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Escape from America


Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Monday, December 11, 2000

I guess Im a snowbird at heart because every year about this time, once the temperature dips below zero and looks like its going to stay there awhile, I start yearning to go south. Way south. All the way down to Ecuador.

Its been fourteen years since Ive lived there, but I still feel spiritually connected to the country and its people. I hungrily search the Internet for news of the latest presidential overthrow or volcanic eruption and even find myself still having an occasional dream in Spanish, though its becoming harder and harder to comprende the lingo.

Ecuador has gone through some rough times lately but a quick glance at its history indicates that this is nothing out of the ordinary. Social unrest, along with political and economic instability are the three basic everyday facts that Ecuadorians can count on. Its part of the charm of the place.

Since 1947, theyve gone through 22 presidents, including Abdal Bucaram known as El Loco (the Crazy One), whose personal hero was Adolph Hitler. Like most of his predecessors, Bucaram didnt last long and was kicked out of office in 1997 by the legislature for mental instability.

Politics and anarchy aside, I still think I could live there again, at least for a few months. Who wouldnt trade this deepest darkest Midwest winter for a verdant tropical paradise?

I recently came across a site on the Net called "Escape From America" and was surprised to find that Im not the only one thinking Ecuador would be a pleasant place to live. In fact, because of the incredible economic problems the country is experiencing; houses, property and daily staples such as cerveza and lobster dinners can be picked up at fantastic bargains by anybody with a bag full of almighty Yankee dollars.

A guy named Lawrence Williams of Sacramento, California wrote that he had recently returned from ten days in Ecuador. He and his wife were so impressed that they were selling their house and immediately moving there. "We are arranging for eight weeks of one-on-one classes in Spanish and are applying for residency," he wrote.

"In my mind, Ecuador is the new Land of Milk and Honey," Williams went on to say. "The opportunities are unbelievable. They far outweigh the risks. Anyone with a bit of adventure in his soul should move to Ecuador as soon as possible. It would take volumes to write about all of the possible business, tourist, and personal thin .....
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Pigs I have known

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Monday, February 26, 2001

I recently had the privilege of addressing the Fillmore County Pork Producers at their annual banquet. As a group they were very prompt, very polite, and I felt a little bad about keeping some of them up so late. Earl ..... 
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What island are you from?

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Monday, March 5, 2001

In the movie Cast Away, Tom Hanks, who plays a Type-A executive from Federal Express, finds himself alone on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific after surviving a horrific plane crash.

It takes a ..... 
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Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editor here

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, March 5, 2001

I enjoyed Nancy Overcotts interesting article about the little town of Spillville.

I remember in the 1920s when we stopped at the farm to see the Bily clocks. Showing the clocks were tw ..... 
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Henry Ulring

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Henry Ulring, 93, of Chatfield, retired manager of the Chatfield Creamery, died Tuesday, January 2, 2001, at Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield where he had resided since August 1998.

He was born March 14, 1907, in Webster, MN. On Sept. ..... 
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Mildred G. Pekkala

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Mildred G. Pekkala, 90, of Superior, formerly of Preston, died February 10, 2001, at Villa-Marina Health and Rehabilitation Center in Superior.

Mildred G. Prigge was born Sept. 6, 1910, in Preston to Henry and Helga (Knudtson) Prigge. A long ..... 
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Walter J. Ode

Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
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Walter J. Ode, 85, of Lanesboro, former co-owner of the Lanesboro Sales Commission, died of complications of a stroke February 26, 2001 at Gundersen-Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, where he had been a patient five days.

He was born March 14, ..... 
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