A former high school classmate and cherished old friend when reconnecting with Roger through Facebook quoted the old saying: "When God closes a door, he opens a window." The years have seen a number of life changes for us that make that adage ring true. After being blessed with good fortune, a wonderful son and great experiences, we decided to look out that window and prepare for more of what this wonderful life has to offer. We hope through our blog to share our journey from this point forward with family, with friends and with many others. Hopefully we'll make some new friends along the way. We hope you find our tales of some interest, even amusement and perhaps an inspiration for you to treat each and every day as an opportunity and an adventure to share with those who are an important part of your life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Few Of Our Favorite Things - Part I

Presently the Yazells are in Florida, buidling a new patio for Roger's step-mom and helping her down size her house. No internet there yet so this post includes some photos we downloaded at our son's house in Atlanta. One of our favorite things during our stay was all the churhes. we understand they are over fifty in Cuenca alone. We haven't seen them all yet (some will have to wait until our return). We've included many of favorites in the photo montage below and have included some from Chordeleg, Sigsig, Gualeceo and Quito. we look forward to enjoying the beauty of many more when we return.

We're now on schedule to visit Thailand with the kids in a couple of weeks so we'll probably be sharing some some photos of the beautiful temples there in the future.

Until then, we remain juntos en el camino de la vida!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Note About Upcoming posts:

Regular readers will have noticed our absence of photos. Yes, we did take a camera to Ecuador with us (actually 2) and we even shot enough photos that we overloaded a memory card for the first time ever (Roger bought the 4 meg card). What we didn't do was to bring a computer other than our portable ipad which has NO usb port for camera download. Oooops, our bad!

As you know, we're back in the USA and Roger has access to another computer and the download is under way. Needless to say, upcoming posts here will generally feature little news but a lot of photos from our 2 month stay. We hope you'll enjoy them.

The next few postings on Roger's wine blog(the first of which is now up)will also feature some photos from Ecuador ( These will focus on places where we've enjoyed wine.

We are currently in Atlanta at our son's house and will be traveling to Florida to spend time helping Roger's step mom. We also have an upcoming trip to Thailand to squeeze in before we head to Arizona to pack up for our Ecuadorian return. So following the pictoral essays, keep checking in for more stories (and hopefully, lots more pictures!) as we continue juntos en el camino de la vida.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sometimes it's hard to say Goodbye....Hasta Luego is Better!

We are returning to the USA after completing our two month trial in Ecuador. We have every intention of returning in order to make Cuenca our home. The following is an email sent to as many of our new friends as we could find email addresses for. We wanted to recopy here on the blog in hopes of reaching those whom we didn't have email adresses for (or who addresses were tucked away in luggage before we realized we hadn't put them in our ipad yet!)

It reads as follows:

Please forgive us for taking the easy way out and doing a group letter when we really should take the time to personally thank each and every one of you for helping to make our eight week stay in Ecuador a very special and cherished time.  Each of you in your own way contributed to making us welcome and helping us to adjust to a new and wonderous locale.  As we depart, it is with an assortment of emotions.  We are excited at the prospect of seeing family and friends and sharing more fully with them the adventure we've enjoyed for the past eight weeks.  We also have learned that we will have the opportunity to visit Thailand during our return stay in the US.  It will be an exciting time filled with many things to see, enjoy and do.

But there is a small sense of sadness as well.  We realized that when one of our new found friends in Cuenca asked how we felt about returning home. Without hesitation I responded we felt like we're leaving a home here to go visit where we used to live.  We hadn't really discussed it or consciously thought about it but in just a few short weeks, Cuenca had, indeed, become home.  We were comfortable in this wonderful city, delighted to be in our surroundings and among people who truly felt like neighbors.

Each of you who came into contact with us during these eight weeks played a role in creating that feeling.  We are humbly grateful that you did.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Please continue to preserve, protect and nurture the wonderful sense of fellowship and community that exists here.  Know that we are anxious to return and share in that community with you and look forward to the day when we add our contribution as well.

To our friends in Ecuador receiving this as an email....please pass along to mutual acquaintances. We discovered we missed getting many email addresses loaded into our computer and we hope our expression of gratitude will reach all we came in contact with during our wonderous time here.

Until we return, know we will think of you and Cuenca often as we continue juntos en el camino de la vida!

Roger & Suzanne Yazell

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good fun, good wine and great pizza!

As with so many good things and places we've discovered in Cuenca, the source of the best pizza we've enjoyed here was tucked away in an unpretentious nook, with a small sign that was barely noticable. It was the kind of place you could easily walk past without seeing.

Truth be told, we hadn't gone there for the pizza! Fellow boomer and refugee from the 60's and 70's Bill Keyes had become one of our new found friends here in Cuenca. Bill is a long time bass guitarist and he performs with some regularity at the pizza parlor in question. We had gone there specifically to hear our friend "jam". The place in question was Mitti's Pizza (Hermano Miguel 4-37 y Calle Larga). It was easily found because Bill had told us it was directly across the street from Carolina Bookstore.

We arrived at our normal dinner time but slightly ahead of Bill's expected play time so we proceeded to examine the menu curiously labeled Marco's Pizza. It turns out the current proprietor is a native Argentinean from Buenos Aires named Marcos. He was a delightful host and his pizza turned out to be excellent, expecially when accompanied by a glass of Argentinean Cabernet.

A short note about pizza here in Cuenca: While there are many fine Italian establishments in Cuenca, there is a challenge in finding really, really good traditional pizza. Pizza buffs know the three keys to this kind of pizza is crust, cheese and sauce. Crust is not a problem but cheese, as a whole, in Ecuador is OK but not very classy unless you go for the more expensive imported stuff. As to sauce... well this is a country where most people prefer dipping their french fries in mayonesa rather than salsa de tomate(ketchup). As you might image, most pizza is served with a notable absence of tomato sauce. At Mitti's we were specifically asked about the inclusion of tomato sauce (we ordered the Hongos grande with the works on the sauce). Our verdict: yum, yum, yum! No pacquete a via for the Yazell's with this baby despite its grande size!

As to the music, owner Marcos joined in on the jam with our friend Bill. The music later included an accomplished guitarist/ singer from Australia whose friends were enjoying wine and pizza of their own at the front table. At the height of the jam, we were joined at our table by an Ecuadorian friend of ours who had stopped in for a glass of wine with a Canadian client in process of becoming an Expadorian.

So there we were, clientele from Ecuador, Australia, Canada and the U.S. listening to an American and an Argentinean rocking out to the Mexican "La Bamba". That was followed up by the entire room joining in vocally on a version of the Beetles "Get Back". All this took place in the historico centro of Cuenca Ecuador.

Some might call our evening out a very unique experience. For us it was a part of yet another wonderful and blessed day, juntos en el camino de la vida!