Tag Archive | "Madrid"

Living on the Leading Edge


Living on the leading edge can be fun… interesting and lucrative as well.

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Walking here, along the edge of our North Carolina farm, can be beautiful but it’s easy to get lost in the wilderness too.

In our current era there are so many leading edges that it is hard to keep up!  Also many leading edges are sharp!

Merri and I know as it seems we are always stumbling (or being led-depending on how you wish to look at life) into something new and somewhat unknown.

!When Merri and I began our seminar business, our courses were about international investing.  In the 1970s and 1980s almost no one else was talking about this arena.  Wow!  Some people really hated us for that.  They thought it was crazy… this idea of investing globally and totally unpatriotic.  I had to learn how to deal with hecklers in this era.

Finally by the 1990s the investment establishment was catching on about the time our global investing research  led us to Ecuador.   Oh dear, when we had moved on to seminars about investing in Ecuador and then tours about Ecuador real estate how some of our readers did howl!  They felt we had gone crazy… again.

Our Ecuador business helped us see the need  for a better, easier way to learn Spanish and our Super Thinking + Spanish courses began.  Once again many wondered if we had been eating too many fruit loops when we declared that people can learn to speak Spanish in three days.   They wondered if we were crazy until we decided to teach others to teach learning Spanish in three days.  Then they knew we were crazy… or so they thought.

Yet look at these results from the leading edge.

One delegate who attended a recent Super Thinking + Spanish course taught by our Super Teachers, Shawn and Suzanne Bandick, in Mexico wrote:

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We would like to share three quotes below that can help you learn a key factor that brings true success when living on the leading edge.

The first was by Bob Dylan in last week’s message about how to gain from cultural differences.

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.


The second quote is from the Abraham Hicks’ website:  You’re not going to have a lot of people you can talk to about this. There is never a crowd on the leading edge. 

The third quote is a poem from the great poet, Rumi, (bolds are mine): These spiritual window-shoppers,  who idly ask, How much is that? Oh, I’m just looking.  They handle a hundred items and put them down, shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping, But these walk into a shop, and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment, in that shop.

Where did you go? “Nowhere.” What did you have to eat? “Nothing much?”  Even if you don’t know what you want, Buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a large, foolish project, like Noah.  It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

The key to successfully living on the leading edge is make sure it is YOUR leading edge.  Be true to yourself because when you are… you gain the enormous added energy of conviction of purpose.

With conviction you’ll find that you’ll care what people say when you see that you are fulfilling your purpose.

This is why Merri and I are pleased to see about these Super Teachers and the Super Thinking + Spanish courses they are providing.

Here are a few quotes that do matter to us… from delegates of courses conducted by our Super Teachers.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote about his courses with Mark Frakes:

Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week,and I’m on to a new career.What is my new career? Still formulating,but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons. Mark was a very capable leader and teacher,and his choice of Daniella as a pronunciation coach was well received.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language;the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.We all,and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.Last year I spent six weeks in Ecu and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home.You do what you say you will.There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks.The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.You did,and I look forward to other courses that you offer,and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.Thanks to Mark,who you chose well to represent your program.

Best regards,Denis Molloy.  Actually I now answer to my course acquired name of Antonio.For that I am also grateful. Love, Antonio.

Another wrote about Glenn Sterling’s course:   Buenos Dias, Gary y Glenn,

Below is a testimonial for Super Thinking Super Spanish. Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course. In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish Super Learning.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

The course was taught in English by Dr. Glenn Sterling, a witty, engaging, retired chiropractor, and Alberto, his Ecuadorian side kick, who made sure we learned to pronounce everything correctly.  After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Thinking Super Spanish. And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Learning is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.

During the course of the day and night, humans experience four types of brain waves: alpha, beta, delta, and theta. It turns out we learn best in alpha state. Research has shown that alpha state can be induced by meditation, listening to Baroque music (or any music that has about 60 beats per minute) and by taking a theanine (the active ingredient in green tea) supplement.

Getting into alpha involves slowing down and relaxing. So, class includes baroque music and guided journeys to support relaxation. Imagine learning while relaxing and having fun. That’s not how I remember school!

The brutal truth: In recent years, I’ve rarely relaxed (No wonder I have high blood pressure!) and, suddenly, I’m aware of it. Why?

