Tag Archive | "teacher"

Costa Rica Spanish Course Event Case Study


Costa Rica Event Case Study

An Event Full Business lesson… a case study based on the first event conducted by a Super Thinking + Spanish teacher in Costa Rica has been posted at the Gary Scott Club site.

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John Sloan teaching Super Thinking + Spanish in Costa Rica.

Click on your password protected site for this case study here.

Learn how to be a Super Thinking + Spanish Teacher here.

 

The Intoxication of Teaching


The intoxication of teaching and everlasting wealth.

A Super Thinking + Spanish teacher just finished his first solo course and sent this note.

Hi Gary,

My first class is done!  Overall it went very well and mostly exceeded my expectations.  One of the delegates had to leave early on the last day because he fell ill (he looked awful) but he did say how by the end of Day 2 he was already talking Spanish to his Spanish speaking girlfriend (who told him “whatever you’re doing in this class, keep doing it, its working!).

Although drained and tired yesterday from three days of being “on”, today I feel very buoyant and charged up from the joy and positive feedback I got from the delegates.  Along with their progress from no Spanish to speaking before my very eyes, I can report to you in all honesty the feeling I have being part of their progress is simply intoxicating.  I understand now why you and Merri do what you do very well indeed.

Super Thinking teaching is intoxicating because you grow dramatically as you teach.  This is a wonderful way to earn wherever you go and gain enormous satisfaction along with a never ending income.

See our upcoming Super Thinking + Spanish courses in Canada, Ecuador, Mexico and the USA here.


Cotacachi Shaman Thinking


Change, though often feared, is our friend because it opens fields of opportunity… if we can trust our intuition and integrate it with our logic.

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Here are photos I took on our last shamanic tour.

Without change, we could never progress.

Problems arise when our thought process resists rather than embraces change.  Combining our logic and intuition assures that this is less likely to happen.

Our Ecuador course on Super Thinking helps delegates learn how to absorb, retain and recall more information.  This helps improve our logic.

Delegates at a previous Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish course we conducted in Cotacachi.

Yet to go beyond logic we need to combine our thinking with intuition.

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Many Ecuador shamans and shamanas teach the Eagle & Condo Prophesy… a time will come when the eagle and condor fly in the skies together.   Many believe that the eagle represents logic and the condor intuition.  The prophesy says that sharing of indigenous knowledge with the technologies of science will help balance mankind.

One way to blend intuition and thinking is through intellectual gaming.

A game is a structured activity, with a set of rules. This is important… because when we game… we can create a set of rules that is beyond the norm… outside the box of logic…  so our information processing and decision making can escape the tyranny of reason.

Gaming is usually undertaken for enjoyment.  This makes gaming important as well.  When we do something fun… without risk…we do it better.  We can let our imagination soar so we can see eventualities in enjoyable, non threatening ways.

Games are formalized expressions of play which allow people to go beyond their immediate imagination and direct physical activity to see life’s potential in different ways.

When games eliminate play… they lose impact… thus the demise of professional sports which are no longer games… but business.

Gaming allows us to use disambiguation in resolving future conflicts.  This is because our future is always ambiguous… even if we think not.   Our life can take any number of  paths that lead in different directions… at any time.

This leaves us asking, “What should I do?”

Gaming allows us to create a set of out-of-the-box rules that direct us in ways we would never logically reach but can imagine.  Because it is fun and without threat… we can see future opportunity in numerous expanded ways.

One way we can game is to form ideas from our intuition. Then we apply the game’s set of rules that change the circumstances of the idea.

There are two ways to let our intuition to kick in.

One way is to let outward events kick start our intuition… such as spotting birds.

Recently I mentioned how I use the heron as an intuition initiator.

Other birds are meaningful to me also.  Doves, for example, are a sign of “Thinning the veil”.  “Crows represent “Magic & Creation.”  These concepts represent archetypes that we can apply in an out-of-the box game.

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One game that the Ecuador shamans taught us to play to increase and trust our intuition is to hike steep trails with our eyes closed.  This is the first time we received this lesson when Merri and I along with our friend, Dr. Jay Glaser, and several others hiked into the sacred Llanganatis Valley in Ecuador.  This was a narrow trail on a steep edge. What a game!

Merri and I have found Vedic Astrology an incredible help when it comes to making decisions that we cannot make with logic.

For example when our daughter Elle graduated from University in London with a degree in dramatic arts. Her question to Merri and me was “Should I go for a career in singing or go on and get a teacher’s certificate in Physical Education?” (She is a superb athlete as well as an aspiring singer.)

We all agreed that becoming a singer is a long shot. Teaching is safe. But we knew that her passion is to shoot for being a star. So how would she feel in later life if she didn’t try?

So Merri had Blaine Watson, our Vedic astrologer check her Vedic chart. The astrologer knew nothing about Elle but said at that time she had just moved into a cycle for three years when her best thing would be the performing arts, entertaining, etc. That was enough to convince us. “Go for it”, we said and we encouraged her. “You’re young, try it for three years and if this does not work then, let’s look again”.

Within a week she was picked as a backup singer with a popular English rock group.

Her first gig was before 4,000 fans! In the ensuing year she was able to meet many of her rock star heroes as work associates. This was an incredible experience for her, but as mentioned the entertainment business is a long shot. Some stars may become rich but backing vocals…so she had to work elsewhere to survive. Her “make money” jobs included handing out pamphlets, selling credit cards by phone and teaching dance at a franchised performing arts school called “Stagecoach”.

She enjoyed this experience enormously and cut a couple of great CDs with a group. Then she began to tire of being poor and looked around for a better way to enhance her wealth.  Her teaching job at Stagecoach led her to look at owning a school and at the ripe age of 23, she took the plunge.

May I say with due respect that Eleanor is the last child that we ever thought would be a business woman. No logic could have shown us this.

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On many of our shamanic tours we visit Quicocha Lake for a shamanic ceremony.

Our daughter  approached this business with incredible discipline and dramatically expanded the school. In her first year her profits were in six figures. Her second year took her well into six figures. Today at 26 she lives in a very expensive home on the River Thames. She has a new car, new kitchen, everything she wants and an income in the top 5% of the world.

Had anyone suggested that Eleanor could or would have traveled this path, all of us who knew would have laughed. Her success has been beyond logic!

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Alberto Verdezoto (in purple) leads the tour with…

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The yatchak and…

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his wife.

Yet we supported our daughter’s success based on the realization that every moment there are possibilities that our logic just cannot see but that Vedic Astrology can. The inability to measure the results of astrology used to bother me enormously until years ago I read an article about Aristotle Onassis, the ultra rich Greek shipping magnate. He gave the secret of being a billionaire that helped me look beyond my logic.

“Certainly one does not need an astrologist to become a millionaire.” Then he quickly added that “to become a billionaire, it is essential.” This statement was made long ago when being a billionaire was pretty darn rare.

Onassis’ statement really struck a chord with me as my many years of residence in Hong Kong had exposed me to many businessmen who looked beyond logic. I heeded the astrological advice because the Chinese are very into what some might consider offbeat and unreal thinking, but there were more billionaires per capita in Hong Kong than anywhere else in the world!

