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Escape from America


Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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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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The Cold Finger of Christmas

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 18, 2000

One afternoon, when our youngest son was even younger, he came in from playing in the snow. He tugged off his snow armor, creating small snowdrifts on the floor as he did so. He kicked his boots into a corner and walk ..... 
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Its a BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, feeling

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 4, 2000

Every once in a blue moon my computer will react strongly to some illegal operation I have performed and give me an output that reads: BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD. Its a total unsettling feeling.

Unfortunat ..... 
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Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Monday, December 18, 2000

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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There were no Letters to the Editor on Monday, December 18, 2000


There were no Letters to the Editor on Monday, December 18, 2000


Dorothy Willmarth

Sun, Dec 17th, 2000
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Dorothy Willmarth, 85, a retired Spring Valley High School custodian, died Tuesday, November 28, 2000, in Maple Manor Nursing Home.

Dorothy Denny was born December 1, 1914, in Minneapolis. She married Hugh Willmarth in Spring Valley on Novem ..... 
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