1. Since early April, I’ve been living in a small town in a country with a slower pace of life and I’ve been affected by it. Positively, I’d say.

2. In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org). What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from Mexico wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.”

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it. It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.”

“I liked how simple it made speaking Spanish. Shawn and Suzanne are amazing teachers. They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. I would definitely recommend this course. Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you. This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.”

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning. The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price. The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless. To Shawn and Suzanne, thank you so much. You are gracious hosts and wonderful teachers. I learned so much. Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment. I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary. Being new to Mexico, I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better! Muchas Gracias!”

“I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word! Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning. Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I learned a lot of new vocabulary and the class gave me an opportunity to practice my Spanish, especially the pronunciation – thank you Guillermo. I would recommend this class because Shawn and Suzanne you are great teachers, the original way of teaching the language, and the pronunciation practice.”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach. I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish, I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

It was a very enjoyable class.”

“Thank you Shawn, Suzanne and Memo. It was a great learning environment. I liked that it was not strict and regimented.”

“Marv and I both absolutely loved the classes.“

Spiro Michas taught in Montevideo.

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After Day 1, one delegate (self-described as ” no previous ability to communicate in Spanish at all”) was able to fully express himself with the hotel staff in Spanish; as well as the taxi driver and bakery in Spanish – all in the morning before arriving for class on Day 2!

On Day 3, another delegate reported having had a full conversation the night before with his Uruguayan girlfriend completely in Spanish.  Thoroughly impressed, the ecstatic young lady told him “Whatever you’re doing in this class for the past two days, it’s working.  Don’t stop!”

After Day 3, Spiro received this note from one of the delegates:  I think the class gave me confidence to go out and try to make things happen on my own with bad Spanish. Since class I went to the Direccion Nacional de Migracion to renew my cedula (greencard) on my own, and also went to a doctor who interviewed me and prescribed care for my needs all in Spanish. It wasn’t smooth, pretty, or comfortable – but thanks to a better confidence to try – as a result of the class (and the patience and kindness of the people of Uruguay) both missions were accomplished in Spanish.”

The average written evaluation ratings collected after completion of the Montevideo class:

1.3             On a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being highest) when asked to rate level of Spanish prior to course
3.7            On a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being highest) when asked if they would recommend this course

Evaluation Comments included:

“Can now communicate on a basic level”
“Course has encouraged me to start using Spanish more”

“Good presentation, instructor communicates well, was easy to understand, created a good class atmosphere”

After the Vancouver course taught by Ernest Neumann we received an amazing email.  One of the registrants had a medical matter that posed difficulty with concentration, attention and focus.  They had a doctor’s prescription (legal in Canada) for medicinal marijuana.  Following they emailed us and said that taking the first joint of the medicinal marijuana the delegate realized it was no longer necessary and made the decision that he no longer needed this and due to the complete life changing alteration he had experienced was a result of the class!

Rick Brown who taught in Toronto wrote this:  Well, we’re done for the first day. It seems to have gone well. I have arranged a tour of the adjacent Military museum for tomorrow immediately following class. People are having a good time and I’m amazed at the Spanish coming out of them already!!

Here is one more rave from a Mexico course.
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You can get more details on any of these Spanish courses below by clicking on the links.

June 15-16-17 Sarasota, Florida  Super Thinking  + Spanish (Teacher: Mark Frakes)

June 29-30-July 1  Washington DC  Area  Super Thinking + Spanish (Teacher: Karen Zhussanbay)

July 6-7-8 Sarasota, Florida   Super Thinking + Spanish (Teacher: Mark Frakes)

July 27-28-29 Vernon B.C. Canada  Super Thinking + Spanish (Teachers: Shawn & Suzanne Bandick)

August 10-11-12  Madrid, Spain  Super Thinking + Spanish (Teacher: Spiro Michas)

August 15 – 16 – 17  Panama City, Panama  (Teacher Robert Girga). See details here.

August 20-21-22 Marbella, Spain   Super Thinking  + Spanish (Teacher Spiro Michas)

October 24 – 25 – 26 Panama City, Panama  (Teacher: Robert Girga).

Nov. 2-3-4   Mt. Dora Florida   Super Thinking + Spanish  (Gary & Merri Scott)

Dec. 3 -4-5  Panama City, Panama  (Teacher: Robert Girga).

