Friday, January 30, 2009

A nice day.

Well this time next week we will be on the long trip home and by now we should be in Chile waiting for our next plane - oh how I don't look forward to that! However I do look forward to what is at the end of it - a great big hug from Aaron and Amanda. Ryan tells me he won't be able to meet us at the airport - we will have to wait another week to see him. I guess I can forgive him - it's his last weekend with the boys from Bethel so we understand.
Today I took Michele to meet Luz and her children - I started the study with her 3 weeks ago and Michele is going to look after her for me. She is a sweet lady with lots of problems and so hopefully she takes what she is learning from the bible on. Today she was saying that she believed God had given her a sick son (he seems to be a little retarded but not quite sure if that is his only problem) to see how she would cope - what a terrible way to think about God! Her other son Jonathan is about 7 and the whole time we were there he was cleaning up the kitchen and helping his mother with Pedro - sweet kid. I took them a bible stories book each and Jonathan was so excited to receive it - he went a got a plastic bag to put them in to protect them, which was so cute.
Luz made a funny comment about Mark that has given us a laugh all day - she said to Michele that he translates for me - not that I am wanting to toot my own horn or anything - but that is so not the case - if anything it is the other way around! Anyway Mark loved it!

It is 10.30pm now and we have just arrived home from a very nice Gringo Party where we were the guests of honour. Chad and Michele made Pennsylvanian chili and mashed potatoes - and it was delicious. I feel like bursting - especially after the chocolate cake Kelly brought to the party.
We are very fortunate to have made such wonderful friends here - even if they do get on my case about our accent and kiwi idioms. New word for them tonight was Dozy! No I didn't use it in the context of " You dozy Americans" - we might not be welcomed back if I did that!
We sure will miss them all while we are at home, even that dozy guy Goober!
Anyway it's bed time now - that's if I can sleep - I am so excited!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How much do you reckon we could sell this stuff for???

Dawgone - or in espanol - "Perro No Bravo" is a real hit here. Doug came up with the idea and it really is brilliant. Mark of course has had to add his own touch to the stuff and has ideas of finding horseradish back home, to improve the potency even more. Unfortunately I have missed getting really good footage of the stuff working but you will get the picture from this video. We really needed it the other day when we were walking past some dogs and one jumped up and attacked us. Thankfully he only got the bookbag of our friend and not my leg that was very close to his mouth at the time.
Because the mixture is made of natural ingredients and when squirted with it, the dogs just don't like it so run away, so it is much more humane than throwing stones or sticks at them, which can of course do permanent harm to the animal. It is not mean to spray dogs behind fences either because there have been many witnesses bitten by a dog poking his head out through the bars.The amazing thing too is once they have been shot once or twice, they may bark at you but will stay as far away from you as possible as the second short video shows. So it really is ALL GOOD!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Poor Hos won't be coming home with us to eat Te Puna grass and get fat. Sadly but thankfully he died during the night - we had to watch all day yesterday as he got weaker and weaker - and there was nothing we could do.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mud Skis time again!

I know I have harped on about this before but we have had quite a few weeks of beautiful weather and now we are back to rain and mud everyday. It gets pretty slippery too so it is a wonder I have not ended up sitting in it!
This morning we trudged over to my new study, Señora Luz. She has 3 sons and the youngest seemed just a little odd. I was saying how if a son is on drugs and ruins his health - it is not the father's fault, when Luz started crying and said that was the problem with her youngest boy - his father took drugs. Poor lady - she was so upset. She let Mark say a prayer for her and we arranged to go back next week and study chapter 11 - Why does God Permit Suffering. It is a real privilege to be able to share the truth with these people.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tonight's excitement

Just as we walked into the hall tonight - there was a blackout and they are obviously used to this sort of thing occurring here, as before we knew it - candles were handed around. Thankfully though the lights came back on before Mark had the Bible Highlights (his 1st). It would have been interesting had he had to read by candlelight but I guess no worse than if we had had to sing without music!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meet Hos the Horse

Mark has a friend that lives up on the hill behind our building and his name (according to Mark) is "HOS". Doesn't he look tragic though - if this poor fellow was back in New Zealand, someone would be going to jail for treating him bad. Mark gives him carrots as we walk past in the morning so he is always excited when we walk by and the other day - Mark had to go and save his life when he fell down the bank and could not get back on his feet. I wouldn't say Hos was fortunate we were home though because it might have been a way out of his misery!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Maureen and Lloyd! Happy 51st Anniversary

You will recognize this for sure Maureen and Lloyd - I am so slack, I totally forgot your day, so this is "regifted" to you. Hope you had a happy day!

For the rest of the world seeing this for the first time - how cool is it that we have footage of my parents-in-law before they were married - over 51 years ago? Thank goodness Mark's grandfather was a film freak like me! To all those that get on my case about taking photos or videos (remember the name Doug gave me -"Camera Assasin"?)- just keep in mind that future generations will be mighty glad I did!P.S - Just thought I should show you - Maureen and Lloyd are still skipping about after all these years!

Cuppy Cake boy

This is for my friends back home in New Zealand who are unwell at the moment. Especially Jane, Ivan, Cliff, Maureen and Alice. I hope it brings a little smile to your day. Get well soon guys - looking forward to giving you a cuppy cake hug when we get home in 3 weeks time xxx

P.S. Don't you just love this kids eyebrows??? (Apparently the little fellow is very sick too - and he's still singing - no doubt knowing you guys, you won't be letting it get you to down either!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

And now lets welcome to the stage....ME!