In fact the more I thought about this, the more it made sense. To make billions one has to take enormous risks and see a big picture far into an invisible future.

We all have to make some decisions based on events we cannot totally predict, but successful billionaires make huge decisions based on enormous unknowns. It requires incredible faith to take incredible risks. None of us can see the whole picture but Astrology, albeit vaguely, helps us see the biggest picture of all.This did not matter for me anyway, as I do not use astrology as a predictive system.  I find the data extremely useful gets me to think outside the box.

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This is a fun ceremony filled with…

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beauty.

As international investors, we are forced to deal with forces beyond our understanding and control. We must find simple ways to make decisions about complicated problems, knowing that many of the facts are unknown.   We have to deal with the future in terms of our past experience.

Astrology presents a “what if” that pushes our thought process beyond past experience and encourages us to think in new ways to deal with future events.

This has nothing to do with the supernatural. This is just another simple way to add an extra dimension into your process of thought.

Blaine Watson teaching his Beyond Logic course… always one of our most popular courses each year.

Merri and I read Blaine’s ezine daily.  It is full of beautiful, lively, deeply interesting (and as you can see above), very valuable information for life, for investing, and for fun.  You can learn more from Blaine at blainepw@gmail.com

We have been able to organize one more Beyond Logic and shamanic course for December 2009. See details here.

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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Gary

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

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We invite villagers to join us… family and all.

Ecuador Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

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This and the AP photos below by Dolores Ochoa show Ecuador protesters blocking the Pan Am Highway. See excerpts of the related article below.

Merri and I are used to these Ecuador protests as they are part of life in Ecuador. Though we have not seen any Ecuador demonstrations for several years,  they represent a good part of the Ecuadorian way and I am proud of how the  people exercise their democratic rights…. peacefully… but effectively.

The French use demonstrations as well and remember France is where many of the current ideals of democracy as we know them and processes that helped the industrial revolution really begin.

Yet the French leave cars flipped and shops burned. Remember what they did to some of their royalty!  In Ecuador violence is rarely the case.

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Part of Ecuador’s political problems are created because the majority of the population are very poor… and poorly educated… but they are gaining.  This is Maria…  excited to be headed on her first day to university to study tourism management through a scholarship provided by our foundation, Land of the Sun.

Merri and I have been in the midst of several Ecuador demonstrations.  Our first protest party took place many years ago in the 1990s.  We had to get a friend from Latacunga, (one of the most active places for demonstrations), to Quito airport.

There is a “moving through Ecuador road blocks art” that we learned.

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Ecuadorians are by nature friendly and easy going. Violence is rare… in their protests, crime or politics. These girls attend the Topo Grande school that Land of the Sun foundation is assisting.

In that first protest adventure we were with a yatchak… in his car… a four wheel drive. This meant that  a lot of the demonstration avoidance tactics came in the form of driving down railway tracks, through football fields and for quite some distance on the grassy path that formerly was the Incan trail.

Eventually however one meets a roadblock.  On that trip the yatchak did most of the work. As gringos we stayed in the car and let the yatchak do the talking.  Most road blocks are more like street parties… the blockers only half serious. There are generally two types of demonstrators… those with a real gripe and the majority who see the demonstration as a sort of fun time.

If you meet up with the party types… usually a dollar or two is a sufficient consideration to be able to move on IF one approaches the road block correctly… never with pushiness or aggression.

If one meets up with those who have a true grievance… the process is more difficult but usually  an earnest listen to their complaint… a murmur of agreement, some sympathy and an explanation of why you need to pass through, with perhaps a dollar or two will open the block.

In that first trip, the taxi drivers had the complaint… so they were the hardest nuts to crack… but the yatchak never failed.  Gentle words… appreciation for their plight and explanation of our own problems always opened the gates.

That trip to the airport took much longer than normal… one does not rush through these events… but we were able to help our friend board his plane on time.

Our second Ecuador demonstration trip took place on the day before one of our seminars in Ecuador.  Talk about terrible timing!

We always met delegates when they arrive at the airport the day before the seminar so we needed to travel from Cotacachi to Quito.  Normally we would make the two hour trip via the Pan American highway.  But Otavalo is another major, strong point for demonstrations.

We have developed a network of friends across the country so we knew that the Pan American was tightly closed.

So we headed down the back roads with an intrepid taxi driver who knew the ropes.

At each road block I would lay down in the back seat, close my eyes and groan.  Owh owh owh.

Merri, looking as pathetic as possible, rambled on “Me esposa necesita un hospital”.

The taxi driver requested clearance to the “hospital” and offered a few dollar for the favor.

This worked half way to Quito.  However there are some road blocks that just cannot be passed.  We found such a place where one group had dug a large pit through the road.

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Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

Here I experienced a major recovery from my illness, grabbed our suitcase and we walk through the burning tires… NOT LOOKING ANYONE IN THE EYE.

The only hangup came when our hound dog Ma became tangled in the wires from burned tires. On the other side of the road farmers awaited with their pickups.   For $20, they were willing to give us a lift into town. The normal two hour journey turned into six…. but we were there, smiling when our delegates arrived.

The demonstrations (as with those last week) lasted only a day and we accompanied our delegates on the bus back to Cotacachi next day on the Pan American highway.  No one really suffered.

In short Ecuador demonstrations can range from kinda fun to frustrating… but rarely dangerous… as long as one takes their time, remains passive and avoids getting involved.   These Ecuador demonstrations, are in my opinion, a good part of Ecuador’s democratic process.

I expected political tensions to tighten in January… but they seem to be winding up sooner.

Here is my thinking why there will be more political turmoil in the months ahead.

Part of Ecuador’s political problem began over 500 years ago when the Spanish began colonizing the area that is now Ecuador. The system favored a few at the expense of the majority and has remained that way.

Today the majority of the population is indigenous….but historically have had little political power and they have the smallest portion of wealth and income. Here is a resident of the village of Topo Grande.

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Slowly they have become increasingly organized and must be considered as a political power that now determines elections.  Yet due to the fact that they still remain among the poorest sector of the population, they also understand the global economy the least.

Almost every Ecuador president, since Merri and I began living in Ecuador, has been elected in part by making promises to poor people, like this lady above, that could not be kept.

President Correa is included in this definition and had two added benefits… his ability to speak Quichua (the indigenous language) and high oil prices when he entered office.

Oil revenues provide the major part of the government’s income and the high prices allowed Correa to keep many of his promises in his first years in office.

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

This put so much pressure on the government income that in July 2009 it sold a billion dollars of oil to the Chinese.

An excerpt from a Reuter’s article entitled “Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador ties” explains as it says:  QUITO (Reuters) – Oil-hungry China is moving to strengthen ties with OPEC member Ecuador, part of a global trend in which the Asian giant is providing billions of dollars in financing to producer nations to guarantee energy supplies.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the country will receive $1 billion as advance payment for future oil sales to China. Ecuador sends most of its oil to the United States, and is trying to diversify its market.

