Penthouse Condo with Terrace for Sale

Penthouse Condo $123,850  (Now sold!) 28 July 2014 

Our sunlit fifth floor condo with 640 square foot terrace displaying panoramic unobstructed views is charming. The large terrace has a six person Jacuzzi and covered areas on each end.  You can access from both the living room and study. While designed to be a two bedroom, it was finished as one bedroom with study and natural light everywhere. It is located one half block off the Tomebamba River and a 5 block walk to Centro. The two year old building has an elevator, a backup generator, centralized gas and hot water. No pets are permitted.  Email to or 098-599 4299. USA magicJack phone (828) 367-4321.                               

Our beloved friend, Stover

Our beloved friend, Stover

September 3, 2001 – November 23, 2012

On Thanksgiving Day, we learned our beloved dog’s time with us was over.  Stover was our only “child” for nearly eleven years.  We learned many lessons of life from our furry red friend.

What an incredible adventure we’ve had with him.  Many know the experience of transporting their “family” with them across international borders.  Stover, being 30 lbs. was not able to have the luxury of flying in the cabin with us, so his flight was in the cargo.  But what brave little creatures they are – adapting and flexing to whatever the situation brings them.

We’ve had the privilege of having our little guy with us the two years we’ve lived in Cuenca.  What a comfort he has been as we too, have adjusted and transitioned to living internationally.  And what a gift to have him here with us.

Stover had more friends than we did.  Everyone who kept him during our travels came to love him.  When we lived in the US, strangers often stopped us on our mountain hikes and in parks to meet this charming enthusiastic “people dog.”  Frequently, we gave the testimony of God’s gift and love through Stover.  Unconditional love is completely disarming!

Stover’s been to nursing homes with me when I gave concerts and touched the hearts of many elderly with his love.  One of my favorite memories was when one of the nurses picked Stover up and put him in the lap of an elderly gentleman.  As I looked over in their direction, I saw them looking face to face and the man loving every minute of it.

It all began 11 years ago for us, when we talked about getting a dog.  We had already experienced the sorrow of losing a beloved cat, Bilbo (short for Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit).  And what a cat too!

We prayed that God would give us His choice for a dog. And He gave us the perfect match for us!

In May of 2002, I was at a grocery store in Asheville, North Carolina.  Every Thursday, a shelter would set up right outside their doors as a adoption center for those coming to shop.  Naturally, each week I would stop and visit the animals – just curious to see who had arrived that day.

Yet came this one particular day… I was coming out of the store, with my hands occupied with grocery bags.  The shelter had just arrived to set up for the day and she was getting the carriers out of the vehicle – ready to set up in animal crates.

My eyes immediately saw a dog being inspected by two ladies, who obviously had asked permission to get him out of his carrier.

It was love at first sight.

Gary likes shelties – I love golden retrievers.  However, having a golden was definitely, too much dog for us – more than we really wanted.

But this dog.  He was kind of a mix of both those breeds and a little of collie.

Yet there was something about him.  And I thought to myself, “These ladies probably want this dog…” the next moment, they put him back in the crate.

Now was my chance.  I sat down the groceries on the courtyard, and out of the carrier came what was soon to be our dog!

He was a little sad looking, maybe scared.  Guess I would be too if I had been abandoned.  As I was studying him though, one of those ladies came over and kneeled down besides me.  Her words to me are what I shall never forget:  “I know dogs and I want to tell you, this is a good dog!  I would take him myself, but I already have three dogs!  Yes, this is a good dog!”

That’s all the confirmation I needed.  Immediately I went to the person in charge of adoption and said, “I want this dog – but I need to call my husband first and get him to see him!”

Because I had made friends with her over the months, she in a way, knew me.  Somehow she knew we were a perfect match and she said, “I’ll hold him for you!”

I called Gary and after a business meeting, he went to the place where they had the shelter set up.  I had not described Stover to him at all.  By this time, Stover was in a pen with other dogs.  Gary however, (I wasn’t there) was drawn to Stover – perhaps Stover let him know, “It’s me, it’s me!  I’m the one!”  Then of course, it was confirmed by our shelter friend, that he was the right dog.

He called me and said, “We’ve just adopted a dog!”

In thinking upon a name for him, nothing seemed right until the “light went on” to name him my maiden name, Stover!  It just had the perfect “ring” to it.  Sounded good too, when calling for him, “Sto…….verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”  But Stover needed a complete name too.  Theodore seemed perfect for the first name because it means, “God’s gift.”

