Saturday, August 30, 2008


As the pictures shows - lunch time came today and all the gringos got into a little click! Not really a good look.
The CO had a little word in Marks ear reminding him that we need to not be seen as only interested in our own culture. In my defense - after hours of spanish - it is so nice to have english spoken around you - but I can see his point! I hope he had a word in the other's ears too cause we may look like we are "dis-ing" them tomorrow!

Friday, August 29, 2008

1st day of Spanish DC

Very tired tonight - 1st day of the convention en espanol. It hard work I can tell you - thank goodness for the notes I took at the English convention!
We were picked up this morning by our faithful "G" but he wasn't able to bring us home tonight so we have just endured a ride home on 2 buses - at night they are always full and I don't know what happened to chivalry or them respecting old age - we stood for part of the ride (hard work in high heels).
Was assigned to toilets this morning - yep Ecuadorians have a little bit of learning to go in that department - glad the job is over for the weekend. Not a very rico job I have to say.
Had to do cleaning after the last session too but was happy to work - got me out of having speak spanish to anyone else.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gold Star for us maybe?

Just home from the meeting and have to tell you about our good deed for the day. On the walk home we came across a family struggling to carry lots of stuff. The little girl was expected to carry a heavy backpack and it almost tipped her over when she picked it up. Of course we offered to carry it for her and thankfully it was not far to go cause they were heading for the casa above the internet cafe that I used to go to back in the days of no internet at home. Well the lady that always served me, came out and when she saw me she gushed "Senora Elizabeth - Where have you been and why haven't you been visiting me" (she knows I have internet at home so it wasn't that she was missing my business). I gave her a hug and told her I would come and see her very soon. She seemed very happy to see me again and I hope we gave her a good witness helping her family.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keeping my reputation for tripping over myself in tact!

Well I finally did it and I made a huge fool of myself when I did it too. Yep I fell over!

On the way to the territory this morning along with 5 others I mis-steped and went for such a skate! Down I came, books and bag scattering as I did and then ended up sprawled over the pavement. Of course everyone rushed around me and I jumped up in attempt to save my dignity but I had shaken myself up so much tears came to my eyes and I couldn't stop them for a while. I wanted to go home but that would have meant the new hermana I was going to be working with would have been by herself so I soldiered on for an hour. I only have a few bumps and bruises - on my already weak knees - and a sore neck so it could have been worse.

Mark suggested somewhat unkindly I thought - that he could buy me a walking stick!!! The cheek of the man!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Little let down

Ugh what a day! Well actually it was a beautiful day to start with and I had an appointment with my English study at 10.30 so was quite happy walking up the hill in the sun. Well I don't know what happened but she weren't there so I decided to trudge up a little higher to the shop where she works. Nup! not there either so I made my way home again a little disappointed. Never mind - I have my other spanish one this afternoon and the sun is shining - life is still good. Well 3pm came and off I went with Barbara to see Nelly. Oops - shoulda taken my umbrella because by the time we got to her place it was teeming with rain! And she weren't there either!!! However we went back past her place of work and her husband said their baby was sick so she had taken her to the coast for a few days and would be back tomorrow. Got to always give them the benefit of the doubt eh!
I am now wet and cold and about to jump in the shower. For all my walking not much success but these things happen. Mark is going to shout me dinner at the mall tonight - yay at least I don't have to cook!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Fog is Lifting!!

I had such a great morning this morning! I really felt in control because I could understand what the householders were saying to me and was able to answer them back. It is like a 4 month long fog in my brain finally lifting. Also what made me exceptionally happy was I found a girl who I had started a study with back in June again. I had first met her and her husband at their metalwork shop and placed a book with them (if you are reading this Chad - you may remember, you were with me and I had been chickening out all morning until you made me talk!). I had about 5 studies with her and then she was not at the shop anymore and so I had just about given up. This morning though I called on her house and she said that she stopped going to the shop cause it was too loud for her baby there. Yes - she still wanted a study so we have made an appointment for Friday! I am so happy to have found her!
Anyway by the end of the morning I had placed 9 mags and 2 brochures and arranged to visit all of them again.I even found one man who I will take Mark back to as he speaks English. Fantastico!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Catch up

A preview of the mountain trip
I have one more video coming up of the trip back to Cuenca through the mountains but I thought I would just catch you up on the week we have just had.
Mark and I spent 2 days up at the Assembly hall as the District Conventions started this weekend (they have 3 here in Cuenca alone) and there was a lot of work to be done getting the hall ready. Junior Jones said he usually gives everything a fresh coat of paint but this year he was way behind so we gave him a hand and even though we were fighting the rain - we accomplished a lot and he was very happy. Sitting on the hard concrete for 2 days meant I was sore all over - my excuse for a day off (the group on Friday is not my favorite because it is what I call a mountain goat group - I am tired before we have even started the territory!).
Saturday came and we were back into it. I had a call on a girl to do - in English (I had finally got an english book and bible for her) and we arranged for me to go back again today (Sunday) and start the study. Well after we finished today I asked her when she wanted me to come again. She said "How many times a week can you come?" After I picked myself off the floor it was decided that as she works from 8am - 8 pm Monday - Friday- Saturday and Sunday Morning was probably best. But she asked if I was passing the shop she works in if I could call in and spend 10 minutes or so with her. Of course I said that would be no problem at all. And the absolute best thing about this experience is that she wants to study in English - it will only take 1/2 an hour to prepare - not 2 hours!!!
Barbara and I doing our bit

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whale Watching & Poor Man's Galapogus Island

