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Hiya Steph- Heard about your blog from Doogly-Doo and I have read a number of your entries. Saw the article in the Sun Times last week, too. Got a bag of your coffee today and it smells heavenly!

You are one adventurous girl. Keep on keepin' on. It's clearly a struggle, but it'll all be worth it when you get the kinks worked out.

Your old neighbor and pal,

Bill O'C

It's interesting reading about your adventures up in El Sal. Bureaucratic business requirements, including for export activities, are almost identical here in Ecuador, right down the to reqs for water/electricity bills, bills of sale (with your DUI# on it, I bet; that's what we have to do here), etc. Sounds like you're working the system well, though, and that's good, although sometimes I've felt a little like a hamster running on a wheel, getting all the permits...

We should hold a contest of the biggest red tape country in the world. I bet France will be in the top 3. Ask any foreigner living here. It has always been that way but nowadays it is even worse. The cause ? Fraud ! People abusing the social welfare system shamelessly makes for the administration asking for back up proof that a document is real, and so on. The chain is endless. One would think that only Africans and Arabs do that kind of thing. Latin Americans do it too. I also know from reliable sources that British and other EU citizens come to France to get free health care. The health care system in on the red and one day it will bleed to death. Then they will appreciate it better. La France est trop généreuse et aussi trop ... naïve !

What a hassle! I am intrigued about your journey though. Absolute coffee fanatic!

~daddy b

WOW that sounds like such a chore..... So much red tape!!!

Congrats for sticking with it. If everyone had your determination, we could achieve so much...... Love you work, keep it up!


Ah, the memories. I've lived in Mexico, DF and Cuernavaca as well as Bogotá, Colombia and I must say, everything runs much more smoothly in Bogotá than in Mexico.

I will not complain again about our Weights and Measures here in the US. :-) They call me every year as we expand our chocolate sales from state to state to ask the same 5 questions. ;-) Easy as pie.

I remember crossing from Mexico to Guatemala and didn't have a visa so I had to give the crossing guard $20. To this day, I'm not sure if that was a bribe or a fee.

However, I commiserate with you, having lived in both Central and South America as well as Sweden and Europe. Bureaucracy is always the worst. :-) The US isn't that much easier. Try getting a liquor license here in good ol' NY.

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