“Russell Stover” is the candy company’s name.  When I was in high school, there was a Russell Stover candy store across the street.  The question, “Are you related to Russell Stover candy people?” was asked numerous times.  And since Stover was SO sweet – giving him the name Russell along with my maiden name seemed appropriate.

We did all the usual “stuff” with Stover – shots, having him neutered, and then obedience school!  And was he ever a natural – his temperament leaned towards wanting to please his masters. So he was pretty good at obedience!

Through the years we hiked with him in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of  North Carolina.  Stover enjoyed people so much – he loved to meet and greet people  Because of him, we made new friends!  He also entertained them with his obedience tricks!

Like all who have loved their pets, we have many stories of our life with him and his with us – wonderful, wonderful memories – and no regrets!

During Stover’s short illness of almost 3 weeks, he kept his loving, sweet demeanor – wanting to please us.  With him, we had a great love.  And we are grateful to have had him for these beautiful 11 years.  When it came time for Stover to go, of course, we cried and said our goodbyes. 

Then there was the question “Where could we bury him?

The night before the vet was coming to our apartment to put him down (Stover could not have made it one more day – he was so sick!), we called our dear friend of two years now, Tania, of Hotel Inca Real.  One of her family members owns property in the Cajas.  It seemed to be the perfect place to lay our beloved to rest.  She told us she would take care of it and that she did!

It was all arranged.  The vet came a little after 8:00 a.m. We had our last moments with Stover, then proceeded to the Cajas.  Two of our American friends joined us, Mike and Lawrence – Mike graciously drove us to the Cajas.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by those who knew of the arrangement.  We were led to Stover’s burial spot.  Everyone so kind.  Enrique lovingly dug his grave.

And there we laid Stover in his special place.

Below are the pictures we want to share where our beloved friend and family member is privileged to be buried.  It seemed so fitting – for as a family, we always loved the mountains and Stover had been on so many hikes with us.

Again, we are SO grateful to have been blessed with our precious Stover.  And we are so grateful for all of his friends and our loved ones who knew and loved him, and took care of him.  There are so many.  

These are memories which can never, ever be taken from us.

We love you, Stover!


The Gate you go through and right after is Stover’s grave
 Stover’s famous looks
Theodore Russell Stover Gaither
Stover, we will miss you – thank you for 11 wonderful years!
Three Lovely Sisters

Three Lovely Sisters

It was a little over two years ago, Gary and I took our adventure to this beautiful city, Cuenca.  Through a series of referrals, we met some new friends who helped us when we arrived.  One of the referrals led us to stay at Hotel Inca Real located on General Torres, two blocks from Parque de Calderon.  During our 10 night stay, we not only enjoyed the hotel’s surroundings, but quickly became friends with the hotel’s staff and general manager, Tania Sarmiento.  Little did I know we’d become lifelong friends.
So, it’s my privilege to share the story of her family – especially the 3 sisters, who all have ended up in hotel and restaurant businesses.  They were featured in a magazine published by El Tiempo.  The article tells about their father, Segundo renovating the family home 20 years ago, making it the first colonial mansion to become a hotel.
Tania, the oldest daughter of three, had already studied clinical psychology at the university.  Upon   completion of the renovation, she left her career and began to work in tourism, a foreign and completely different area for her.  Little did she know at the time, but this was her niche!  And in these past 20 years, she has indeed, blossomed in this marvelous industry.
One year later, following the opening of Hotel Inca Real, Karina, the second eldest followed in the family theme and opened her restaurant located in the Caja National Park, called “Dos Chorreras.”  Now it is not only a restaurant, but a luxurious lodge nestled in the beautiful mountains.
Priscilla, the youngest of the daughters, decided to be the caboose of this business train and went to the university, specifically to study tourism.  After her graduation 15 years ago, she began a successful catering business called “Casa Real.” 
And five years from Priscilla’s opening of her business, the sisters’ parents decided to change the family farm to an event center for wedding or conventions.  The place is “Jardines de San Joaquin” with the ability to seat 500 persons.
The latest project of the family was in November of 2011 when Priscilla opened a new, full service restaurant, “La Pergola.”
That leaves an interesting question:  “What are the husbands of these beautiful sisters doing?”  Just so happens that they have been totally involved with every family project, and the couples all work in their businesses together. 
Is that all?
No, ALL the older children of the sisters, now work in the family businesses as well.
What a story!  What a family!
In conclusion, the greatest dream though, of the Sarmiento family, is to leave a legacy of excellence in business and family to the city of Cuenca, which they dearly love.
Hotel Inca Real’s Blog:
Hotel Inca Real’s Website:

