Monday, July 31, 2006

Wow the internet is fast here!

So I'm home. I'm going to go sleep now. I flew all night.
I miss you already Bubbers (mwahahaha that's right I used it in a post). North America is weird. But they do have good cheese. You've gotta give them that, eh?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Shh, just go.

Uuggg, I hate leaving! Why am I always doing that? Leaving place after place. Just one big long series of goodbyes. Uuugg. My flight leaves at 1am but I´m out at Bethany´s parent´s house now and so I have said all my goodbyes in Bastion. Ug, it physically aches to think about it. So much love for so many people. Such wonderful incredible people. I hate this part.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I am alive.

Despite our guide´s best efforts to the contrary Bethany and I did make it out of our 2 day trek through the jungle alive and with only a few scrapes and bruises and rashes... a veritable mirical, God is good to us. One lesson we both learned very well: don´t make important decisions like spending two days in the amazon rain forest the day before you leave when you´re tipsy. And if the person talking you into the trip annoys you when he is first pitching it to you DON´T GO as he will annoy you a WHOLE lot more by the end of 2 days. Man, so many stories I could tell from that trip, but I will save it for the pictures to do the talking. That probably won´t be until I´m back in the states though as we are now gone from Guyaquil once again and out at the beach where we have 2 three day long camps in a row this week, one for the 6th graders and one for the park boys. I´m stoked about these camps and if you have any desire to pray for what we´re doing down here I would strongly request prayer for these camps. It´s really significant for these kids to be able to get our of Bastion and there broken families and difficult lives and spend time with each other seeking the Lord. Really significant and I believe the Lord has really good things in store.
That´s all for now. More to come at a later less busy date.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This may be goodbye.

Tomorrow Bethany and I are leaving on a little trip to stay in a small mountain town called Baños (so called because of it´s natural hot springs). Baños lies at the foot of a large mountain. This mountain happens to be an errupting volcano at the moment. But don´t worry, but lava´s mostly flowing down the other side of the mountain.

Here´s a picture of the volcano as it stands currently. Actually this isn´t a good one, I wish I could find the one from today´s paper, much more exciting. At first we thought about not going... then we decided... hey you´re only young once! When else will we have the change to stay at the foot of an errupting volcano?! Don´t worry though, if the roads get washed out by lava or if they evacuate the town then we won´t go. Promise.
Now check out the rest of the pictures I posted in the post below this one.
Oh... and if we don´t make it back... I love you all very much! ;-)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Too much for only words

So I´ll use pictures.

This is me and Alexis And Bethany. I love Alexis. He´s my favorite of the park boys (but don´t tell the others).

This is us with a few of the park boys sitting at the park. That´s Miguel next to me. He´s extremely good looking. We had these boys over for dinner last week. It was fun. Good kids. That´s Chamo next to Bethany, he´s 20. He´s another really great one, he came with us to this Chistain rap concert last night in South Guyaquil at a huge church down there. That was a fun time. Just like Chistian concerts in the states except everyone was speaking spanish and I was the lightest person in the room by a longshot... oh wait, ok, so the only difference being that everyone was speaking spanish...

This is me with my Kindergarten class. Oh my goodness the stories I could tell about pretty much every one of these kids! They are so so precious! On my last day they presented me with a book the teacher had put together which had a drawing from each of them in it and they had all written "te quiero mucho" on their drawings (I love you very much). Ooh. I´m going to miss these kids! Well, mostly... see that one standing right below me? That´s Genesis Josylin, aka devil child. Haha, but she does make me laugh... like the day we were learning the words scissors and glue and she cut her hair and ate glue.... aahh Genesis...

This is the family that I visted the other day. The oldest girl there has kind of latched on to me, which is really sweet. She spent a few hours at our house the other day. The only problem is... I can´t remember her name! And it´s way to late to ask now... oh well...

And finally, this is a huge race for the high schoolers that I helped out with yesterday and ran with our girls in. It was really fun. This is just the girls portion of it and there are at least that many girls behind me when I took this picture. It was crrrrazy. Like well over 1,000 kids running. I don´t even know probably 1000 girls and 1000 boys. Very fun. We came in towards the end ONLY becuase we didn´t cheat and take major short cuts... otherwise we would have been towards the beginning. It was funny standing at the starting line and looking around me, I was not only the ONLY white person present in the whole 1,000, I was also standing about a head taller than everyone... I was literally crouching down when the newspaper guys were taking pictures of the crowd so that I wouldn´t stick out too bad in the photo... awkward...
But it was really fun.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

3 weeks!