To gain the ability to communicate in Spanish in just three days is definitely on the leading edge. We invite you to join us or any of  the Super Spanish teachers!

Gary

Ecuador Experience


Here are some thoughts on why the growing desire for experience can create profits with an Ecuador experience or investments in an experience.

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Here is an Ecuador sunrise viewed from our hotel Meson de las Flores. When the day begins in Ecuador you never know what new experience you’ll have next!

Understanding the seventh wave in the industrial revolution, the Imagination Era, can help us understand benefits in Ecuador and see how to invest better anywhere in the world.

Technology has moved humanity through numerous eras of innovation (Steam Powered – Internal Combustion Powered – Chemical/Plastics/TV/Telephone/Jet Powered – Electronics powered and Information Powered). Each era made society more efficient. New modes of productivity changed the way we eat, work, sleep, live, practice religion, politics, gather our families, spend, etc. Now we are headed into the Imagination Era.

The information era has peaked. We can still make money in Microsoft and the .coms but the really easy, big billions were all made before 1998.  These peal of each era lasts 30 years or more and we are about a decade into the Imagination Era.

In the Imagination Era, whatever can be is automated.

In the Imagination Era, excellence and value are taken for granted.   Automated assembly lines that turn out low cost, highly usable, dependable products are growing. Innovations in production are taking place very quickly within industry.

In the Imagination Era, the story reigns king! People buy products based on the story behind the product. Consumers want experiences more than things.

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For example our September Super Thinking Spanish Course coincided with Imbabura’s Indigenous Corn Festival. Our delegates were rewarded with the experience of a Cotacachi parade and…

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the…

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Corn Queen.  These are not…

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small parades.

In the Information Era, values  are even more important than the economic value.

We can see the Imagination Era every day.  Eras do not start and stop in a day. We still have textiles and foundries, railroads, airplanes, etc. Airlines and car manufacturers still exist (though we have just seen a shakeout with Internal Combustion Era businesses).

The Imagination Era has been forming for some time. Chances are it will rise even faster and sharper than all those in the past and the peak is near.

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Here’s a Corn Princess.

One example is seen in this excerpt from a recent New York Times article entitled “Disney’s Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores” by Brooks  Barnes and published October 12, 2009: The Walt Disney Company, with the help of Steven P. Jobs and his retailing team at Apple, intends to drastically overhaul its approach to the shopping mall. Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide, leading a tour, says, “It’s time to take risks.”  At a time when many retailers are still cutting back or approaching strategic shifts with extreme caution, Disney is going the other way, getting more aggressive and putting into motion an expensive and ambitious floor-to-ceiling reboot of its 340 stores in the United States and Europe — as well as opening new ones, including a potential flagship in Times Square.

Disney Stores, which the media giant is considering rebranding Imagination Park, will become more akin to cozy entertainment hubs. The chain’s traditional approach of displaying row after row of toys and apparel geared to Disney franchises will be given a high-tech makeover and incorporated into a new array of recreational activities. The goal is to make children clamor to visit the stores and stay longer, perhaps bolstering sales as a result. Over the next five years, analysts estimate that Disney will spend about $1 million a store to redecorate, reorganize and install interactive technology.

“The world does not need another place to sell Disney merchandise — this only works if it’s an experience,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. (Bold is mine)

Steve Jobs at Apple is helping with proprietary information about Apple’s successful stores, and his message is “Dream bigger”.   There is great  interactivity — parents will be able to book a Disney Cruise on touch-screen kiosks while their children play.

Ecuador is perfect as a place to experience new adventures, lifestyles and ways of life because the population includes one of the most highly successful indigenous populations who have integrated their ancient culture with the Western economy.

Ecuador-experience

Another Corn Princess.

These parades go on for hours…

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with wonderful floats, bands, music and  dancers.

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When looking for places to invest, visit or live, we can go beyond Disney… and enjoy the benefits of this era’s desire for experience.

Our course delegates were delighted.  So when  you come to Ecuador be ready for adventure and something new.  You ever know what wonderful experiences you’ll enjoy!

Gary

See Cotacachi Surprise Parade

Join our Ecuador courses and tours October, November or December.

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business

This course can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times..

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in all our seminars or tours for any one month, October, November or December, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

Head south. Experience Ecuador!

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

Join us in the mountains and at the sea.  Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.

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

Read the entire article “Disney’s Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores”

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

As does everywhere.  In fact our world has more risk then ever before.