Details remained unclear on Monday. But China, the world’s second biggest petroleum consumer after the United States, is striving to cement better ties with resource-rich Ecuador.
Chinese company Sinohydro is bidding for a contract with Ecuador to build a $2 billion hydroelectric plant in the country.

In addition, the leftist Ecuadorean government says it is in talks with Chinese companies interested in investing in the Manta air base, which the U.S. Army is due to leave in September. Ecuador wants to build a commercial airport in Manta.

According to the Chinese customs office, China imported 326,000 tonnes of crude oil from Ecuador in the first four months of 2009.

Ecuador is the fifth largest producer of crude oil in South America after Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. It produced 486,000 barrels of crude oil a day in May.

Impoverished Ecuador faces a liquidity crunch due to low oil prices. The government’s recent debt default has shut the country off from the international capital markets.

Here is how one sharp Ecuador businessman explained the problem to me.

The government took payment now on 30% of its future oil, beginning next January to balance the current budget. How will it balance its budget next year with only 70% of its oil?

This leaves the Ecuador government only two options… higher gas prices… a factor beyond its control… or a cut back which means breaking more election promises.

That’s why it made sense to me that demonstrations would start next year not now.

However I was wrong. On hearing of the demonstrations I wrote to a network of friends and contacts across the country to get people’s opinions. Here are some of the replies I received.

Business person from Manta:

Dear Gary, Today Sunday the indigenas stared to make groups in different places of Guayaquil  and especially Quito. It Iooks like they want to make strikes tomorrow and to close main roads especially in highlands areas.   Until this moment everybody is quiet and nobody worries over  that situation.  The people are asking for solutions to water problems and something more.,

I think we have to see what happens tomorrow and hope that there is nothing more than a one day demonstration.

The Real Estate Tour in Manta was very good yesterday.  The people were very nice and it looks like two couples and two men are planning to stay in Manta to see more properties.

Demonstrations have been brewing and are now taking place on two fronts.

One of them regards schoolteachers that are part of a much politicized association called UNE (Union Nacional de Educadores – or National Teachers Association) who opposes the widely celebrated regime effort to bring higher quality to public schooling via teacher examination and training.

UNE appears to be divided in this and the government is gaining ground in this legitimate endeavor.

The other front regards mostly the indigenous population (also somewhat divided), who opposes the draft for the new Water Law, claiming that it will “privatize” water, something that has no grounds.

They say that they have not been taken into account in drafting it and that it has elements for the privatization of water. Please note that the indigenous peoples of Ecuador are very dependent on natural water sources for their livelihood.

The indigenous population is adept at closing-off highways in very disruptive demonstrations.

So far it seems that the demonstrations have been mostly mild but it’s hard to tell if they will flare-up big time.

The indigenous people also oppose the new mining law on environmental grounds. The general public believes this new mining law is important as it provides environmental safeguards but also allows the exploitation of our mineral riches under a better framework. There are always tradeoffs of course.

President Correa’s Government keeps a very high level of support amongst the population and has been extremely able to defuse situations like this, even though it has had a confrontational stance.

Change brings discomfort and demonstrations are part of our culture. I hope and trust they fade away amidst inclusive dialogue.

It seems that by Tuesday the demonstrations were defused. The biggest supporters have lifted their demonstrations in order to start a dialogue process.

Some fringe groups still remain protesting but for the most the demonstrations should be over now.  Best regards,

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

Hi Gary, Sorry I could not get back to you before.

As you probably know already, demonstrations have been going on this week.  There  are several groups such as teachers (UNE), indigenous people (CONAIE), high school and university students and other small groups who have gotten together protesting against different things they consider that violate or diminish their rights:  all of them have in common their opposition to the government, although the majority of them were part of the government in the past .

Each of the group is protesting against a particular law that is about to pass in the congress:  CONAIE  are against Ley del Agua or a law which regulates water and that in their opinion privatizes the water.  UNE or the teachers are against a new law of secondary and elementary education and also against some regulations that will reduce their salaries.  Students are also against  the law of university education which will not allow to have private universities in the future.  Of course political parties are also involved in these demonstrations.

CONAIE is now splitt and having talks with the government so I do not expect their strike to be as strong as in the past.  UNE  or the teachers are the ones that seem to be stronger and they are right now in their third week of protest.

Please let me know if you need more information or comments on these issues.

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

How are you?  I just read a little about this problem in my Country.  You know I feel sad about it because the only people who suffer the consequences are the students, right now the public schools and some universities are closed, students are in their homes.

UNE (national union of teachers) is protesting for 3 reasons:

1) The Ministerio de Education did some kind of administrative process against the teachers who did not do a test (I do not what kind of test) before, this administrative process could cause a teacher to be fired, so, UNE do not accept this process.

2) Also UNE protests about the new reforms in the law that reduce 1.5% of their salary.

3) UNE protests because a new law says that school´s authorities should get a commission of service without a salary.  Regards

Quito Businessman

Hi Gary,  There are 2 ways to read into this:

1.  Correa is trying to clean up the mess that Ecuador’s education system has grown into over the years, with UNE, the main teachers’ association becoming a by-product of the left wing political party MPD.  He has run into opposition and this has lead to the UNE’s strike which started last week.

He is also trying to put some order into the way water rights are distributed and managed in the country, thus angering CONAIE (whom he no longer needs as a political support base because through the same CONAIE and Pachakutik he has gained direct access to the indigenous people by providing them housing, infrastructure, etc.).

Now it turns out that the UNE strike will tie into the CONAIE demonstrations, and things could turn nasty next week.

2.  Correa has become obsessed with his power, and as such is trying to get control of every aspect of Ecuadorians’ life, including education, the use of land and water, the economy in general and of the production and industrial sector (taxing importers out of business in order to support local industry).  In doing so, he has alienated many of his former allies and has made worst enemies of his former foes.  This is unsustainable in the long run and the first signs that his government is heading into severe difficulties are starting to appear.  As you are aware, Correa has a very aggressive political style, criticizing his opponents and trying to make anyone who does not support him look bad and ridicule.  This has its cost and now Correa may be starting to pay the price.

Frankly speaking, I do not know how serious that is.  The main support of Correa’s “Citizens Revolution” has been the poor people.  If they start to turn against him, I do not think he will fare very well.  On the other hand, these demonstrations may just be caused by a minority of UNE and CONAIE, in which case, they will pass and it will be business as usual in Ecuador.   It is hard to tell at this time, but one thing that is for sure is that people are starting to run out of patience with respect to Correa.  We will have a clearer picture by next Monday, because it will be possible to gauge how strong and successful CONAIE’s closing of roads turns out to be.  Best,

Loja Businessman:

University and high school teachers have been protesting the elimination of a 1.5% payment and a couple of other issues. These protests began last week.

This is normal in Ecuador particularly by the union involved. They like to do this in the beginning of the school year.

The police are involved which makes this more serious, but I don’t know how serious.

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

By the way, from reading the article, it is not so against the Correa-Government.  Nonetheless, there has been some small protests in Ambato as well.

Coastal Businessman

Gary, thanks..I am in San Clemente and no demonstrations here!

