Peru and Red Shoes

Peru Cotahuasi
Peru Lima

Peru is another adventure that mission mindedly hit me in the face with stats that makes me want to help more along with prior trip info from my Catie. Health care system is very difficult to obtain unless you are among the wealthy or have a family member in the medical field. If you are an expat looking for medical or dental treatment then yes it is much cheaper than in USA along with all the perks to house you while recovering.

While extended families are valued in Peru with multiple generations sharing a single home, many nuclear families have been torn apart by addiction, infidelity and other addictions. Peruvians have less than fourteen percent enrollment in universities and these kids have no desire to see their country change. The poverty level in Peru is at 31 percent as of 2010 however Peru economy is heavily driven by Agricultural and Mineral. The Government of Peru is organized as a constitutional republic with free speech as a protected right. There is virtually no persecution toward the church form the government or Peruvians in general, for me this is a very good thing … the information above is what made me want to help.

No trip to Peru is complete until you visit:
1. Machu Picchu: estate was built around 1450 and most outlying buildings have been built to provide tourists with a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. About thirty percent of Machu Picchu has been reconstructed in 1976 with construction continuing.
2. Cotahuasi: Landscapes is simple AWESOME here from the rivers at the bottom of the canyon to the cold desert areas of the summits. This region is rich with culture and tradition which is preserved by the Ancient Andean people.
3. La Esperanza: in the Trujillo Province which borders the north and beautiful mountainous area! Views are simply breath taking and such a quaint place that most would enjoy one day there … just say.en!
4. Lima: The Capital and Largest city in Peru located in the valleys and rivers. The central coastal part of the country overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World!

By now you are thinking … come back to the light Brenda, what about the Red High Heels! Well that all came from one of the Daily Inspirational devotions and my LOVE for high heels, see my family is tall even my Sister is 5 foot 11 inches and Brothers along with Dad over 6 foot! So I always wanted to be like them but God made me like my Momma, 5 foot 1 inch and YES that 1 inch matters!

Fashion gurus tell us red high heels will spice up any outfit and make us feel better no matter what type of day we are having. While fashion trends are fun and make us look current in our style or well groomed, was it not Jesus that taught us not to place our treasure in physical things like our bodies or clothes. Jesus promises to provide for us even when we cannot see the end of the current story of life.

Shoes scuff, necklaces break, fabric or styles change but True Beauty comes from within, when we allow God to dress our spirit in robes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (my toughest one) the our inner beauty will FAR OUTSHINE those Red High Heels or for me our height.

This was powerful to me the one who tries to always serve and share Jesus, so until next time join me in trying harder to allow God to dress my spirit … again just say.en!
Keep it REAL … REAL FUN that is! Brenda 🙂

FUN at Downs … HInn

Oldsmar HI
Oldsmar TBD
Oldsmar HI 2

Tampa Bay Downs is the only Thoroughbred race track on the West Coast of Florida, and is known as one of America’s oldest, most well-maintained racetracks. This just happens to be in my back door where I have had the privilege of hosting several events there with the Precious, Margo Flynn as well having their support via sponsorship in other events. Please be sure to visit them Annually from December 1st through May 4th for LIVE Racing and Fun Times, heck you can enjoy simulcast all year long!

Tampa Bay Downs first opened its doors in 1926 under the name of Tampa Downs, and has since had a long and has been continually improving by adding its 7/8th mile grass track, complete with a ¼ mile chute! In 1998, Tampa Bay Downs has become one of the most popular turf courses in North America. The millennium brought even more amenities to Tampa Bay Downs, including the Downs Golf Practice Facility, which allows patrons to practice their swing while viewing and wagering on simulcast racing; both are open 7 days a week.

So when you come to visit and enjoy the variety of Fun the Tampa Bay area holds, be sure to call My Friend Paul Simone and get Extra Mile Service in the BEST Hotel/Motel in this area … HOLIDAY INN OLDSMAR (813.854-5080).
Located in Oldsmar, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Tampa Northwest – Oldsmar is convenient to Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa Airport, St. Pete/Clearwater Airport, Downtown Tampa, East Lake Woodlands Country Club, Countryside Country Club, Three large Malls and John Chestnut Sr. Park. WOW, what else could you ask for … Restaurants you say Oh My Stars you ask and here you go!

First you will get FREE AWESOME Breakfast at HOLIDAY INN OLDSMAR then chose to either enjoy lunch at Tampa Bay Downs or Flamestone or The Palm Tampa or drive to Clearwater Beach (just 15 minutes away) to enjoy Jimmy’s Fish House; Shephard’s Seafood Nights; or Beachcomber’s Restaurants … want something quick OK, got’cha covered with Always Good Chick-Fil-A!