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Are quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue at risk?

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The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.  Yet?

Change creates risk and we live in an era of increasingly rapid change.

Those who welcome this fact are those who have the best chance of success. ahead.

This is the era of rapid change… the era of  extra risk.  The current time period within this era is of accelerated change and risk.

This is an important message about how to manage risk in Ecuador or anywhere.

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Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care.

Take for example the US travel advisory for Ecuador… read  without perspective. Ecuador risk would seem high.

Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Ecuador:

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

CRIME:  Crime is a serious problem in Ecuador, and visitors should be alert and cautious.  Non-violent crime is common: hundreds of Americans are robbed every year in Ecuador.   Incidents of rape have increased, even in well-traveled tourists areas and when the victims traveled in groups for safety. Shootings, kidnappings, and carjackings are still relatively rare, but American citizens have been victimized by those crimes.  The Ecuadorian government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs such as scopolamine on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them.  These so-called date rape drugs are put into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim.  This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems.  Never allow a stranger to “buy” you a drink and never leave your drink unattended.  Several American citizens have reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

Does Ecuador sound risky?

Ecuador sounds risky until you read the travel advisory for Italy.  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Italy:

Some travelers are victims of rape and beatings.  There are incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists.  Many of these incidents occur in the vicinity of Rome’s Termini train station and at major tourist centers such as Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona, as well as in Florence and Naples.  Criminals using this tactic “befriend” a traveler at a train station, bus stop, restaurant, café or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug.  When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler’s valuables.  There are also instances where the victim is assaulted, either physically or sexually.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities.  Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted.  Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian Law Enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south.  They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes.

Italy could seem risky as well until you read the travel advisory for Spain .  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Spain.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:     Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents.  Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity.  Spain’s proximity to North Africa makes it vulnerable to attack from Al Qaeda terrorists in the Maghreb region.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, in March 2004, Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries.  Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted in October 2007.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain.  ETA has historically avoided targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. However, foreigners have been killed or injured collaterally in ETA attacks.  Two examples of this are the Barajas Airport bombing in December 2006, in which two Ecuadorian nationals were killed and the bombing at the University of Navarre in October 2008, in which 17 students were injured including one American student.  In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. The risk of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists.  U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of pick-pocketing, mugging and occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.  Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk.  Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

Thieves often work in teams of two or more people.  In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplices perform the robbery.   Spanish authorities warn of the availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy.  Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

We could go on… in Europe…  in Asia… or anywhere.

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Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.

If one becomes aware of change and adapts accordingly… there is no risk.  There is opportunity instead.

Early adapters are called risk takers.   They are not.

Real risk takers are those who do not  adapt because…  we know…  there is change.

The real risk is living by OLD rules in a NEW world.

The real risk is believing in General Motors for example… because it is the biggest… oldest… so it must be safest.

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Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.

The world is new every day and each day, some old rule no longer works.

The old rules used to say that the Western world was safe… and the emerging world riskier.   The old rules said that the Western world had low crime…  the emerging world had high crime.

Yet look at excerpts of a recent New York Times article entitled “Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid” by Solomon Moore (See a link to the entire article below) says:

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to the report Monday by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years.

This suggests that the US has quite a lot of risk… both in crime and health.

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Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

New rules about risk are being written every day and our daughter Francesca shared some thoughts on this when she recently visited us here.

Fran is quite a traveler.  Here early studies were in England… Gloucestershire and Birmingham.  Then she spent more for more than a year in Spain and Costa Rica, and moved to Naples and Delray, Florida which were bases for her to  manage real estate tours in Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.

She worked for several years doing human rights training in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to get her Masters degree at London School of Economics.

Then  she worked in London for the Crown Agents where she was assigned
as a project manager and consultant to governments in Nigeria,  Peru, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

She has worked the last several years  as a development planning, monitoring & evaluation consultant in Swaziland and is returning there now on a contract with the United Nations.

As a young, single woman (now married) she has had to be aware of risks traveling everywhere from Florida to London to Lagos.

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Here I am with Francesca on her wedding day.

Fran & Sam rode to their reception in Richmond Park on a bicycle built for tow.

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Riding a bike through London traffic… now that is risky!

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Here are some common sense thoughts that Francesca shares about living with risk.