Sue Gaither


                                BIBLE STUDY

As a young Christian 35 years ago, I felt led to read the entire Bible in a year.
       I did not want to miss anything!   ( Start with the New Testiment).
I was intrigued and captured by the clear statement in Hebrews, chapter 11:
  ” …he who comes to the Lord, must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of
      those who diligently seek Him.”

The Bible is the best selling book in history, yet remains a mystery. Sold, rarely read.
              Yet, it remains God’s love letter to us.   Not religion, but relationship!
As Jesus said in John 6: “…the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

We have enjoyed rich fellowship during the last year as we studied Paul’s letters to the
Ephesians, Galations, John’s first epistle and Hebrews. We also have monthly meals or outings, when we are all in town.

Come join us on Wednesdays at 2pm, as we hear not only the words, but also the music of life!

                         Gary & Sue

Announcing Great Leads for Services and BREAD!


      ….for all you bread lovers!

Sue has been used to making sourdough bread back in the United States for a number of years.  So we made a mad dash to purchase some of this bread, when we found out who made it and where you could get it.

Branden and Sandra Lenz, owners and operators of a catering center, Villa San Carlos, located
at Remigio Tamariz y Ave Solano (1-85) right across the street from the gas station and next door to the church (in between the construction with huge parking lot)
Phone nos. are:  281 1903       09 847 7668

They make the bread each week.  You can order the bread by email on Tuesdays and pick it up there at the center on Thursdays after 12:30 p.m.  

Be sure to try this delicious bread.  Oh, they have other wonderful items such as vinegar, sea salt, strawberries, lettuces, all of which you will want to try.

Mejores Servicios Médicos

We have had several massages since we have been here but one we feel is unforgettable was with Thom Golden, a registered nurse who performs “foot massages,” or better known as reflexology.  We both made an appointment and found it very relaxing, informative, and helpful.  You might want to give Thom a call and ask him about this.    His cellular is:  09 664 9970

We delighted (is this possible?) to experience an incredible trip to the dentist.  If you haven’t found a dentist and are a little concerned about getting a good one, we feel we have a “top notch” gal.  She was referred to us by Thom Golden, who kept saying she was just a delight and a “painless dentist!”

Her name is Paula Dominguer and she is located off Solano on Daniel Cordova Toral 1-115 – not hard to find.  We had an appointment last week and found her not only to be of the highest quality professionally, but absolute fun to be with as she worked on our mouths! Gary was in the chair for a comprehensive cleaning and it was only $25.00!   So…if you want a superior and AFFORDABLE dental cleaning and check-up, see Dr. Paula.      09 786 8908

Cuenca Suite

Cuenca Suite

For years, Sue has experienced recording studios in the US, yet never expected to enjoy her first recording session in Cuenca, Ecuador.  Young Pablo Lorenzo, an intimate, powerful musician and composer, also leads worship for Bill McDonald’s new “unchurch” called “6:08”. It meets Saturday evenings at Mall de Rio, convention room Yanacuay I.  Bill McDonald is Unsion Television’s CEO and Cuenca’s longtime missionary and friend.

We met Pablo after one of their first services. With our common interest in music, and his excellent English, we began a friendship.

One Friday evening, after dinner in our “casa,” Sue & Pablo enjoyed some music as he played the guitar and Sue was on the flute and keyboard.  Recently, Sue and Gary visited his recording studio where she recorded her first Ecuador composition, an instrumental entitled, “Cuenca Suite.”

Sue has also “cooked up” a surprise song for Mother’s Day in hopes to have it completed upon their return from the States. It may air on Unsion Television, as a gift for mothers in Cuenca.

Pablo has all the “state of the art” equipment for recording, even though he is stationed in a modest studio which he calls “BIG CROWD MUSIC.”   He certainly has a wonderful talent for guitar, writing, singing and as a studio engineer.  It’s his love!  You cannot help but love Pablo!

If you would like more information on Pablo, you can find him on Facebook:!/

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