The students and the teachers have always spent most of the time demonstrating..but of course the government thought they would avoid demonstrations against them with the “peoples revolution” slogan..

The indigenous people seem to want to march again against the new mining law and the governments intent to start big scale mining operations to improve finances..

I do not think any of these demonstrations will be even close in size to what they used to be during previous governments..basically because all these movements supported the government and it’s policy and many still do..They also lack the charismatic leaders they once had.

Regards,

This last comment seems to be supported by excerpts of an Associated Press article entitled “Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws”: The Associated Press  QUITO, Ecuador — Hundreds of Indians blocked Ecuador’s Pan American highway in several provinces Monday with rocks, tree trunks and burning tires to protest new water, mining and oil laws.

Their leaders suspended the protest late Monday, saying the government had promised to talk about their objections.

The Indians contend the proposed the laws threaten their lands and will privatize water resources. Leftist President Rafael Correa disputes that view, and the ruling party-controlled legislature has been expected to approve the laws.

Monday’s protests on the main national highway paled in comparison to protests that ousted Ecuadorean presidents in 2000 and 2005.

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Third AP photo from this article.

Things are improving. Ecuador’s indigenous are getting richer and better educated.

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Enrique is one of the excellent Cotacachi indigenous builders who is developing homes in Cotacachi. He is among a growing sector of hard working, highly successful and dependable indigenous businesses that help form a strong, integrated  middle class in Ecuador.  Be sure see to see some of Enrique’s houses at this site next week.

Ecuador demonstrations are a part of Ecuador’s democratic process.  Since moving to Ecuador I have seen many presidents comes and many go… very few serving their full term… a process I like better than having a bad president last.    President Correa has enjoyed a time without Ecuador protests because of high oil prices and his willingness to default on Ecuador bonds.  That former decision is now biting him back… along with low oil prices… so more and more are saying… “throw the bum out”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this at home?

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminar below.

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Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

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We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador textiles like these I photographed in Otavalo are popular.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course:  Gary & Merri –
I know why I get a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling when I see your two names in the ‘From’ column of my emails!  I sincerely hope that others are getting that same satisfaction.  Thank you both again for the help and assistance in getting to Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

“Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador tieswww.reuters.com/article/GCA-Oil/idUSTRE56C6FF20090713

www.thestate.com/world/story/962859.html?RSS=untracked
Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws

Cotacachi Shamanic Tour


We are repeating our Beyond Logic & Cotacachi Shamanic Tour this December 6, 7 and 8, 2009 because the most successful thoughts come from Beyond Logic.

This may be why the Beyond Logic & Cotacachi Shamanic tour has been one of the must successful of our 2009 tours. Due to this demand we are repeating this course… plus adding optional Andean real estate plus a free Christmas shopping extension for December 2009.

The Ecuadorian shamanic thinking process can help us learn how to advance and prosper during this economic downturn.   Three shamanic lessons below show why. These lessons are outlined in a moment.

First may I introduce the course “Beyond Logic” conducted by Blaine Watson this December 2009.

Because the last Beyond Logic course was one of our most popular this year, we have added a three day ‘Beyond Logic” Course to be conducted in Cotacachi December 6, 7 and 8, 2009.   Ecuador Andean and coastal real estate tours will follow (more on this in a moment).

The first two days will be conducted by Blaine Watson. Here he is conducting a course here in North Carolina. He is in our teaching kitchen because nutrition is part of the course.

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Blaine’s portion of the program includes a personal reading (one per single or couple – a second reading is extra) based on your time, day and place of birth. We’ll get your birth time in advance so he can bring your chart with him. You’ll have your reading either after the course or later by phone.

Here is the course schedule.

Day One. Sunday…Dec. 6, 2009 – Blaine Watson

A detailed description of the 12 signs, the 9 planets and their significations and the 12 houses, how they come into being and the significations of each one, as the basis for interpreting the horoscope and making predictions.

Day Two. Monday…Dec. 7, 2009 – Blaine Watson

In-depth analysis of the of the planets and how to interpret and predict from their placements in the 12 signs and the 12 houses.

Day Three. Tuesday…Dec. 8, 2009 – Quantum Lessons from the Yatchaks. Delegates will visit a sacred valley near our village for a shamanic mingo…just beyond this field.

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We’ll hike in (but can also bring those who desire to come by truck) here…

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Here is a shot I took of Merri and Don Jose when we hiked in on a previous Mingo.

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We’ll reach this grotto where the water springs from the cave…

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the color of gold.

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Shaman Don Jose will conduct a purification for those who choose to have it.

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as I am doing here.

You can enroll in Beyond Logic here.

Here are the three shamanic lessons.

Recessions and depressions destroy many investors and businesses. Yet these times of cleansing are also the breeding ground for the next group of extreme rich.

Why do some succeed when so many fail?

They have different ways of thinking…gaining energy and seeing beyond the accepted logic.

No one can see the future. It is hard to be energetic and forward moving in tough times. Perhaps this is why only a few become rich and healthy.

The thought process, processing knowledge and natural health have always fascinated me as have the legends of Old Ones the “Abuelos” who live high in the Andes hiding sacred knowledge for longevity, high energy and success.

Merri and I were so intrigued that we bought Hacienda Rosaspamba, high in the Andes and lived with a Taita Yatchak and his apprentices to learn more.

Here is the hacienda and the view we enjoyed each day as we rose.

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The Taita Yatchak invited Merri and me to hike into the mists and clouds of the Llanganatis, the sacred valley, which legends say contain hidden Incan gold. I suspect the gold is golden knowledge…not the yellow metal!

To find out, and learn more on how to think for true success…in health and wealth, we invited friends, two MDs and a Sanskrit scholar to hike in with us. Here we are, on top of the world, starting that trek.

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The first shamanic lesson was to trust our inner vision. The picture below shows Merri and me with Dr. Jay Glaser an MD, Ayurvedic physician and Sanskrit scholar overlooking the sacred LLanganatis Valley.

Here is how we learned this lesson. The yatchak put us on a path like above. Told us to look ahead. Then close our eyes and walk the path. “Trust your inner vision,” he said.

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Here we are with the Yatchak in the jungle during that hike.

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The second shamanic lesson was to purify oneself from the outside in and the inside out at the same time. Be pure in eating, action and thought. Always keep cleansing…mind and body.

For example, we stayed in an open air hut during our time in the LLanganatis. The mists there have negative ions that neutralize free radicals in the skin.

Here we are with the Yatchak and our friends at the hut.

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We brought a Sanskrit expert because the Andean language is based on Sanskrit, a language from India. What made this tidbit special was that we were already studying Ayurved, the Indian science of life…health…pure thought.

We learned for example that the name “Llanganatis” is linked to Indian philosophy. Llanganatis means “Repeated Sacred Action” (the Sanskrit word is Yagya). This led us to a third shamanic lesson…”See beyond logic”.

This helped Merri and me understand how to use Vedic Astrology to see a bigger picture beyond logic. The Indians were able to maintain their ancient wisdom in a more refined and usable way than the Andeans, mainly because the Spanish destroyed most of the Andean Quipos, (knotted cords of different colors used by the ancients to store knowledge).

