So, what did we find? A little two-story house, right along the Yanucay river. We can actually hear the river at night (once the traffic slows and before the roosters start at 4 AM). Features we were looking for and got include:
- Three bedrooms: excellent since the novelty of sharing a room was quickly wearing off for Lucia & Gabe and, consequently, mom and dad
- Close to green space. The Yanuncay has a lineal park that runs all along it. There is a playground right across the street. And we share a garden space with neighbors that is all fenced in, so the kids can play outside any time.
- Some office space for Doug that is separated from the living space. Doug's desk is in Gabe's bedroom, which has great light and a balcony that looks out over the Yanuncay. Since the kids are now in school, the office space works pretty well. And we have wifi, so any space can be office space.
- A washer and dryer. After a month of lugging our clothes to the laundromat, and with only one set of school uniforms per kid, this was a must. We also got a nice laundry room with a clothes line and some storage space.
- A location within reasonable distance to both Elena's preschool and Gabe and Lucia's school, and a quick bus ride to the Centro and other destinations (parks, markets) that we hope to frequent.
- A private development. But not like you might imagine. We share a street entrance with two other houses that are part of our "neighborhood". This has been a bonus, an easy way to meet Ecuadorans and also other kids- three girls live in one of the houses, and Lucia and Gabe were invited to one of the girls' birthday celebration our first weekend here!
- The joy of paying utility bills separate from rent. We had wanted an all inclusive rent, but no go. So we get to figure out Ecuador bill paying. That will likely be another post: suffice it to say it requires schlepping around town and navigating some lines. With no Ecuadoran bank account we can't do on-line bill pay. Except for our internet, which seems only logical.
- Roosters. In our first rental most of the night sounds were car alarms. Now we hear roosters, starting rather earlier than seems reasonable. Did I mention they start at 4 AM?
- A bird connection. The house has several carvings of birds: maybe a sign it was meant for us. We hope to add some flowering plants to the balcony soon and get the hummingbird feeder up!