Living with Risk by Francesca Scott

We’re living in risky times; from the economic collapse, to swine flu, to erratic weather conditions.  It sometimes surprises me when people ask me if I’m not worried about living in Swaziland (my current home), because, they say, Africa is such a dangerous place.  I figure that when I return to London, my risk of being attacked in a terrorist attack skyrockets.  And I am still dumbfounded by the fact that children are screened for guns at schools in the United States.  By the way in England for the first time screening for knives has begun in some inner-city London schools.

The issue of risk came to mind recently, when I was visiting my Grandma. One evening over dinner, the discussion turned to the security situation in Swaziland, and I mused that in certain ways I feel safer in Swaziland than I do in parts of London. My Grandma commented that gangs were increasingly becoming a problem in Portland, her home city, and that she didn’t feel that safe these days.  The next day, as we stopped at the local bank, I was surprised by the thick wall of bullet proof glass completely separating the staff from the general public. They don’t have that in banks in London, or in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital city.

I began thinking about how easily we adapt to different risks within our local environments. In many countries, one would be crazy not to have bars on lower windows. In central London, I hold my bag very close to my chest – I value my purse and cell phone too much. My mother-in-law, who lives in Australia, actually leaves her keys in her car when she stops at a store to pick up groceries (gasp!).  Sadly, I doubt that will last for much longer.   So does my Dad in NC.  They have a policy on the farm that all keys remain in all vehicles…just in case someone needs to jump in one!

Each country has a different risk profile, from pick-pockets, to pollution, to drug barons.  I am not saying that Swaziland does not have its dangers – my house has been broken into several times, and I drive much more defensively than I would in the US or the UK (mostly to avoid wayward cows that have drifted onto the road).  The important thing is to be fully informed about the risks.  This might sound obvious, but sometimes people are scared off by unfamiliar risks or misinformation.

It’s also worth remembering that there are often a variety of ways to mitigate those risks through effective prevention methods, so long as you know the rules. Most of us are guilty of exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk as a result of ignorance at one time or other, and are lucky that we’ve lived to tell the tell. I was threatened at knife point by a drug addict in a park in Spain, when I lived there as a student.  When I recounted my story to my Spanish roommate, she told me that I was a fool to be in that park in the first place, ‘…didn’t you know that it’s the favorite haunt for heroine addicts in the city?’  Well, no, obviously I didn’t know at that time, but it was a valuable lesson for me about the importance of knowing the rules.

I must admit to being a little scared before I went to Swaziland.  After all, it’s in one of the poorest parts of the world, and only three hours drive from Johannesburg, a gang-ridden, violent city. I also couldn’t shake off all those awful images of Africa I’ve seen on the evening news. I told myself that I would try it out for six months (I figured I could survive for that length of time in an underground bunker living off tinned corned beef and bottled water if it was that bad), and make a decision from there about whether or not it was for me. Two-and-a-half years later, I still thoroughly enjoy living here and am very glad that I resisted my initial anxieties.

For those considering buying property, or even moving to Ecuador, or any other country – developed, developing or downright poverty stricken for that matter – I would recommend to take the time to become fully informed about the types of risks you might face.  You can find out a lot from the internet and books, but it would be a shame to be scared off by some of what you read or by the well intentioned comments of a neighbor who hasn’t ever lived away from their home town.

Everyone comes from a different starting point, and everyone has a different risk threshold.

Also, the dramatic stories tend to be more interesting to tell.  While reading around can certainly offer you a variety of different and valuable viewpoints, it’s also important to talk to people who have lived in the country. Locals can be an invaluable source of information, while ex-pats may be more appreciative of the kinds of risks unanticipated by a foreigner, risks that may seem glaringly obvious to a local. Also, find out what you can do to mitigate those risks. Often you can reduce your exposure significantly using the appropriate precautions. If you think that the benefits outweigh those risks, then go down and check out the country for yourself.  That’s the only way you can really know if the level of risk is one that you could tolerate.

It might be that the risks are in some countries and in some places, in fact, just too high, pushing you beyond your comfort zone, or that the restrictions necessary to reduce your risks would make you feel stressed and claustrophobic. It’s no fun lying restless at night at night because you’re worried over a break-in, even though you have an alarm, or resent the lack of privacy from having a guard permanently outside your house. If you’re looking for the exact replica of your own community, with the same level of risk, and a Starbucks around the corner thank you very much, then somewhere like an emerging country really may not be for you. There will inevitably be new and different risks in poorer countries, some to which you, as a foreigner, could be at much higher risk than a local.

