I'm sometimes asked about my opinion of Ecuadorian president Correa who has been portrayed in the U.S. press as a socialist and close ally of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Without getting into a discussion on politics, I can say from an expat's point of view that, at this time, Correa's policies do not seem to have much impact on our lives. On occasion, as was the case recently in a dispute with the government over water rights, the indigenous people will block the roadways throughout the country in protest. The indigenous are very unified and very effective when they decide to exert their influence, and it becomes virtually impossible to travel to other areas during these times. However, other than that, our day to day lives seem far removed from the politics and policies made in Quito.