We learned to integrate the wisdom we have gained from India and the Andes to think and act Beyond Logic.

Our astrologer is Blaine Watson who has been an incredible help when it comes to making decisions that we cannot process just with logic. Blaine is an expert in the wisdom from India and Ayurved.

For example, our daughter Elle graduated from University in London with a degree in dramatic arts. Her question to Merri and me was “Should I go for a career in singing or go on and get a teacher’s certificate in Physical Education?” (She was a superb athlete as well as an aspiring singer.)

We all agreed that becoming a singer was a long shot. Teaching was safe. But we knew that her passion was to shoot for being a star. How would she feel in later life if she didn’t try?

We had Blaine check her Vedic chart. He knew nothing about Elle but said at that time she had just moved into a cycle for three years when her best thing would be the performing arts, entertaining, etc. That was enough to convince us. “Go for it”, we said and encouraged her.

Within a week she was picked as a backup singer with Modern Romance, a popular English rock group with many top hits in the UK including the theme song from the movie, “Shrek”.

Her first gig was before 4,000 fans! In the ensuing year she met many of her rock star heroes as work associates. This was an incredible experience for her and led her to buying a franchised performing arts school called Stagecoach, where see now earns hundreds of thousands a year.

May I say with due respect that Eleanor is the last child that we ever thought would be a business woman. No logic could have shown us this. Yet she approached this business with incredible discipline and dramatically expanded the school. In her first year her profits were in six figures. Her second year took her well into six figures. Today at 27 she lives in a very expensive home on the River Thames. She has a new car, new kitchen, everything she wants and an income in the top 5% of the world.

Her success has been beyond logic!

Yet we supported this success based on the realization that every moment there are possibilities that our logic just cannot see. Vedic Astrology helped us tap into a bigger picture.

The inability to measure the results of astrology used to bother me enormously until years ago I read an article about Aristotle Onassis, the ultra rich Greek shipping magnate. He gave the secret of being a billionaire that helped me look beyond my logic. “Certainly one does not need an astrologist to become a millionaire.” Then he quickly added that “to become a billionaire, it is essential.”

Onassis’ statement really struck a chord with me as my many years of residence in Hong Kong had exposed me to many businessmen who looked beyond logic. I heeded the astrological advice because the Chinese businessmen are often considered superstitious due to their belief in astrology. Some might consider their sight beyond logic, offbeat and unreal, but there were more billionaires per capita in Hong Kong than anywhere else in the world!

The more I thought about this, the more it made sense. To make billions one has to take enormous risks and see a big picture far into an invisible future.

We all have to make some decisions based on events we cannot totally predict, but successful billionaires make huge decisions based on enormous unknowns. It requires incredible faith to take incredible risks. None of us can see the whole picture but Astrology, albeit vaguely, helps us see the biggest picture of all.

During economic downturns, times seem even more uncertain. Previous history is of little use so these deeper, more subtle ways of processing information become even more important.

This may be why one of our most popular courses we offer is conducted by Blaine Watson, our Vedic Astrologer. Many of our readers also use Blaine and rave about him.

During times of contraction…those who profit most are those who expand…but in the correct way. This course “Beyond Logic” can help you think better, have more energy, natural health and purity to pursue your inner vision, that sees a bigger picture of health and wealth for all.

I invite you to join Blaine Watson for

Beyond Logic Three Day Course – Dec. 6-7-8 2009 …$749 for one

Beyond Logic Three Day Course – Dec. 6-7-8 2009 …$999 for two

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air fare, accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Stay on and enjoy our Andean real estate tour.

We’ll meet here at the museum and…

at Meson de las Flores.

Cotacachi Ecuador Tour

These are times of rapid change beyond our logic and  hope that the wisdom shared in this course can help you.

Gary

December 9-10, 2009 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See real estate for sale like this on the Imbabura Andean tour.

On the Imbabura Real Estate Tour… we’ll see new premium houses…

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designed by one of Ecuador’s most famous architects who designed the house above and this one…

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now being built that you could own at a discount with…

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this view through your front window.  Tour delegates can get a discounted price at $70 a square foot.

We’ll see Andean condos and studios in the $40,000 to $50,000 range like this.

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with fireplaces and…

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views like this.

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Learn more about the December 9-10 Imbabura Andean real estate tour here.

Attend two or all three tours at a discount and save.

Attend two December Ecuador seminar or tours…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Free Christmas Shopping Extension

Pay for your tours with Christmas shopping savings

On Saturday December 5th, 2009, we’ll take delegates on an extensive shopping trip to see:

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Workshop of Jose Cotacachi. A delegate poses alongside Jose after purchasing the center wall hanging.

We’ll shop all day, plus for reasons of time, space we just can’t visit all the producers in the area on this art and crafts tour so we’ll invite them to Meson de las Flores.

When word gets out we are having an exposition at the hotel so many craftspeople apply that we turn away disappointed artisans because there just isn’t the space.

We’ll see art from Montero.

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Artist Montero produces exquisite watercolors for as little as $25 such as those below

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Local weavers will display tapestries.

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Hand knit woollen sweaters prove a big hit time and time again at $15

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Totally natural medicinal and beauty products from the Amazon are distributed by our very good friend Alberto Verdezoto. Prices are eye extremely low.

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Mario a local jeweler with fantasy designs always realises several sales of pieces such as those below

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Juan produces wonderful pre-colombian designs on recycled card

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A local family of musicians make and sell instruments, pan pipes at $2 each at a local workshop

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display them .. the large tubular horns at left are small compared to the 35 foot horns used ancestrallt to announce village meetings

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……..and then the same group comes to play and dance during supper – using the very same hand made instruments.

Delegates who enroll in any of the December tours above are invited to this free Christmas shopping extension on Saturday December 5, 2009. No Extra Charge.

Clean Green Income


Here is a way to earn income, that is clean and green.

This is the sixth message in this series on Ecuador and business opportunity. See the first message at Ecuador organic cheese and wine. The second article in the series is at Ecuador organic wine and cheese II and Ecuador wine & Cheese III and Ecuador and Green Business and Internet business ideas and Multi Currency Debt.

Clean up your wealth with disinfectants.

Previous messages looked at a wonderful organic cleaner that I have used for more than a decade and how to earn income world wide as a distributor of this product.

You can see what I wrote about this organic cleaner below.

First let me introduce you to a new idea.

Recently I co hosted a great financial seminar with Jyske Global Asset Management in Naples Florida.

The delegates at this seminar…

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had a great time and talked among themselves about many investing and business ideas.

One idea presented to me by a delegate was a business opportunity as a distributor for a new organic disinfectant based on silver.

I learned a life saving lesson about the disinfecting power of silver  from a great teacher decades ago.   Silver is a germ killing element so powerful that the establishment has been trying to stop us from getting in on the act. Perhaps there is too much money at stake in antibiotics and other such expensive medicine to allow this simple, inexpensive germ killer to remain in the market.