But take a moment to reflect on the risks that you face in your daily environment back home, and you might find that such risks are relative. While some risks will be new when you move abroad, you will also leave some behind. Therefore, before making any decision of moving to a country other than your own, I recommend making sure that you are informed by the reality on the ground, not some misconception fed by the media or well-intentioned homebodies. Only with that information can you gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the type and level of risk you might face. For an adventurous soul, you may well find that the benefits of living in a new culture, the fun of exploring a foreign terrain, make everything worthwhile.

Risk assessment is a vital part of survival and success in today’s world.

This has always been true so always consider risk… but when you evaluate danger… don’t  just look at the places where you will be.   Review your thinking, your habits and patterns to see how you can turn risk into opportunity.

Gary

Join us here at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  Learn more turning risk into opportunity at our courses and tours.

ecuador-risk

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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.

See the entire article Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html

Cotacachi Travel Fares


We are very lucky that a current global airfare war has pushed Ecuador airfares down to ridiculous levels.  This makes it very inexpensive getting to our winter 2009 conferences and tours….plus gets all of us out of the winter doldrums!

Cotacachi travel fares can be reduced if you understand how to get to Quito and then how to travel to Cotacachi from Quito.

First airfares to Quito.  We often get requests about how to find the lowest air fares to Ecuador and Cotacachi from Africa, Canada,Europe, and the US.  See some incredible rates from all these destinations

We use www.Kayak.com to check fares and regularly find really low Ecuador air fares as you’ll see below.

For example, the round trip Ecuador airfare, Los Angeles to Quito Ecuador, is $480 including taxes. Lacsa is a Costa Rican airline and that Ecuador air fare is available today.  There are 40 flight Ecuador air fare combinations at that price right now.

Here are other US and Canadian fares form kayak.com.  All are round trip and include all taxes and coordinate with our January classes!

Toronto – Quito Ecuador – $660.  American Airlines

Vancouver BC – Quito Ecuador – $799.  Alaskan Air/Continental

Chicago – Quito Ecuador – $662.  United/Copa

New York – Quito Ecuador – $481. Lacsa

Houston – Quito Ecuador – $774. Lacsa

Dallas – Quito Ecuador – $670. Delta

Miami – Quito Ecuador – $496. LAN

Atlanta – Quito Ecuador – $653. American Airlines

One trick is to look for low fares to gateway airports such as Houston, New York, Atlanta and Miami…then look for a low fare from the gateway.  If you are looking for fares from Europe, Africa or UK, look for the cheap fares in the Sunday newspapers and then double check Kayak.

This does not always work though.  As we saw above, it is less expensive to fly to Quito via Dallas than Houston right now.

Sometimes the Ecuador air fare savings, especially from Africa and Europe can be enormous.

Take Johannesburg, South Africa to Quito as an example.  American Airlines offers the lowest direct fare of about $1800…however, if you take Egypt Air to London then you can save an extra $450 each.

If you know a cheap fare from Johan Airport to Amsterdam, Madrid, or London then go for that…and then continue on direct to Quito.  Fiddling around like this can save thousands!

Or get this one…go non stop on Egypt Air to Madrid…then Madrid AA to Quito. This approach brings the fare down to $925 per person round trip from Africa to Ecuador!  If you can find a cheap flight to Madrid from anywhere in Africa or Europe, then you may be able to save big time!

Keep in mind, there are always more than one way to skin a cat.  Think Creatively!!!

Check local European newpapers for air fare bargains to Madrid, Amsterdam and London from wherever you are.  Then check the fares from these three gateways to Quito.  Compile the fares and as above you can sometimes save in the above cases over  $1,500.

We are not travel agents of course, but we help Ecuador Living subscribers and our course and tour delegates find low cost air fares to Ecuador. We provide subscribers and delegates with an email code so we can sort their request amidst the hundreds of emails that arrive here each day.

As an Ecuador Living subscriber, you can also learn how to travel to Cotacachi from Quito at Cotacachi by Train, Plane and Automobile

And don’t forget we can arrange to meet your flight in Quito!

You can subscribe to Ecuador Living Service here.

Until next message, may every fare in your life be fair!

