Tag Archive | "Sydney"

Cotacachi Olympics


Last year our Ecuador Living website introduced the Cotacachi Olympics.

The way to solve many of the world’s social and economic woes is to help youth worldwide gain confidence to learn skills that will make them productive.   Increased affluence in poor places is far more effective than vast armies in providing global security.

We aim our business and the activities of our foundation towards creating employment and improving education.

This is why we support the Cotacachi Olympics  program started by our friend, Jorge Quilumbaqui, to promote the ability of the Ecuador Indigenous to help themselves.

Cotacachi-Olympics

Jorge Quilumbaqui at his latest real estate project. Primavera IV is in the background.

Jorge started off as a laborer but now is considered to be one of the indigenous elders in Cotacachi, an example to younger generations of how to prosper in what, years ago, was a difficult environment.

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Here’s Jorge, second from left, with Cotacachi’s former mayor Auki, standing with some of the medal winners from last year’s event. (The past mayor next to Jorge is wearing the white hat.)

Jorge hasn’t forgotten his roots though and employs dozens and dozens of builders in his various projects as well as local girls in his hotel in Cotacachi, Sumak Huasi.

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Our friend and reader Dave Wharton was Australia’s Pentathalon entrant in the Sydney Olympics.  He sent down his Olympic torch for the second Cotacachi Olympics.  Here is Dave with the torch.

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Dave sent this note to the Cotacachi Olympians:

GREETINGS FROM AUSTRALIA.
REMEMBER THE LEGENDARY CHASQUI MESSENGERS!!

In 2000 I ran with this TORCH,which carried the flame that started the Olympics in Sydney. There were many torches but only one flame that transferred from torch to torch all the way from Athens in Greece to Sydney in Australia.

In 2003  I brought the TORCH to Ecuador and runners carried it from the Mayan Ruins at Ruminchico outside Quito to Vilcabamba de Loja. Along the way many runners joined us in helping to revive the memory and spirit of the famous CHASQUI runners who came centuries before.  The run was organized by Oswaldo Munoz of  Nuevo Mundo Expeditions in Quito.

I wish Jorge Quilumbaci,Officials and Competitors success in running your MINI OLYMPICS and hope to visit you one day.

CHASQUI DAVE WHARTON
AUSTRALIA

This introduction was translated and read in Spanish and Quichua to the young Cotacachi Olympiads.

Chasqui runners were the main form of communication for the Inca Kings. The Incas did not discover the wheel and lacked a writing system but they set up a relay system for delivering information along the Capac Yan (Inca Trail). Only the swiftest athletes were chosen, usually running 2 miles at a time often covering 200 miles in under 24 hours.

We hope this contribution will further inspire the youth of the Andes onto great things.

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Some of the children, in good humor and ready to compete!

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Both boys and girls competed and the joy expressed as they competed, won and lost in good spirits was a pure pleasure to watch.

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Congratulations, Cotacachi on a second successful Olympics.

Gary

We hope we can help you attain Olympian success in business and life as well.  This is why we developed our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

I am willing to give you this $299 course free when you attend either our our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October or November in Ecuador.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free.

We look at many funky export ideas in these three courses.

For example when decoratng our latest rental unit we created wall art with these Otavalo scarves.

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All it took was the scarves, a stick and a bit of wood.

We visit Otavalo on our Ecuador export tours.

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There is so much…

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style. This is the entrance to the Plazas de los Ponchos in Otavalo.

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There is so much wonderful design….

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colors…

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textures and…

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uses from ponchos to…

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hammocks to…

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sweaters to…

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art and handicrafts to…

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reed furniture… musical instruments and rugs… mats, that the experience stimulates funky business ideas.

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 $299.

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

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in 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.

Multi Currency Investing Ahead


Multi currency investments fight inflation and can enhance wealth but require a long view .

There is a screech owl that lives in our barn and the way I watch him is sort of how I invest.

Can you see the owl?

To begin, an investing idea starts with a speck of thought…seeing the whole picture, but without many details.

Then it’s time to connect dots to see a closer picture.

Then we begin gathering information so the focus is closer…

until we can finally zoom in.

At this stage when we have zeroed in, we can act.

One big idea I have been tracking and investing in, is water. Now I am zeroing in on a new sub interest…water desalination.

An article sent by a reader entitled “Australia Turns to Desalination Amid Water Shortage” by Michael Sullivan first piqued my interest.

The article told how the Kwinana Desalination Plant, near Perth, produces 40 million gallons of drinking water per day from the Indian Ocean.

The article says:

Perth, with a population of about 1.7 million, is growing 3 percent a year — about 750 families a week move to the city, says Gary Crisp of the Western Australia Water Corp.

The Kwinana Desalination Plant south of the city opened two months ago. The facility, the first of its kind in Australia, covers just a few acres in an industrial park next to the ocean.

The water is sucked in through a pipe about 650 feet offshore in Cockburn Sound, at a rate of about 0.1 meters per second, says project manager Simon McKay.

That is slow enough to let the fish escape, but fast enough to provide nearly 40 million gallons of drinking water each day — roughly 20 percent of Perth’s daily consumption. That makes the plant the single largest source of water for the city.

McKay says it doesn’t take very long for the seawater to be ready for the tap — about a half-hour from the time it comes out of the ocean until it’s processed and distributed.

Desalination plants have been around in places like the Middle East for decades. But they’ve always been expensive to build and expensive to run. New technology has made them cheaper and more efficient, but they still consume a large amount of energy.

Environmentalists in Perth balked at the idea of using coal-fired plants to provide power for the one here, forcing the Water Corp. to find a non-polluting, renewable alternative. It found that alternative — wind energy — near the town of Cervantes, a three-hour drive north of Perth.

