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Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"

This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America. If your eyesight is less than optimal (like mine), then just click the type size up a notch on your browser..

Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past few years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.


Our Opinionated Politicians

{Opinionated (adjective) .... dogmatic, of fixed views, dictatorial, pontifical, domineering, pompous, self-important, arrogant; inflexible, uncompromising, prejudiced, bigoted.}

Alas, there have been times in my rather long life when I might have held opinions that, to some folks at least, might have seemed to have matched many of the dictionary definitions shown above. But not for long.

I have usually been open-minded enough to eventually embraced a different or revised point of view, when I have been given sufficient facts to support such a change in my thinking. I also try to stay away from expressing personal opinions tainted with bias and prejudice. It is not easy, I will admit. But I do try.

And why, you may ask, do I bring this up? I seriously doubt that anyone listening to or reading the highly politicized remarks of those currently running for elective office anywhere on Earth has firmly believed them to be true. It certainly does not take a genius to realize that the promises being made by our would-be leaders can never be fulfilled. It is almost always a case of a politician holding a wet finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before making a statement as to what to expect from them in the immediate future.

This may help to explain why a person who is an acknowledged blowhard with little or no chance of eventually winning his party nomination, and of course I am speaking of Donald Trump, is currently leading the pack of Republican hopefuls for the presidency of the United States of America. "The Donald", as he likes to be called, is playing the part of a non-politician, which resonates broadly with younger voters if not with the professional political class itself.

As I write these words I am fully aware that the prolonged political circus being engaged in right now is merely a distraction for the cranks and crazies who make up the electorate these days, plus it provides grist for the mill of our scribes and commentators who would otherwise need to dig up useful NEWS upon which to write and pontificate. Perhaps I should include myself in this, except that I really have no dog in this fight.


A reader's question

A reader asked me a question after I posted yesterday's scribble about my recovery from a stroke. She noticed an unusual tempering of my usual irascible and curmudgeonable outlook on life, which is no doubt very true.

You see, I journeyed from being a completely self-actulising and self-sustaining individual to being someone who was totally dependent on others to take care of my basic needs, in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, I was dependent upon round-the-clock nursing care, which after taking a couple of bad tumbles trying to get around by myself, I still need today. Fortunately for me, the cost of such care here in Ecuador is negligible even without any health insurance.

This dependency at the rather advanced age of 86 can only have a couple of outcomes, either a heightened degree of "woe is me" irascibility or a case of gratitude toward those who take care of me. I am happy to say that it was the heartfelt gratitude that won out in my case. I now have all of my mental faculties back and a very few physical hitches to contend with these days .... nothing that my trusty wheelchair and walking cane can't take care of. So yes, these days my general outlook on life is one of sunny gratitude rather than a harboring of any sour grapes.


Hooray ... Back From The Dark Abyss Of Darkness

Well friends, familiars and assorted readers, I am finally back among you once again. Got what might be considered to be a good excuse for my two-year-long absence ... a major stroke that cost me my short-term memory, including all of my internet passwords. Just today I stumbled upon the access code that would allow me to edit this blog, so here I am at long last.

As soon as I get through celebrating a return to my well-beloved website I will post something of interest .... other than my unexpected health issues. Many things have happened while I have been absent, some of which were to be expected, some not. But as you can imagine, I will have some truths to share with you about the state of affairs taking place in our battered and bruised old world ... just let me gather my strength a bit before I give voice to my opines.

Until then, I wish you a very warm best wishes and my thanks for sticking with me, if indeed you have.