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

manta-condo tags

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Here is a long shot of Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-condos

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

Here is our Ecuador tour schedule for the balance of 2009.

Date                    Course                      Couples Fee

May 21-26  Ecuador Spanish Course         ($999)
May 27-28  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)

June 12-15  Shamanic Mingo Tour             ($999)
June 16-17  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)
June 18-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour         ($749)

July 2-7       Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)
July 8-9       Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
July 10-13   Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Sept. 17-22  Ecuador Spanish Course        ($999)
Sept. 23-24  Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
Sept. 25-28  Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Oct. 21-26   Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)

Nov. 6-8       International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador ($999)
Nov. 9-10     Imbabura Real Estate Tour          ($749)
Nov. 11-14   Coastal Real Estate Tour            ($749)

All Cotacachi Tours and Courses are condcuted at our colonial inn, meson de las Flores were we enjoy Breakfast “al fresco”.

Cotacachi hotel El Meson de las Flores

All Coastal tours are conducted on the beach from our coastal home at Hotel Palmazul.

manta real estate in Ecuador tags

You should normally plan to arrive in Quito two days before the course.  We will pick you up at the airport, help you to your hotel in Quito and bring the group to Cotacachi by coach.

For coastal tours we travel as a group from Quito to Manta by air, then tour the coast for two and a half days returning to Quito on the evening of the third day.

Here I am with Merri and Ma at Palmazul’s beach.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Here I am hiking with Ma above Cotacachi.

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

Cotacachi Cathedral at night.

Cotacachi hotel El Meson de las Flores

Shamanic ceremony on mingo tour.

2008-04-13 Ecuador shamans

Enjoying the surf at Palmazul.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Cotacachi plaza.

Cotacachi hotel El Meson de las Flores

Palmazul beach.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Merri, me and Ma above Cotacachi

Gary Scott

Sunset at Palmazul.

Ecuador real estate for sale

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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

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 are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Places to Love


Our website focuses mainly on profits from international investing but our main theme is and always has been to “turn your passion into profit”.  Do things that are fulfilling in places you love.

This is why after 30 years of continual global travel for the past decade Merri and I have settled down and spent most of our time between just seven places:

#1: & #2: Ecuador’s Andes  and the North Carolina’s Blue Ridge…because we love the beauty and the people.

Blue-Ridge-View

Here is our daughter, Eleanor and boyfriend, enjoying a Blue Ridge view frm our farm.

andes-view

Here Merri and I enjoy an Andean view as we work at our Ecuador hacienda. Rosaspamba.

#3: Ecuador’s Pacific coast…ditto.

Ecuador-Cosatal-view

Here’s our life long friend, Steve from Portland, visiting us at Palmazul and enjoying the Pacific life.

#4: Florida…daughter, great son-in-law and our grandson.

mountain-view

Our grandson, Garren is great on th farm.  What fun!

#5: Oregon…mom…daughter, another great son-in-law and granddaughter.

mom and grandaughter

Mom and our grandaughter Sequoia in Oregon.

#6: England…two daughters and one son.

#7: Copenhagen…because we really like Danes and love this city…plus we bank there and have a strategic alliance with Jyske Bank.  Plus Copenhagen is our favorite city.

A recent article in a London-based lifestyle magazine Monocle shows that others must agree:

Where’s the best city in the world?

Monocle recently scoured the world to find the ‘Best’ in various categories. Here are some of the results —

Best global city: Paris, for its bike-sharing program, Vélib
Best business city: Madrid, for its relaxed working hours
Best cultural city: Berlin, for its art galleries and 24-hour scene
Best design city: Copenhagen
Best retail city: Fukuoka

The Danish capital city of Copenhagen, however, stood out as the most exceptional city for its quality of life and status as a cutting-edge design center. Editors were impressed with the quality of the architecture to the fact that locals and visitors alike could buy a good glass of wine at 1AM.

Crowned as a global urban treasure, the city was complemented for its efficient compact size, its transport system and infrastructure, its contemporary buildings, fine restaurants and its renewed focus on environmental issues.

Munich and Tokyo came in at second and third place, respectively.