Woah it´s been a week since I last posted. My apologies to anyone who cares... like... my parents. I have been more busy in the last week which is great, I love being busy. But not too busy by any means, just comfortably so. I don´t have time right now to write up a fully account but I just wrote a summary of my last few days to my parents and I figured I might as well copy and past it on here. I have little illusion that many of you will be all that interested in a day by day rundown of my last 5 days... but if you are.... by all means enjoy! I have some pictures that I will post soon for the less reading inclined ones of you out there, don´t worry.

My life since friday:
On friday Bethany and I had a really nice evening of fun just for the 2 of us. we went to the mall and we went to the movies and then we splurged big time and had sundays from Baskin Robbins. When we got back we walked into Bastion to find one of the kids Bethany´s friends with and endd up hanging out in the park for quite a while with a group of the boys and I invited them to our house for dinner on monday. The on saturday I helped out with the kids club in the morning and then we went over to her parents house for lunch and to watch the football match of German vs. Portugal for 3rd place and in the evening we came back for youth group for the older youth in the evening. That was fun. You know those crazy youth group games we play where you have to like eat something out of a daiper or something? Mom knows what I´m talking about. Well they were doing that but the boy and girl playing wouldn´t touch theirs and it was awkward so I jumped up and started chowing down on the rice pudding in the girl´s one and then the boy joined in and plyaed too... I still one though. It was funny though cuz this is the older youth so they´re like 16 and up, my age included. I thought you might like that story. Oh and we played the game where you have to eat the marshmellow off of the toothpick in the mouth of the person in front of you and they lined us up boy-girl. Funny. So then on Sunday there was church in the morning and i hung around the house during the day and then there was bible study for the park boys in the evening and we talked about drugs with them, an interesting topic as many of them still use drugs and one of them actually still sells them, but others don´t do it any more at all... so it was interesting to see their reactions and stuff.
Then on monday I taught at school till 1 and then went to the grocery store and then cooked and cooked all day for the boys who were coming over that night. I made home made pizza and potato salad and bought chips and pop and for dessert i made brownies to go with ice cream and bannanas. An amazing American meal. They wanted me to make them North American food... so I did... it was fun.
\nAnd then yesterday I taught and bethany and I worked on getting the kids to write support letters as we do every day and then I spent all afternoon at another missionary couple´s house who live very near us and have 4 young boys ages 3-9 and me and the mom, Janet, made stationary for the kids to write the final drafts of their support letters on and then I joined them for dinner and at night one of the park boys Alexis (my favorite one but don´t tell the others) came over and we went running because he is training for a "marathon" on Sautraday which is actually not a marathon but is only 5.5 kilometros but it´s a big deal for the kids racing in it. We´re going running again tonight i think.
Whew so that´s what I´ve been up to. It´s really good to be busy. Oh yeah! and TODAY I met Bethany´s mom lillian at the school early at 7:30 and Nikki came too and we talked and prayed together. Then I taught and then at 11:30 I went with one of the kindergarten girls and visisted her family for a couple hours. I just got back from there. That was neat. I´ll write more about it on my blog soon because I have a lot of pictures becuase I took pictures of their family and then let the 3 little girls play with my camera. It was neat though I brought along a bible and the 8 year old girl read like several chapters from it out loud. Very neat. and I´m going to try and find a bible for them becuase they don´t have one.

The end!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


These are 2 pictures of Bastion that I took on my walk with Bethany´s mom, Lilian, yesterday. Number one rule in Bastion - never step in water... because it may not exactly be "water" if you know what I mean. In fact... it´s probably not. That is still Bation streatching out to the edge of the picture just above us, and that only shows about 3 of the 10 blocks I think... so that should show you... it´s a big place. Bastion started as a squatters community about 20 years ago and has continued to grow and grow since then. Most people who live here moved in from the Jungle hoping to find a better life. Life is rough in Bastion, very rough, but at least they have the possibility of access to medicine and education, even though many still go without it. The education system here is really bad and really corrupt, the worst part is that it´s not so much that the government doesn´t have money to make things better, but it´s so corrupt most of that money never gets past the politicians wallets.
This is caracoal (Bethany, I don´t know how that´s spelled, help?) where we live. The contrast is rather obvious eh? This is just right across the street from Bastion, but there is a gate around it and gaurds with guns at the entrance to the gate (guards with guns are EVERYWHERE in Guyaquil... that was hard to get used to... I mean... big guns, and often bullet proof vests too). This is the main street so it doesn´t show our apartment but they´re all the same, each of those buildings would have 2 apartments in them - 2 bedrooms a small kitchen and a bathroom. It´s not much but it´s definetly something to be thankful for! This community is so safe. Nikki and I can go jogging alone and night and no one would even harass us, I´d hardly even do that in Portland. What a difference a street and some armed gaurds can make!