So until next time, keep it REAL … REAL FUN that is an enjoy some Live Horse Racing in the winter months here is Beautiful Oldsmar, Florida! Brenda 🙂


Ecuador JuliaEcuador pic
Ecuador Quito

Lesson One: “The FYI on Passports,” to all potential extended visits to Ecuador, keep in mind that you CANNOT TRAVEL ON A PASSPORT THAT HAS LESS THAN 6 MONTHS remaining anywhere outside the USA! I would highly recommend if you have less than 2 years left on your current passport and you plan on truly immigrating or being Mission Minded that you get a new passport before you take the plunge. WHY … Because your residence visa is tied to your passport and when the passport expires so does your Ecuadorian visa/Stamp and after obtaining your new passport you MUST apply for a new Ecuadorian visa/Stamp. Yes, it is easier and yes it can be done fairly easy but things can go wrong, rules can change and it will cost financially plus some translations and notary fees will be attached. Also, if you come to Ecuador and apply for the 6 month visa expecting to spend other 6 months in USA, allow for the extension of the extra 90 days because it does not start until you get the extension. ONCE the extension comes to a close it is SIX Months until you can come back into Ecuador and it may cost more that $2000 per person to take care of it. Just Plan Ahead!!

Next crazy fun, Julia tells me that she went to local police station (Ballenita, Ecuador) and asked for “panic button”. Panic button is number you call and police come right out to your house because they already have your information and GPS for your house. She gave them the information and they programmed the phone and they tried it out. Bingo, an alarm went off in the police computer and a map showing how to get to her house popped up and she yells out, “Hot tamale, it works!” Now if she has a problem she doesn’t have to worry about what number to dial or how to describe (in Spanish) where we are, only problem is IF the outside does not appear to have forced entry they will just turn around and go back to the station. Also on the Police, they can’t take money, so if you run into issues take out your cell phone or camera and start taking pictures while making notes as this has proven to eliminate any potential bad guys taking advantage or causing problems for Americans.

Onto banks, so Banco de Pichincha appears to be the largest and most reputable bank all over Ecuador: Quito, Gayaquil, Ambato, Riobamba, Salinas just to mention a few of their 202 locations, just passing on what I was not as I have no real experience in this area yet.

Medical procedures: check out the many medical, dental or plastic surgery facilities throughout Ecuador just be sure to go to a large city for any procedure. You will save many thousands of dollars off the same procedure done in USA. Not only will you save thousands of dollars but their costs include onsite recovery area with full nurse services, meals and bedrooms with great views for the next 48 hours.

It’s very difficult to get a real estate agent (per se) to take you around and show you apartments. First, the time and cost vs. their commission does not allow it, second, there is no MLS type system and, third, the listings come and go quickly. Good luck….best bet is be patient and be ready to walk ‘about!

Until next time … keep it REAL … REAL FUN that is, Brenda 🙂


Chiriqui Panama

What I know or have been told by Cathy R … best are is Chiriqui which is between 1000 and 1500 meters, or Volcan which is beautiful but sparely populated city along with the small towns around these two cities, but you need to be a rural person to appreciate either of these.

Panama is an expensive place to live as expenses are about the same as they are in Florida, such as food and rent. However, clothing is much more expensive. Organic food selection is larger than in Florida but local farmers are open to you for picking of fruit (just don’t go overboard small bag is all anyone needs) otherwise comparable food pricing as in Florida.

Transportation costs are cheaper because you do not need a car, try using buses or taxi to get around.

Property is becoming less and less available as well cost to rent or purchase more than say three (3) years ago. Also it is suggested Not to Bank in Panama to just keep your money in the USA and use debit cards as they are easier to track your spending and not have anyone stealing your credit card number or identity.

Panama is no place to go if you are short on funds and want or need medical attention so don’t get sick there or plan on going for a procedure expecting cheaper than in the USA. However if you are a Senior Citizen living in Panama you get 20% discount on a lot of items including prescription drugs.

What is cheap, car insurance since very few people drive there are few accidents but also few parking places and gasoline is about the same price as in Florida- just say’en!

Try visiting Panama for about six (6) months or more before you decide to move, Panama is a Beautiful Place with Wonderful weather but you will not be saving money so don’t plan on going to live in Panama to have a cheaper better lifestyle.

Until next time … keep it REAL … REAL FUN that is, Brenda 🙂