The Emu Downs Wind Farm houses 48 wind turbines, each as high as a 15-story building.

Kerry Roberts, the facility’s general manager, says Emu Downs is among the top 10 or 20 sites for this type of energy alternative in Australia.

“If you look at the combined output of the wind farm at maximum wind speeds — 24 to 28 miles per hour — you’re looking at an output of close to 80 megawatts,” Roberts explains. That’s enough power to run Perth’s desalination plant, 160 miles to the south.

This successful marriage of renewable technology and necessity has Crisp, of the Western Australia Water Corp., thinking big: “I predict that desalination will account for at least half of Perth’s water in the next 30 years.”

Other water-stressed seaside cities in Australia are taking a serious look at desalination, as traditional water sources dry up because of lack of rain. Sydney, on Australia’s southeast coast, is expected to commission a plant even larger than Perth’s in the next few months.

Nonetheless, the desalination boom extends far beyond Australia’s shores. McKay — the man in charge of getting Perth’s plant running — will soon be off to Muscat, Oman, to build another. His company’s order book is filling up quickly, he says, and he doesn’t expect that to change in his lifetime. Neither does Crisp.

“The world is going reverse osmosis,” he says, naming projects proposed from California to Spain.

Looking around, I found that one of the largest desalination plants is not far from where I lived (Naples) for years, Tampa Florida. The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination facility is an integral part of the Tampa Bay region’s drinking water supply. This is claimed to be a drought-proof, alternative water supply that provides up to 25 million gallons per day of drinking water to the region.

There are large desalination projects underway in California as well. However a look at the top 50 desalination projects show that the majority of them are in the Middle East.

Desalination is a sector that is bound to grow. It is estimated that 2.8 billion people live in areas of high water stress and this number is expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years.

Areas of greatest concern include India, China and the Middle East.

There are two forms of desalination, evaporation and reverse osmosis (salt water forced through a filter under high pressure). There are already over 10,000 desalination plants going, mostly in the Middle East.

There are huge expenditures underway for desalination and wastewater purification and a number of companies are cashing in on this fact.

General Electric may be in the lead. It purchased Ionics, which builds desalination plants and makes filter membranes.

The French company Veolia Environnement (VE) is a major desalination plant and membrane supplier. This company earns over a third of its revenue from water businesses. The Japanese chemical company Nitto Denko (6988.T) is a large membrane supplier as is Dow Chemical (DOW), DuPont (DD), and GE.

Desalination plant builders include Italian Impreglio (IPGOF), South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (DOHIF), French Suez (SZEZY), German Siemens (SI), and Spanish construction companies Acciona (ACXIF) and Abengoa (ABGOF).

We have written often about Singapore-listed Hyflux (HYFL) which makes filter membranes used to purify water and builds desalination plants. Hyflux is building a 500,000-cubic-meter per day desalination plant in Algeria, which, when completed in 2011, will be the world’s largest. Hyflux is also building 40 water treatment plants in China, where it gets 81% of its revenue. This share is in our Green portfolio as is Japan’s Kurita Water Industries (6370.T) which builds desalination plants and sells other water purification equipment, getting all of its 205 billion yen [$2 billion] in revenue from water-related businesses.

Canadian H2O Innovation (HEO) makes filtration membranes for wastewater treatment. Austria’s Christ Water Technology (CRSWF) sells desalination and other water purification equipment. American Water (AWK), is in New Jersey and ran the desalination plant in Tampa, which is the largest in the U.S. Energy Recovery in San Leandro, Calif. has also sold shares to investors.

Desalination plants are expensive and create local opposition for several reasons.

First, they produce a waste of highly concentrated salt water that can destroy the surrounding ocean habitat. Second they require a lot of energy which if created by coal, creates air pollution.

The third concern, perhaps the biggest is concern for the organisms that are killed by the process of withdrawing seawater. Tiny fish larvae and plankton are killed in process.

Te nature of our existence is such that we cannot eliminate our foot print entirely. very solution to environmental problems seems to create others. Let’s hope that technology will help make desalination one of humanity’s solutions…not problems. Since desalination can produce fresh water where there is none, and water is one of the few items in daily life that has no substitute, I be looking to invest in companies that provide fresh water with minimal impact on the environment.

Once I find such a  company,  will have identified one of many filters we should use when we review value.  We look for shares of companies that have a product or service in a wave of the future…such as desalination.

Then there are still many questions to answer to determine if the share offers a good value or not.  The questions include:

#1: Are the shares traded in a good value market?
#2: Does the share trade at fair Price to Earnings and Price to Cash Flow ratios?
#3: Does the share pay a good value dividend?
#4: Do the shares have a good value relative to their previous price?
#5: Does the company have rising earnings?
#6: Has the share price been rising?
#7: Is the company’s management good.

My feeling is that desalination will grow especially, that which is provided by wind energy, which is often available at the ocean and in semiarid parts of the world.  Shares in companies that answer yes to the questions above  will be interesting places to invest.

Until next message, good global investing to you.

Gary

Learn more about economic safety this November. Join Merri, me, Steve, Kjetil Haugan or Thor Anderson of Vistazul and Peter Conradsen of Jyske Global Asset Management in Cotacachi Ecuador. We’ll review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Nov 7-9 2008 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

See the wonderful balconies in the Primavera condos at for sale at $46,000 in Cotacachi.

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Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estat

Then travel to the coast. Enjoy the Vistazul swimming pool on Ecuador’s Pacific.

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November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

See discounts for two or more of these courses and tours

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.

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

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

#3: Ecuador’s Pacific coast…ditto.

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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.

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

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

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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.