Gary Phillips
A View from the Roof

UPDATE: June, 2012--It has been awhile now since I wrote the article below. A couple months ago, we moved out of our penthouse apartment into a nice rental house in a different part of town.

There has been a lot of water under the bridge in the past five+ years. Actually, this is the longest Linda and I have lived in one place for nearly 25 years. We have seen Cotacachi's expat community grow from a half a dozen when we arrived, to somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 now.

I sense changes in the air. Who know which way the wind is blowing?

Sitting here looking out the window of our 4th floor penthouse in Cotacachi, I’m contemplating my new life in Ecuador and the newsletter to which I contribute my thoughts in a dialogue called,  “A View From the Roof.”  

I’ve lived in many places but never one with a view like this!  My wife Linda and I live high above Calle Bolivar, one of the main streets in Cotacachi.  This very active and beautiful little community is tucked into a valley between two volcanoes---Cotacachi, which the natives call Mama, and Papa Imbabura.   

From our roof terraces and windows, we have incredible views of both volcanoes.  To our delight, much of the activity in this largely indigenous community takes place on the street below us. 

My task today was to write my bio for this website.  Linda was writing hers at the same time.  We laughed when we compared notes, because hers started out almost identical to mine.  The travel bug bit me, too, at a young age, and it came from my mother. 

Mom and I Took to the Road

Following my dad’s death when I was 9, my mother and I took to the road.  By age 14, I had been in every state west of the Mississippi.  My Minnesota farm boy eyes loved every minute of it.  Reptile Gardens in the Black Hills was astonishing, and Old Faithful, who would have ever believed that such a thing could exist! The roller coaster at Santa Monica Pier nearly scared me to death! 

I’ve never really stopped traveling or dreaming---dreaming of things that might be, of a better world, a better life for everyone, and of exploring the visions and mysteries of other cultures.  
As I travel the world, nearly 25 countries at last count, I never cease to be amazed at the incredible diversity of cultures and the richness that permeates my being as I open my mind and heart to experience what life in a foreign country has to offer. 

A Desire to Share Ideas and Opportunities

In the days ahead, I want to share with you ideas and perceptions about Ecuador as well as the many opportunities that come my way as I travel the country and rest and work from our perch above the fair city of Cotacachi.  

I have to give pause now, as I recognize the futility of trying to figure out how a man of 60+ years can write a short biography of 500 words. That’s less than 10 words per year.  Impossible!  

A Viking Ship Museum???

So I will give you a few words describing my life:  hunter, high school athlete (star, I might add), honor student, soldier, hippie,  journalist, historian, horseman, father of beautiful twin daughters, dreamer,promoter of a Viking ship museum, public speaker, graduate student of holographic theory. . . 

Traveling sales engineer, factory production manager for the Japanese multinational company Kyocera, seeker, monk and meditation teacher, world traveler, sugar beet truck driver, counselor, and now, resident of Ecuador and partner in Ecuador Development Group, Inc.  Whew!

I was once jailed for three days in North Platte, Nebraska, caught by Officer Trackwell for a youthful indiscretion, had all my belongings stolen on my first trip to Guatemala in 1974, witnessed a student revolt and wept tears of joy at the beauty of the most incredible sunset imaginable in Nelson, New Zealand.     

Ecuador is a Land Filled with Adventure

Now the adventures continue here in Ecuador.  All of us are excited about this website.  Linda and I have been talking about a website for 4 years.  Finally, with enough thought energy, it is now happening.  Mostly, I look forward to sharing our experiences with you, because frequently, we happen upon things of great value.  

I would love it if many of you take the ideas we share and use them to grab hold of the possibility of international living and investing.  On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with just having some vicarious travel adventures. . . and with our blessings!    

Whatever your desire, if you have read this far in our website, I am honored.  I encourage you to sign up for our newsletter and e-zine.   Linda and I are going to share in the writing duties.  

With our very different experiences of living in Ecuador, rest assured that you are going to read something that will touch your heart or be inspired by an idea that may fill your pocketbook. Me, I'm going to enjoying sharing with you, "A View from the Roof".

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