But in this era of strange diseases in which we now live, it is imperative that we learn how to protect ourselves naturally from infection and disease.

Let me explain how I first learn about this powerful natural antibiotic from a grade school teacher!

Al Hoffman was his name. He was great. Mr. Hoffman taught music at Rockwood grade school in the 50s and 60s.  He was almost a myth, sending so many talented musicians on to the local high school.

How would I have guessed that a lesson he taught me then, might save lives now.

You know me as an economist, writer, adventurer, wacky philosopher, can’t-help-it traveler and two bit farmer.  But I bet you did not know that I am also a musician.

But I am (or rather was).  I started with the trumpet, but being a fat kid moved onto the tuba (fat boys always played the tuba for some reason) and I wasn’t bad. I made the metro league honor band and loved playing symphonies and musicals, plus marching was great, except the Portland Rose Parade, mile upon mile on a hot day with a heavy Sousaphone.  That was a bit too much.

Then when I moved to Hong Kong and switched to the baritone and played with a Dixiland band in a Kowloon jazz club (just for fun).

My traveling days made hauling the brass hard, so I switched to the flute.

I took lessons from the principal flutist of the Hong Kong philharmonic, but now haven’t played for years. This is a great regret from working too much, but I promise myself I’ll get back to it.

One thing I have not lost though is a lesson taught to me by Al Hoffman my first music teacher. He taught me about the cleansing power of silver the first day we met.

We were trying out for various instruments and he gave us each a trombone to blow. After I blew on it my neighbor (who eventually went for the clarinet) Tommy Barrett was handed the same trombone and was asked to blow as well. He looked at the mouth piece where my lips had just rested and said yuck, “dog lips have touched this” or something like that.

Funny how some pictures stick in your mind for over fifty years.

I see Tommy looking at that tainted mouth piece as plain as if it were yesterday. He asked what he was supposed to do to clean off that mouth piece.

Then Mr Hoffman gave Tommy the word and me a lesson that stuck for life.

“Germs can’t live on silver. It kills them the second they touch it. Just blow. Don’t worry about the germs.”

Later in life I remembered this message when I first learned about colloidal silver.

Colloidal silver is made up of tiny microscopic particles of pure silver in water that when taken kills germs safely and rapidly.

With colloidal silver you reduce the chances of catching bugs, viruses, bacteria and the lot.

Good bye colds, flu and the rest.

The stuff is so darn potent that drug manufacturers are scared to death. They have even worked on the government to try and shut the stuff down. But they have not totally succeeded because you can easily make the stuff yourself and many people swear by it.

Now it appears that there is a new disinfectant based around silver.

The delegates in Naples who introduced this idea to me is Mark Lord and Mark just sent me this note.

Gary, It was a pleasure seeing you and Merri again and hearing about some of the current topics of global importance at the Jyske conference. The conference was great, including the speakers, the facility, and the food. Mary and I made several new, like minded, friends and many thanks for inviting your MCI subscribers to attend at such a great rate.

On Sunday,  just before Mary and I had to dash off to the airport, I briefly introduced you to our exciting new hard surface disinfectant Allclear. This product has proven and documented efficacy (achieving difficult and expensive EPA registration) with a wide range of range of viruses, bacteria and fungus and in most cases kills quicker and more effectively than commonly accepted disinfectants. Allclear has the lowest toxicity rating possible to achieve from EPA (level IV) and is safe for children’s toys and sensitive areas without requiring a wipe up or rinse. It also has 24 hour residual kill, which is a truly needed and unique attribute. Allclear recently has gotten clearance from EPA to claim that it is in compliance with CDC guidelines for control of Swine Flu.

The above is just a quick outline of the many unique and needed attributes about Allclear and, although it uses silver ions as its main active ingredient , it is different from other silver products some of which have been used for centuries. For more information I directed you to our web site www.allcleartoday.com

I have included above some background information on the product and if you have any questions or would like a sample please let me know.  Best regards,

Mark Lord

This is the type of new product that can offer great green opportunity in the US, Ecuador or abroad.

You can get more information from Mark Lord by emailing him at archer59@msn.com

I have not used this product nor do I have any additional information about it. I am not involved in any financial way and you should use all normal business precautions and make sure you do your due diligence.

You may gain some ideas on how to sell products like this via the internet from our course on how to create an internet business.

Learn how to enroll in our emailed internet business course here.

Anther green product that has great international distribution potential is the organic cleaner Ted’s Stuff.

We take this organic cleaner to our Cotacachi hotel every time we visit because Our staff work to keep our hotel Meson de las Flores spick & span.

Cotacachi Organic Cleaner

This is one reason why the 180 year old colonial building looks so great.

Merri and I also give credit to the entire staff.  Most have worked here for decades and they love the hotel. They honor its history and work hard to keep it looking first class.  Especially our maids, Rosita De las Torres and ….

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Rosita Molena

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not only clean, but put great love, care and attention into making Meson look like a home that our guests will return to again and again.

We do all we can to help Cotacachi be organic because organic cleaners are important to the environment and our bodies.

The cleaner I use on myself, in our house, pur garden and take to our Cotacachi hotel… I call Ted’s Stuff.

Since we are lured into having many poisons in our homes and establishments, I look at everything.   I am always suspicious of cleaners..

For example, “Softsoap Antibacterial Soap” a brand of liquid hand soap manufactured by Colgate Palmolive. Check the label of this soap and you will read the words. “Proven to eliminate the dirt and germs your family encounters. Contains light moisturizer to leave your hands feeling soft. GENTLE ENOUGH FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. As with any soap avoid contact with eyes.”

What does this really mean. How can we find out what this stuff is really like?

There is a way.

Every product shipped in the USA has to have an OSHA regulated form called a “Materials Safety Data Sheet”. This form is meant to protect workers shipping and handling products. You can find the real story behind a products toxicity by looking up the “MSDS.”    Take for example the Softsoap MSDS.

Get ready to cringe. The “MSDS” on this chemical based formula that is “gentle enough for the whole family” states under the general controls section “Avoid contact with skin and eyes.” It warns workers to wear rubber gloves while using this and such. How this warning is mysteriously converted into gentleness on the store shelves is beyond me, but you can see the “MSDS” for yourself.

Though it is doubtful that Softsoap alone will be really harmful to our health, we must wonder how many other things that are pushed on us as safe and gentle when they really are not. How many of these light toxins does our body have to deal with every day? How many of our allergies, diseases and imbalances are created by this continual bombardment of chemicals that do not kill, but each take their little tolls.

We have all heard of “death by a thousand cuts”.   Is our society suffering “sickness by a thousand minimal exposures”?

Merri and I have been away from the farm, its pure spring water and the fresh clean air and we feel the difference.

We must all be aware of our surroundings and take care. There is a saying that “Man can accomplish the impossible, but cannot overcome the inconvenient”. We have walked the moon and sent humanity’s imprint to Mars and beyond. Yet we cannot overcome the multitude of tiny toxicities that bombard us each and every day. This a true challenge. Everywhere we are, everywhere we go, poisons have been made easy to consume.

