During our first few days we learned that walking uphill is very tiring for William. We develop a strategy to taxi up into El Centro and then walk downhill to our Airbnb. This works well, and we continue it during the second week of our stay. William’s strength is improving - that is until he comes down with a stomach bug. After a week of over-the-counter medicines, he breaks out the antibiotic we always bring on our trips. It’s just been two days on the antibiotic, but he is feels much, much better.
The down-time while William suffers with the stomach bug gives us time to focus on the documentation needed to obtain an Ecuador Professional Visa. This visa would allow us to come and go as we choose (the tourist visa allows only 90 days) and if we only leave Ecuador for less than 90 days in the first two years after the visa is issued, we can obtain residency.
A first step in the Professional Visa is documentation from our schools regarding our degrees. We both graduated with bachelor’s degrees from the same university, so we have obtained official copies of our transcripts, diplomas, and letters explaining that we took classes in-person from the Office of the Registrar. This year Ecuador instituted an additional requirement of an official letter from the school certifying our studies relate to an international standard (classification) of fields of study. This proves to be a stumbling block which the Office of the Registrar is not willing to provide. We’re directed to our school advisory offices. Anne’s advisory office basically says that they can’t help because the university uses a U.S. classification and not the international standard. The head advisor for William’s school is more understanding and indicates she will try to help, recognizing that the Office of the Registrar has abandoned his request. We’ll need to wait until early next week to see if she comes through with a letter.