We had a great day with the girls - checking out the whales and blue footed boobies. It was a little much for me the walk though cause the climbing up and down showed just how unfit I am. I don't know why I did not get a photo of the step steps - you would have understood my exhaustion if you saw where we went. After a long day - when we made it back to land - I could hardly walk so we stopped for a bite to eat on the shorefront. However that made us late for the bus and while we were waiting for the next one - the taxi drivers started pestering us - telling us there where no more buses that night! The price to take us back started at $20 - then rose to $25. I was quite happy by this stage to pay for us all - but the girls waited it out. Finally though it seemed obvious that we would be waiting all night so we took a $24 fare. Just as we were organized to go - along came the bus!!! I didn't care though cause as you may remember -the Coast buses were yukky and the thought of the hour ride home on one didn't thrill me!
I am glad we did the trip - but if any of you come over - you are on your own if you want to do it - I am staying put in the hammock!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

La Costa

This is a quick tour of the coast - it is very different from being in the mountains - in fact there is a bit of prejudice between the two places. Coast people say mountain people are dirty and mountain people say coast people are lazy! It seems to us that they are not lazy just so hot that they have to lie about in their hammocks to get through the hottest part of the day. Everyone knows each other and Maria and Bernice seem to be very safe there. Mark reckons it would be too much effort for anyone to break into the girls house anyway! One thing I did not like was the buses - they felt very claustrophobic - different from the buses here in Cuenca.
We had the best time with the two chicas and they are well loved by the congo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

District Convention Video and Photos

I have also thrown on a view photos for those of you that can't see the video. Truly was an awesome and encouraging experience. The convention had an international feel to it with 26 countries represented. We personally met people from England, Australia, USA, Venezuela, Peru, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Japan, Canada, Ecuador (Galapagos Islanders too) and of course other Kiwis!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day Three - Boo Hoo

Well it came to close and what a sad moment that was. Met so many different people from different countries so it was just awesome. There are 26 countries represented with the missionary visa but no doubt there were more here just visiting. It was really great meeting a young guy from Canada originally who grew up with Aaron P - my neice Joanna´s husband (just for the ones reading this that aren´t family). Small world!
The drama was great and the American accents didn´t hit us in the ears like it usually does when at home in NZ. Talked to some of the actors before and after and - they speak like that anyway - hard case!
We have never had such an experience - it truely is an international assembly, with everyone here being in the same mindset and having the same or had the same problems we have faced. It is amazing how they are all so happy though and not many if any - don´t like it.
I don´t think I told you our experience on Thursday coming down here - we arrived nice and early to catch the plane only to be told the flight was cancelled - TWO weeks ago! Noone had bothered to call us and there was not another flight available until the night. We had to be at a rehearsal at 2.30 in the afternoon so it was a little problem! We hailed a taxi to take us to the bus station and the chappy told us about a bus that could get us here quicker. So we thought that would be a good idea - of course it was way over the other side of town and by the time we reached the place - the last van had left! So rather than go back to the regular bus station - we were now running low on time, we asked him if he wanted to take us to Guayaquil and a price was fixed - $110! That included the free crossing of himself that the driver did on our behalf no doubt everytime we passed a church or dodgy piece of road. It took us 3 hours to get here and that was good value I thought - I don´t think you would get a taxi driver to drive for 3 hours for that money in NZ. The scenery is breath taking and at some points you are higher than the clouds - it is awesome. Pictures will be posted at the earliest opportunity. They won´t in anyway do the scenery justice though - you will have to either take my word for it or come and see for yourself! It is time to hit the hay - absolutely wiped out of course - it has been an emotional few days. Enjoy your convention next weekend Circuit 6B and if anyone has the power - get the greetings of the 9 kiwis serving in Ecuador announced!

Day Two

We are wondering what is happening to us - is it old age or what? We keep welling up all through the sessions for some reason. There is something about even the clapping here - it is so heartfelt - when each session ends too - you can´t help but clap and it goes on for a few minutes! Also we realized that these speakers are either from the NY Bethel or missionaries or at the very least need greaters that have many years experience! It is so different and if any of you are wanting a different assembly experience - start planning now to come in August next year to catch the Need greater convention. Problem is you may find yourselves all wanting to serve here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

District Convention

Well the hotel´s computer is free so I just thought I would let you know we are doing fine and just loving the convention. I found Maria first thing this morning and promptly burst into tears at the sight of her. It was like hugging one of my kids! So very emotional. We were interviewed on the second talk - so we are kind of famous now - Hey and guess what - Helen & Junior Jones (she was in the magazine this year - I´ve talked about her before) well they were on the same part. Fancy that! At lunchtime a maori sister who has been here for 11 years from Matata grabbed me and said ¨hey cuz!¨and then another couple - from Nelson who have been here for 2 years came and introduced themselves and finally a young feller from Opotiki ( Knows you Colleen and Ted), he is married to an Ecuadorian, came up too. I have told them all to meet us in front of the stage tomorrow for a photo shoot. So that will be on the blog in due time (when we get back to Cuenca I expect).
We were stopped all day long by people saying how encouraged they are by our move - some folks have said it is making them think hard about their own situation. (These are the ones that are only visiting for the assembly-of course). So it has made Mark and I feel very worthwhile - even though our spanish is limited.
The convention speakers are very interesting to listen to (not saying ours are not but the accents are so fascinating) and they all seem to just put a little plug in about need greating and so that is encouraging. It is a great convention and I know you will love it - great for young people today!
It is pretty hot here and we have been utilizing the fan you brought Mark, Ann - so thanks for the forthought!
As I say I will post photos as soon as I have the chance. Chao amigos