Although having nothing to do with the story, it is an adapt description for our location in Ecuador where Medical Communications Depot has decided to set up shop for this year’s company retreat. Following many years in Panama, we rented spacious quarters in San Pablo del Lago, a dusty little town in the middle of the Northern Andes. San Pablo has a central square circled by small stores, an open food market and an imposing church facing the square. Altitude 2660 meters or 8700 feet above sea level.
Our house, Four Volcanoes, is surrounded aptly by 4 volcanoes, named Imbabura, Mojanda, Cotacachi, and Cusin. A different volcano is visible from every side of the house.
The largest, Imbabura, is considered the sacred protector of the region. On a western slope, an area of loose earth perfectly resembles a heart. This area, known as the “heart of the mountain” is much beloved by residents and appears in local art depicting the volcano. The area is said to be enchanted, as no human nor animal has been capable of scaling or hiking across the area.
Our office in the back of the house offers a spectacular view of Mojanda. It is a pleasant distraction from work, which has been going on at a furious pace despite our stunning location. Even considering the extravagant rental we chose this year, we should cover our costs within 2 weeks of our stay. That is what I love about what we do. I’m not sure many of the freelancers realize they have the ability to do this. We continue to work with clients, take calls as usual, and most of the time, our clients believe we are working from our office as usual.
We choose a location in the world we would like to visit. Go on VRBO and find a suitable house, apartment, or condo that we rent usually for a month. One requirement is internet. Our communications are either by email or Wi-Fi calls that don’t cost anything.
We have a kitchen, laundry, and can walk to the stores for food, which is cheap here. So is transportation cheap and readily available. We can walk out our front door and catch a bus or taxi to the local towns of Otavalo (15 km), Cotacachi (25 km) or Ibarra (38 km). Bus rides are less than a dollar, and a taxi less than $15 to any of these places.
What about the weather? San Pablo is ½ degree north of the equator. Daytime temperatures are in the mid-sixties and at nighttime, low fifties. The sun shines most days, and despite the forecast it rarely rains; spring 12 months of year.
The people are very friendly. The older ones still wear indigenous dress, while the younger people favor American t-shirts with I Love New York, Michigan University, and Jack Daniels logos.
I think I am blending in very well here. That’s me on the right.
We leave in early March, but we’ll be back, I’m sure.