Good evening all :D Buenes tardes for those in Quito. I hope I don't break any website rules with this post; I just want to introduce myself, give a little information about me and what I'm hoping to get from being a member of this website, as well as what I hope to be able to give in return (which is shamefully little at present).
As you can see, my name is Matt and I'm 27 currently living in Somerset, England. I've joined the Quito forum because my fiancée Monica is from Quito and I am hoping to be with her and her family out there in the new year. My main hobbies are cricket (yes that is a sport over here), field hockey and badminton. I also enjoy football (soccer) and away from sport I am a bit of an amateur photographer, albeit not a very good one. I've also been known to go to a gym, enjoy the theatre, history and culture. I also enjoy playing on my PlayStation. I graduated university this year with a 2:1 in Sports Management from the University of South Wales.
Monica and I met online almost 4 years ago. She is a lawyer, she speaks 4 languages and mostly enjoys theatre, salsa dancing and reading. Monica is coming to the UK for the first time to spend Christmas and New Year with my family and I, which I am very excited about because Monica and I haven't been together for over a year.
A quick note about my profile; it says that I lived in Saudi Arabia from Protected content Protected content have only lived in the UK since Protected content . That is not entirely accurate. Technically I did live in Saudi Arabia from Protected content 2000, with a small break for the First Gulf War. The more accurate truth is that from Protected content Protected content would spend term time here in the UK at boarding school, with most of the holidays in Saudi Arabia. My parents would come to the UK for 3 to 4 weeks a year, usually at Easter.
So what am I hoping for? Well making new friends is my first priority. Age and nationality are not a problem for me; I'm very open minded if a little shy on first meetings. I am also hoping I can get advice on visas, emigrating and marrying an Ecuadorian national and a little bit of help with adjusting to the Ecuadorian culture. With this I am hoping for personal experiences and/or specific and accurate information. I know that I can contact the embassy in London for information and they are usually happy to provide it; but if you can give me any warnings or personal experiences then that would be most helpful. Ultimately, any help and advice is very welcome and received with welcome arms and immense gratitude.
An example of the advice I am looking for; currently I am investigating the possibility of coming to Quito to take part in a 3 month volunteer. The purposes of this are:
1) To immerse myself in the Ecuadorian culture and improve my Spanish
2) To try and look for a job I could start at the end of the volunteer programme 3) As a way of ensuring that I can cope with being away from home for a long period of time.
4) To be in Ecuador for more than 75 days, which I believe is one of the minimum requirements for marrying an Ecuadorian national.
My questions here are 1) Is there anything I am doing wrong or should be doing differently? and 2) Is there a better alternative that I may have missed?
I can easily give you a few of my potential issues; the most glaring by far is that my Spanish is weak. Monica and I met in my last year of college when I was on £30 a week and whilst I was at uni it was very difficult to afford and attend regular lessons. In fact it has only been since September that I've been getting weekly Spanish tuition. I'm improving quickly in fact, sorry to blow my own trumpet. The next issue is medical; I had a kidney transplant in April Protected content . I take medication for it twice daily, I've been on the same meds for about 7 years and I've had no serious issues since I was put on these meds. Most of the problems are because these meds suppress my immune system, meaning that I am more likely to pick up infections.
There isn't a lot I can "give" at present; I have no experience of being an expat anywhere in that I've never had to do anything official. However when I have more in the way of personal experiences and information I will be more than willing to share with current and new members.
Well that's the end of this small essay. Many thanks for reading and again I apologise humbly and deeply for any rules that have been bent or broken. Also my most sincere gratitude to those who have read this and will provide me with any sort of answer to my questions. Also thanks for having me and I am excited to be a member.