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Escape from America


Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
Posted in

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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Cast Iron Epidemic

Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
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Monday, January 29, 2001

I decided that it was time to change oil in both of our vehicles last Sunday. I drafted our sixteen-year-old son, Matt, to help. I thought it was a good opportunity for Matt to profit from some of my long experience an ..... 
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Chicken Run

Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2000

Its hard being brave when youre a chicken.
~from the movie Chicken Run

I am not much of a golfer. I rationalize my poor scores with the notion that I am involved in too many other activities to dev ..... 
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Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
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Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
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Monday, January 29, 2001

Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
Posted in

To the Editor,

I read John Torgrimsons article about the runaway chicken (January 22, 2001 Journal) with amusement, but the first recounting of this story one Saturday evening last fall was the best. John told us the story, complete wi ..... 
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Henry Ulring

Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
Posted in

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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