This is why I sent the reply below to a reader who wrote:

“Gary, organic biodegradable cleaner is nothing new…Watkins has been selling for years. You should be above shilling for these types! Anyone on the Internet can go to Google and debunk the hustlers…”

I agree with this reader that there are many scams in the name of organic, pure, all natural, and such stuff. In fact this why I have been recommending Ted’s stuff and my reply to this reader says it all.

“Ted’s Stuff is a product I have been using myself for many years and the difference is that it works so well. I feel it an obligation to let people know about the enormous danger that we all face and how our environment is being damaged.

Merri and I both feel that perhaps just to stop pollution at the lowest level may help people gain added years and added vitality to their lives.

You can learn more about distributing or using this leaner from the producer Ted Tidwell at tedtid7@yahoo.com

Until next message may your wealth get others to be green with envy!

Gary

Join us at an upcoming July and October North Carolina seminars. We have invited our  web master to speak on the future of  internet business and will have extended sessions on how to develop an internet business.

Learn more about these July 24-26  and Oct. 9-11 courses at IBEZ North Carolina

Cotacachi & Green


One great benefit to living in Cotacachi Ecuador is that no car is required. This a a great benefit for green living.

Cotacachi is colorful beyond green.  This is the mural on the arts center in the middle of Cotacachi.

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This shot was taken by Dennis Goff and is at his new interactive site for anyone who has been to Cotacachi or wants to find out more about it from other members.

Here is Dennis with us on a trek taking photos.

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There is more about the new site and more pictures in a moment.  First, a Cotacachi business idea.

Many new residents in Cotacachi have bikes and a desire for cleaner living.

Merri and I love to see this happening. Protecting the environment is of such importance.  This is why we are working with our friend, Mark Owen, to take our North Carolina farm off the grid.

Mark recently wrote this article.

Two Wheels or Four?

By Mark Owen

The ever-strengthening desire for the industrialized nations to reduce their consumption of oil has prompted considerable interest in alternative means of transportation. Today, even the Madison Avenue marketing strategists paint a positive image around vehicles with high gas mileage. We all know that a concept has become mainstream when we see it on expensive television commercials and news segments during prime time. We have seen the Toyota Prius on commercials for a long time. Flex Fuel, Hybrid and All-Electric technologies are currently or soon-to-be available to the general public.  The Big Three American companies, Honda, and Toyota all have an all-electric car in development. BMW put a fleet of 700 hydrogen-powered cars in California last year. On the horizon are hopeful technologies such as chassie-free cars framed with carbon fiber bodies, Lithium-ion batteries for Electric and Hybrid cars, and small hydrogen power plants for the average Joe.

All those technologies are gearing toward making cars that are fundamentally similar to the ones we drive now. Designers and manufacturers have determined that consumer tastes change slowly. And these improvements may suffice, and they may come fast enough to make a significant difference. But there are many of you who are eager to push the envelope, live just beyond the comfort of the mainstream, and ponder the logical extremes of the challenges we face.
I like to venture out there once in a while, out there in those logical extremes. So I purchased an electric bicycle. I have owned it for five weeks now, and I am very pleased. Mind you, I live in Florida where the winters are mild. OK, the winters are better than just mild, they are great. The weather has not yet prevented me from riding whenever or wherever I needed to go. I have fitted my new bike with a child’s bike seat to the delight of my daughter. She and I ride to her school on the smaller neighborhood streets almost each morning now. At a relatively slow eighteen miles per hour and with no car encasing her, she enjoys more of her glorious environment. I have also intrigued many of the other parents that watch us drive up to school.

I also fitted the bicycle with a small canvas trailer. It is intended for transporting children, but I only use it to haul groceries from the store or tools to and fro my jobsites. I am a contractor who works out of a small Toyota truck. I usually go to my jobs in my truck the first day and leave all my heavy tools there. The ensuing days I have the option of commuting to that job on my new bike. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, depending on the distance to my jobsite. (It also depends on my mood.)

As you probably guessed, these electric bikes cannot travel far before they run out of steam. They run out of steam even quicker if you are pulling a trailer. Even a ten-pound trailer with skinny bicycle wheels. I learned this on my first commute to work. I got about half way there and the batteries died. I had to pedal the rest of the way there. I also learned that day that I should have brought my charger with me. I made it home for dinner that night, and did not feel the need to go to the gym the next morning, if you get my drift. I won’t soon forget that lesson.

Regarding the range on many of the electric bikes available, most of them can travel up to eighteen miles on a full charge. This varies considerably. The roads in my part of Florida a very flat. So that factor is the same as the “typical” used in most range evaluations. Most electric bicycles are called pedal-assist, so you are supposed to help the motor along by gently pedaling yourself. The weight of the passenger(s) is a factor, as is the weight of any baggage. I also learned that tire inflation and brake adjustment greatly affects range. Under-inflated tires or dragging brake pads will reduce your mileage.

I have found that my commutes to my daughter’s school are a very pleasant six-mile round trip. We can go as fast as she wants, I get a little exercise, and I comfortably make it home to recharge before I turn around to pick her up. Going to my work has proven to be sketchy because I usually drive on busier roads, at higher speeds to keep up with traffic, and the distances have been greater. Splotchy battery performance during my work commutes is what affects my mood some mornings. If I have a lot of work to do that day, I don’t want to also pedal half way home. As a sidebar, a fella gave me two supercharged batteries that he wants me to rig on to my new bike. They will strap into my basket. The electrical connection will be easy enough with a one-dollar connector from AutoZone. These batteries are “glass-mat” type from Harley Davidson motorcycles and have considerably higher amp/hour output than my factory-installed bicycle batteries. If I am crazy enough to do this, my wife or I will report back to you in later issues. That article will be a Must Read.
I will certainly keep riding my electric bike. I like the interest it generates, and the ensuing discussions. I would recommend it, with reservations, to many of you. If you are interested, read on.

I have done lots of research on the various electric bicycles available. Many of them are French or Italian. This concept must be popular across the pond. Most the other bikes (not mine) install their electric motor inside the center of the rear hub. I think this concept will work well in later-generation scooters, but If you run out of battery charge in one of these bicycles, it is very difficult to pedal them the rest of the way home. This arrangement also concerns me because parts for this assembly become very particular, very precise. Improvisation during repairs and maintenance becomes problematic. These European devices, in my experience, seems to be Solid State in that their many curious wires all bundle themselves into the center compartment where there are fuses and too many switches for my comfort. This center compartment contains a motherboard, a very proprietary piece of equipment that could not easily be circumvented. These bicycles are more like a moped than a pedal-assist bicycle. Electric bike technology should not be that sophisticated.

The other main style I saw was a regular bicycle with an electric motor that drives a wheel that you press against the rubber of your front tire for propulsion. This method creates both friction and slippage loss. More importantly, front-wheel-drive in a small car is good; front-wheel-drive on a bicycle is bad. The motion feels un-natural, and the weight of the motor on your front forks is very cumbersome. I felt like I had to constantly worry about endo (end-over-end flipping) or the front wheel slipping out from under me. Besides that, the aesthetics of these vehicles seemed all wrong.