I had my second talk last night - Mark filmed it for you but I know it may be a little boring so you don't have to watch it if you don't want to. I was disappointed when I went to film him in his part on the service meeting to find that I had no memory left hence the real short bit of Mark doing his stuff for the 1st time. Apologies to his Mum!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quick question for you - what is the difference between these 2 words:
DIARREA and DIARIA? and which one should you not use in the middle of a study?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

mmm Turkey!!!

On Friday night we were treated to a very American traditional dinner. Turkey with all the trimmings (oh except for sweet potatoes that is). Will you look at the size of that bird! Becky cooked it and apparently it took her all day to do so. She really did a awesome job - it was absolutely mouthwatering. We ate at the Rulla's and everyone contributed to the very yummy dinner. As you can see I tried to make a political statement by bringing Pavlova complete with Kiwifruit however it didn't stand a chance with Kelly making an outstanding pumpkin pie. We had to roll home afterwards and now I can understand those references made in American movies to Thanksgiving dinners where the menfolk unbutton their pants to fit more in. We really are giving up so much to live here aren't we?

Friday, January 9, 2009

You say Tomato and I say...

I would like to say TA to all the BLOKES (and Sheilas - oops that's Australian) who were GOOD SPORTS and let me TAKE THE MICKEY out of them - they didn't get STROPPY or PIKE OUT on me or even throw their JANDALS at me - so IT'S ALL GOOD!
By the way, for you readers from other countries, while I am on the subject - here is a little explanation that may help you if you ever come across a New Zealander :
Kiwi: New Zealander
kiwi: an endangered flightless bird native to New Zealand
kiwifruit: hairy skinned fruit with lime green flesh - formerly known as Chinese Gooseberry

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update on our week:

Monday we were up in the mountains and I placed 2 books while Mark placed 1 with a very nice gentleman who wants him to come back next week to start going through the book.Yay for Mark!
Tuesday I was out with Michele and we caught up again with my study Melva (after the holiday season). We have to climb up another hill to get to her little house and we were pleased that this week she actually went and got us 2 seats so we sat for the study instead of the usual hopping from foot to foot and trying to hold everything at the same time. Melva tells us she is a Catholic and will be till the day she dies but then in the next breath says how the Catholics don't hardly touch the bible- let alone read it! Mmm we shall see if she does stay a Catholic till she dies- I will keep you posted on her progress. Then we found a call of Michele's at home - the last time we had spoken to her (Bertha is her name and she is in her 40's) - she had said she could not talk any longer cause her Mother was coming down the street and her Mother did not like her talking to us! Anyway yesterday Bertha tells us that her mother has broken her leg and will not be visiting her for awhile (oh dear how sad) so Michele was able to start a study with her. We really felt we were supposed to call on her yesterday so it was very cool.
Today (Wednesday - yes I know I am living in the past) I asked Becky to come with me on my study with Esperanza but before we went we did a little bit of territory. Becky managed to have a good chat with a lady and place a book so we will be going back on her again next week. Esperanza is a lovely lady and invites us inside, today we started chapter 2 and something really affected her as she had a few tears about the bible being such a marvelous gift from God.
So that is the week so far - I just wanted to tell you about it cause I am having such fun - it's awesome!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pase del Niños

They have a custom here during December right through to Feb/March called Pase del Niños.
Originally it came from the Inca's when every year they would bring out the mummified bodies of dead loved ones and parade them around the city. When the Spaniards came and with them the catholic religion, they wanted to stop that practice so true to form they incorporated it into their worship. Instead of the mummified bodies - they gave them the baby Jesus and Mary to parade around. So now and then we will come across some parade or other with plenty of colour but little else to recommend it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When in Rome...

This is a drink made out of pulverized rolled oats with milk,
sugar and cinnamon. I could probably describe it as very runny porridge - mmm yummy (NOT)

Marks face says it all
We are often placed in situations that we have no way of getting out of and it is almost always to do with food or drink. The people here are so very kind but they never ask you what you would like to drink - mostly they just give you something which you are expected to like.We would never want to offend these kind hearted souls so it gets very tricky some times.
Of course those of you who know us will remember that Mark can't stomach milk and I have an aversion to sweet, lukewarm drinks. Most of the time we can secretly swap the cups and get through it that way but this morning we were handed this concoction which was sweet, lukewarm and milky!!! And notice the size of the cup! Oh dear - but I am proud to say we both just did the deed, even though we now feel very sick! It was funny seeing Marks face, when the sister wanted to refill his cup!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Remains of the Day

Everywhere we went yesterday and even today we could see the remains of the fires that burnt the effigies on New Years Eve. This one obviously didn't completely burn so I wonder if that means they didn't quite burn all the badness from last year? Oh how sad for that family!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year in Ecuador

Well surprisingly we did actually sleep through the end of 2008 and into 2009. Although we were woken a few times with exceptionally loud and close bangs from the fireworks - we must have been pretty tired to be able to drift back quickly into dreamland. At around 12pm there was a barrage of fireworks but it was no use getting up to look at them out the window as they do not make any display whatsoever. All they do is make a noise - I don't really get why the Ecuadorians like them so much.
On the way home from the meeting (G would not let us walk as he said it was too dangerous) there was people with masks on everywhere. They like to put rope across the road and stop the cars and then demand money - G just drove right on so a few idiots hit the car - but we made it home safely.I hope you will excuse me for not getting any photos - it was just a little scary so I did not want to encourage any more stupidity.
Today witnessing has been canceled as they say no one will appreciate us knocking on their gates after their night of revelry. I don't know - I think I would have enjoyed waking them up - cause they don't seem to mind waking us up!