Here’s how the rest of the world plays out in the best quality of life category:

1. Copenhagen (Stroget is the longest, pedestrian-only thoroughfare in    Europe)
2. Munich
3. Tokyo
4. Zürich
5. Helsinki
6. Vienna
7. Stockholm
8. Vancouver
9. Melbourne
10. Paris
11. Sydney
12. Honolulu
13. Madrid
14. Berlin
15. Barcelona
16. Montreal
17. Fukuoka
18. Amsterdam
19. Minneapolis
20. Kyoto

Merri and I hope that you have a great Sunday and that wherever you are is a place you enjoy.

Gary

We hope you will join us in Ecuador’s  Andes, on its Pacific coast or in the Blue Ridge.

You can still  make to our June 19-21 Ecuador Shaman Tour

See dates for our Autumn courses and tours:

Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour

Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador

See discounts for attending more than one course.

Multi Currency Inflation


Multi Currency Inflation

Multi currency inflation is with us. Merri and I are conducting our International Investing and Business course this week.  When we do these courses at the farm we provide al the meals. Merri is a great cook and everyone enjoys her home cooking, and she enjoys it also.

We do all the shopping for these meals and just being back from Ecuador…wow…sticker shock!

Being a multi currency investor, my portfolio is up…but it needs to be with rising prices. My heart goes out to anyone trying to preserve purchasing power with investments just in US dollars.

Quality has suffered here as well.  We feel deprived in US super markets after shopping in Ecuador’s markets where the food is fresh, the fruit and vegetables ripe…as well as costs a fourth or less of the US.

This is what we are used to in Ecuador with food prices so low it makes us want to give the people more than they ask.

Ecuador-food-market
But inflation is everywhere. This is why I am buying Ecuador real estate as fast as I can. I believe prices will rise for two reasons.

The first is because of commodity hikes.

In February, I wrote an Ecuador Beach Condos Introduction.

This introduction revealed a number of brand new beach view condos available for $79,000. The developer reported that these condos literally sold out in a week. However he also offered all the buyers a 60 day cooling off period.  Several have dropped out so a few of these $79,000 units are on the market again.

My feeling is that these $79,000 units will not last long based on the reply that the developer Kjetil Haugan sent when I asked if these units were still available at this price.

“Gary, thanks..it is ok for me to offer the apartments at $79k with the $5,000 club fee waived.  The problem I am facing now is that building material prices are going up every month..steel has gone up 65% since January and the total construction cost is about 40% more than it was in November 2007..it looks like we will be able to do the infrastructure a bit less expensive so I am okay with this price but we want to build most of the blocks as soon as possible before prices will be even bigger problem!  We have started with two blocks now and will start with the upper blocks where you bought next week.”

The second reason I believe prices will rise in Ecuador is that the Italians and Spaniards have caught on!

Our friend, Anne Williamson, is a veteran journalist, who has written for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She authored a definitive and eye-opening analysis of the nation’s banking system for WorldNet and discussed this issue on national televion and radio programs, including “The O’Reilly Factor.” .  She is an authority on Russia and international finance and testified before the House Banking Committee.

Having spent months with us in Ecuador she has caught on quickly and sent this note to us.

“Hello Gary, I spotted the above in an email from idealista.com (a weekly investing review of Spanish and Italian real estate trends), and thought you might find the information useful.  All the best,  Anne

“A dwelling in Quito or Guayaquil, the same price as a garage in Madrid
Negocio, Monday 12, May 08.

“A three-bedroom dwelling measuring 800 square feet  in a luxury complex in Ecuador can be bought for €36,000, which is equivalent to what, with luck, a well-situated garage costs in Madrid.  These low prices have made Ecuador a destination to be taken into consideration by Spanish investors as the same dwelling would cost €126,000 in areas such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic the market in Ecuador is expected to offer 7% returns in the coming years.”

This will make it tough for Americans and diminished dollars to compete with the Europeans and their euro which has double in strength against the greenback in the past few years.

You can learn more about the $79,000 beach condos from Kjetil Haugan at kjetil@haugancruises.com

Inflation is everywhere but multi currency investing in real estate, commodities and shares can maintain and increase our purchasing power.  This is what I am doing and look forward to sharing my experiences with you.

Gary

See dates for our other Ecuador courses and tours:

Coastal Real Estate Tour

Here is a house on the beach we saw on our last coastal tour.

Ecuador-beach-property-for-sale

Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Here is a house in Quito we’ll see on our next tour.

quito-property-for-sale
Ecuador Shaman Tour

Ecuador Import Export Course


See discounts for attending more than one course.