definitely going to be delving deeper into mobile development & testing solutions while here in Ecuador in part because my work there. I have an iPhone & Android that I’ll be tinkering with. I’m also looking for another client with QC that would like to integrate with their open source automation stack.
We had a lucky draw in getting a great driver to carry all our luggage (10 checked bags plus carry ons)with a minivan from the airport to our friend’s house in Quito at midnight. We liked Flavio so much we asked him to take us all the way from Quito to Cuenca, an 8 hour drive with amazing scenario, hairpin turns, lots of rain — and a few masked youth with ropes and chains and old tires trying to collect tolls. Way to run the gauntlet, Flavio — hope you made it to Banos for your next pickup in time. If you ever need a driver in Quito, let me know and I’ll pass on his info.
After 3 nights at a hostel, we’re hoping to sign papers today on a house for rent on Calle Larga — a primo location in Cuenca. I’ll be setting up my office downstairs and maybe giving programming classes or opening a Spanish call center or something, and maybe a small tienda selling milkshakes & salchipan (TM)! It’s in a safe neighborhood, close to our friends, and has a lot of tourist foot traffic. It’s also right across from Kelsey’s favorite restaurant, El Maiz.
I’m going to be looking for graphic designers & programmers here in Ecuador to work with, and maybe look at building a testing team for a larger consulting contract. Besides that, I’ll be working on my own development projects, doing some freelance web dev & QA work, and maybe a telecommute contract if the right opportunity comes up.
Kelsey will be helping OSSO and doing miscelleneous stuff for some other orphanages. We’ll probably play soccer with the boys at one orphanage once a week. Harmon loves it there already. You should have seen his smile when he asked to go play with the other boys. And since another place has swings and a sandbox, he’s going to love going there too. Glad we brought his Tonka dump truck & excavator.
We’re not settled yet, but it feels close. We have phones, verified our bank account is still active, and gotten acclimatized.