I purchased my bicycle because it was the only one of its kind. It was  second-hand off Craig’s List, and I have no affiliation with the manufacturer. I have looked up their website, though. It is a Synergy Cycle, from Los Angeles, California. I saw yesterday that they reduced their purchase price to only $799.00. This is about half the price of any other electric bike I have seen to date. Their website advertises that a full charge costs between five and 7 cents. I have no reason to doubt this because my bike charges via a small transformer from a regular outlet from empty to full in about 30 minutes. (I will verify electric consumption and report this after I get my new amp-meter for my next birthday.) Either way, this bike has small initial and operational costs. Paltry indeed.

First it is a regular, high-quality, rugged bicycle. It seems they retro-fitted the motor system on after-the-fact. I know, that’s a redundancy, but my old high school English teacher probably won’t see this. And I really want to get this point across. Everything about this bike is as simple as possible. Any bike mechanic can work on most of it. Parts are as easy to find or improvise as any ordinary bike parts.

But then there is the motor/battery system. This stuff is strange to everybody. Who do you get to work on one of these babies? You guessed it…you, yourself, and you. The motor is about as big as a grapefruit, and it is bolted to the right rear main stay. Its got lots of torque and can pull a trailer and me with ease. (Even though extra weight draws more from your batteries.) Its armature runs parallel to the rear hub, about five inches above it. It is connected to the rear hub via a metal link chain and freewheel. This allows the electric motor to operate independent of the manual pedals. The manual pedals can operate independent of the motor, too. One pushes while the other freewheels. Or both can run simultaneous for top speed and longevity.

The motor is wired to the battery pack via two insulated wires that are neatly strapped to the frame. That’s all, just two wires. The battery pack is a plastic case that holds two 12v batteries joined in series to make a 24 volt system. There is a female jack for charging and an on-off switch on the side of this battery pack. The battery pack is removable with one quick-release bolt and one electrical connector. This way you can bring the battery in to your home or office to charge while the bike stays outside. From the battery pack (on the “bike” side of the dis-connector) there runs one cable to a thumb throttle on the handlebars. The throttle is spring tensioned. If your battery pack is switched “on” you may engage and accelerate the motor with a simple push of your thumb. The throttle is spring-tensioned, and its default mode is also “off,” creating a double “off” safety feature. It’s convenient and dummy-proof.

The only wires I don’t like are the two joined at the base of the throttle cable that go to each of the two hand brakes. If you are agile enough to simultaneously push the throttle with your thumb and pull the brakes with your fingers, the action of the brakes will shut down the electric motor. Talk about redundant. I’ve gotta give them credit, though. That is the only fat on the whole machine.

The double kickstand is very stable. It lifts your rear wheel off the ground and allows you to work on rear components while freewheeling, with the bicycle in the upright position. Did I mention the front fork shocks and the double mono-shocks on the main frame? The factory seat is nice enough, but I added a “gel” seat cover I mail ordered off the internet for $15.00. Even at 20mph+ this bike is comfortable and handles nimbly.

As much as I rave about it, though, I am having a hard time convincing my wife about the comfort of my new bike. She compares it to her car, though. And vehicle safety is another issue I concede to her. Like a good mother hen, she asks that I call her the moment my daughter and I arrive at school. And isn’t vehicle safety one of the biggest impediments to mainstreaming small, efficient vehicles? When I saw a new Smart Car pass by me on the interstate, even I think to myself “that does not look safe from here.” It makes me wonder how unsafe my electric bike looks from the vantage of a regular car in traffic.

Even so, my experience with the electric bike has made me ponder concepts such as electric motorcycles that travel at highway speeds. I have already seen children’s electric scooters that hold large batteries under the footrest for a low center of gravity. Could these toys be made a little bigger? Could they accommodate two or three passenger? Is “Two Wheels or Four?” really the only alternative? What about three wheels? I have also pondered safety seats for adults, safety helmets, and 5-point safety harnesses, similar to the features in NASCAR vehicles. I have faith that one of you readers will someday retrofit an electric motor from an industrial fan onto a beefed-up tricycle frame, bolt on a couple of tractor-trailer batteries, and test-drive your prototype at 70 mph. Another one of you might mold a NASCAR seat and a modernistic faring from carbon fiber and add it to the mix. Now that test-drive would be a productive use of the Bonneville Salt Flats.

We are now witnessing the first generation of electric bicycles. They will improve. Maybe this means they will have to look and act more like cars. Some of these bicycles will accommodate themselves to the existing road systems. Some roads throughout the country will be dedicated exclusively for the use of “ultra light” vehicles. Or something far-reaching and un-knowable will happen to this industry. I’m not saying this industry is going to supplant the possible demise of the Big Three, but who knows? Maybe somebody will retrofit one of those French mopeds with solar wings and try to fly it across the English Channel. I will be right there to cheer them on.

We have been looking at business ideas in Cotacachi such as Ecuador export ideas.

Here is a Cotacachi green business idea.  Import or make electric bikes.

For those interested in Cotacachi organic ideas see  Cotacach Organic Gardens here.

cotacachi-green

Entrance to Meson de las Flores.

This photo is another at Dennis Goff’s new site. Here are some more shots.

cotacachi-green

Gary Scott and immigration attorney, Roberto Moreno, at Meson.

Dennis is a professional photgrapher who spends winters in Cotacachi and saw there is an an ever increasing number of readers at our site who want to connect with people who have “lived the experience” in Cotacachi.
cotacachi-green

Ecuador roses at Meson.

Dennis thought it would be fun… and informative to start a light site.

cotacachi-green

Start of a parade. Wouldn’t electric bikes be better?

Anyone can join and contribute to the network.  Dennis will monitor content to keep it appropriate.   The intent is to keep it light hearted and fun and a great place for like minded people who enjoy Cotacachi.

Ecuador-tours

Tour delgates at Meson.

You can visit Dennis’s site here.

Until next message, may your world be beautiful and green.

Gary

Learn  more about Cotacachi business ideas at our July 4-8 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Enjoy savings by attending our real estate tours at the same time.

July 4-8 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

We provide discounts for delegates who attend two or three courses and tours in a month.

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Plus during the month of April, (this offer expires April 30) enjoy  our extra 2-4-1 savings.

Because Merri and I will not be conducting the July tours, our 2-4-1 offer lets you attend the July 2009  Ecuador export tour free if you enroll in one of our three International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ courses, in July, October or November that we will conduct.

You get two courses for the price of one.  Enroll in any of these courses that Merri and I will conduct below and choose any one of the three July tours free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

There is no need to  hurry either. If you are not sure about attending two tours,  sign up and attend the July export tour now… then we’ll knock the tour fee off our International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ courses, in July, October or November fee later.

You can also still take advantage of the two or three course discount as well.

For example, if you choose to attend all three of the July Ecuador tours… both real estate and export tours, then you can have the two or three courses discount and still attend a July, October or November International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ course free.

The 2-4-1 offer expires April 30 2009.

We hope to meet you in North Carolina or Ecuador.

Gary