This is the waterfront in downtown Bastion where we went yesterday on the 4th of July. It´s so incredibly nice. Here too it´s hard to reconcile that a place so nice as this and so difficult as Bastion exist in the same city. We just don´t see contrasts like that in the states. It´s hard to describe. There´s a lot more I could say about it but I´ll leave it there for now.


Happy 4th of July!

Yes, I know it’s the 5th to you all, but I am writing this on my laptop on the 4th knowing that I won’t be able to post it until tomorrow, the 4th. I had a lovely 4th of July, though it honestly had NOTHING to do with the independence of my country, I had fun today! And also I was glad in my heart knowing that you all were gathering for fireworks and apple pie and all of that. I spent my 4th of July with two Canadians in down-town Guyaquil – which is actually an incredibly beautiful place. It was good for me to see how beautiful Guyaquil can be… to know there are places you can breath in deeply and not regurgitate immediately from the smell, a place where there are no open sewers and very little trash on the road, a place with cross walks *gasp*! Still, I’m glad it was only a visit to that part of the city. I like our little, or rather fairly big, Bastion better when it comes down to it. Down town may have botanical gardens and tiled sidewalks, but there were no darling children running up to hug me, there were no heart of gold “gangsta” boys trying to speak English with me, there was no Bastion.
That said… we had a really nice day. Nikki, Bethany’s cousin who I also live with, and Nancy, a woman from Canada who’s visiting Ecuador for a couple weeks, and I hit up the town. We walked along the river. We had real coffees in a coffee shop. We shopped in the market (and I made some FABULOUS purchases I have to admit). And then we watched the incredible last 15 minutes of the Italy vs. German game over dinner in the mall. It was far from “American” but it was HAPPY and that after all is the main point of Holidays is it not? (well maybe there is some thing about remembering important events in history… meh… I still say Happy is the main point).

Before all of that, early this morning, Lillian (Bethany’s mom) gave Nancy and I a tour of Bastion and of the school that I work in and told the story of how the school and the community of Bastion came to be. It’s a lovely story. Maybe I’ll tell it to you some time if you’re nice. But I think that is all for today.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
We found this banner up in the mall. Unfortunately my camera got turned on a weird setting so it´s kind of blury. My favorite thing about it is that you must notice - I am the ONLY American standing there in celebration. I was also probably the only American in the mall, period! Aw... look what Ecuador did just for me!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Una corta

Just briefly, today is July 1st, which is apparently Canada Day... which I am apparently a bad person for not knowing about since they knew July 4th was mine... It´s not my fault they know about our holidays! Speaking of Canadians, being that the mission here is Canadian run I am the first true Gringa de lost Estados Unidos to come here. So everyone always assumes I´m Candaian. I now get to feel what the Canadians felt in Europe when everyone assumed they were American... except I don´t seem to get so worked up about it. (Candaians, please don´t be mean to me for that paragraph. it was spoken in love and jest).
So yesterday Bethany and I got to go to the Beach! We swam in the ocean. I don´t know that I´ve really ever SWAM in the Pacific ocean like that before... I´ve been to it a ton of times, but not full out swimming. To me is was nice and warm, but the Ecuadorians thought we were crazy - Lukily Bethany and I were the only ones on the beach so not to many of them were aware of our extreme craziness. It was fun. Good to get out of the city. I hadn´t really left the 2 mile radius around our apartment since I got here so it was good to see that not all of Ecuador is smelly and congested in covered in garbage. Not to dog on Ecuador, I love Ecuador, but it´s just the way it is - Guyaquil´s not exactly the prettiest place you´ve ever seen.
I just had a nice chat with my parents and now I´d better go cuz I only have $.20 left for the computer!