Dalynda and I finalized our apartment purchase with a trip to the Quito Municipal Office of Notary with our lawyer in April, 2008 - we had been awaiting this moment with much anticipation. We were now property owners in Ecuador! We immediately moved into our thousand square foot empty apartment with camping chairs, an air mattress, blankets and a styrofoam cooler; soon we had a large pasteboard box for a table.
Starting Out with a Blank (White) Slate
There Now - All Settled In. How do You Like It?
Well, the place was absolutely filthy - we cleaned and cleaned. Finally it was obvious the Eucalyptus floors in the bedrooms would have to be re-finished - which took about a week to get done and filled the apartment with dust again.
Appliances to the Fifth Floor - One to Carry, One to Yell
We needed a refrigerator and a stove right away. An appliance store down the street had a sale that included these with a television and DVD player - all for about $1,400 - delivered to our fifth floor apartment. The delivery guys brought the stuff to the entrance area of our building - they were about to leave. I told them "hang on - all of this goes up to the fifth floor"; apparently the store owner had neglected to explain that part. The stove and the refrigerator were too big for the small elevator. They went to their truck, grabbed a big piece of rope and threw it around one corner of the stove. They hoisted it onto the back of the stouter looking fellow and headed up the stairs; they did the same thing with the refrigerator - I could not believe it. It took both of them - one to carry and the other to yell at him all the way up. I have never seen anything like it. I gave them $20. As soon as they left the apartment we could hear them laughing. They went back down the stairs, laughing all the way. The Gringo had a lot to learn about tipping in Ecuador - I had given them about a day's wages for one person!
We found almost all our furniture within a few blocks of our apartment, except the beds and the dining room table which we had made (there will be a future chronicle on having furniture made in Ecuador). We did about everything you could do to the apartment except move walls - painting, floor re-finishing, minor plumbing, electrical and carpenter work. We decided to keep the funky, white kitchen cabinets - they looked good all cleaned up. Jose, the caretaker of our building turned out to be an outstanding Maestro and a great person - he did almost all of the work. It was so convenient - he and his family live right in the building.
And Now, Let's Take a Look at the Beautiful Result
I will take some credit for managing the work of the renovation. But Dalynda deserves full credit for the beautiful result - she selected the furniture, the art - and the colors. You will note that Dalynda has no fear of bold color.
Bedroom - The Eucalyptus Floors Turned Out Great
Foyer and Bathroom
Beautiful Work - An Ecuador Tapestry
Art Will be an Ongoing Program
Would you like to come to Ecuador and Renovate an Apartment -
Find out how at Live Well Ecuador: