Here are my entries that I couldn't post while in Ecuador. I think it loses a little of its appeal since it is a week later, but, oh, well. This is what I wrote Saturday night:
No one told me how awesome this place is!
Crew number two arrived late last night. I will do my best to describe Ecuador from my eyes. (Please keep in mind that I am typing this on Saturday evening. Who knows when I will get to an internet site to post it.)
I was just about giddy when the pilot announced we had reached Guayaquil. Knowing that my husband was somewhere down there to meet me brought a smile to my lonesome heart.
For us, passport control and customs was a breeze. The least pleasant part was waiting in line while unprepared travelers searched through their carry-on luggage for passports and customs declarations (Oof! :)What were they thinking?!!)
I was trying to absorb the emotions and sights of the moment. Arriving to a different culture is always amazing to me. I like to imagine where all the people are coming from and why they are there. I wonder what “their” story is.
As the last piece of luggage was collected and sent through the scanner, my heart started pounding a little harder. I was in the same building as my soul mate, my best friend, the love of my life. It was as if I was suddenly in a slow motion music video. The music was playing, the noise of the crowds mellowed,and I heard his heart beat.
My feet picked up their pace and my eyes began scanning faces in the crowd. As I walked through the last door, masses of people were staring at me. It seemed that another thousand Ecuadorians were at the airport to catch a glimpse of the face of the ones they loved also.
I kept walking and looking.
And then I saw his face! Smiling, waving- just as glad to see me!
Well, I didn’t run into his arms like in the movies, but I did walk as quickly as my bulky luggage would allow. Then I was in his arms!
Okay….. Sorry, for the ones who don’t like the mushy stuff, but I just had to put that in there, because it was so wonderful to see my husband after 5 days and a continent apart. :)
We gathered our things and headed to the bus where missionary Phil Barber and Brett Madison were waiting.
I was surprised at the pleasantness of the weather. It was very comfortable and breezy- just right- not to cold and not humid or warm.
I tried to take in the sights of Guyaquil on the short ride to our hotel.
People everywhere waiting on buses and taxis.
Many, many happy faces.
The Ecuadorian people, I have found, are very pleasant and kind, happy and content, and a they are very beautiful people. We spent the night in Guayaquil because the three hour trip would not be safe due to “road bandits” that thrive in the darkness. (Yikes!.. I was very happy to spend the night in Guayaquil! - Did they just tell us that or is that true?)
This morning after a quick breakfast we walked a block or two to the iguana park. I don’t believe that is the actual name, but I think we Americans have named it that because of ALL the iguanas there. Oh my goodness. If you don’t like lizards, don’t go there! And the squirrels looked like some mutated, genetic deviant of squirrels , bats, and cats. Can you say “Yikes!”?
Ayangue was three hours away? Maybe just two- it felt like three. There is something about airports and hospitals that just wear a soul to a frazzle. But sleep was not to be found on the small (extremely small) minivan that transported us from the large city to the sleepy coastal city of Ayangue. (But in comparison to what I would be riding back and forth to the work site, it was a luxury vehicle!)
Sights on the way:
Bamboo houses on stilts
Saturday communal gatherings
Poverty- but with a peaceful contentment
Dirty and dusty yards and streets
Peaceful country side
Dry countryside (It is their winter here)
Did I mention the thousands upon thousands of stray dogs?
We arrived at the work site first. Time for reunion number two!
“Jordan! Jordan!” -
Every one understood the anxiousness in this momma’s voice. They just smiled and pointed to a room. I walked in and once again, my heart leaped out of my soul. But this was different. This time the site of my 15 year old son working as hard as any man on the trip made my heart leap with a mix of pain and pride. The last time I saw him he was a boy. In just five short days he became a man, earning the respect of his team members by his hard work and good manners.
I think he was a little glad to see his mom, too.
After a quick trip to our real hotel, we were back at the work site and put to work by the “task master” Dan. It always amazes me how quickly everyone finds their place and niche on these MAPS trips.
I will blog more about the work we are doing tomorrow.
Ecuador is beautiful!