Friday, February 27, 2009

Kingdom Hall Quickbuild

Last weekend we had the priviledge of working at a quickbuild and it was so nice to have the whole family working there. Mark was on the Plumbing Team, Aaron and Ryan on the Air Conditioning Team, Amanda cleaned her heart out until 3 am one morning and I did what all mothers do best - prepared food, food and more food! (Mostly it was peeling spuds and carrots).
On Friday and cylcone blew through and the site was closed down - very unusual - so the next day it was all go and sure enough, they caught up. I am sorry I can't show you the completed Hall cause we left at 2pm on Sunday, when all the finishing touches were going on, but no doubt it came together nice.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mark gets to do some manly man stuff again.

Thought our friends in America (and South America) might enjoy seeing how a sheep is shawn. The poor things were left a little long and so they must have been sweltering in the 30 degree heat. They will be happy to have their winter coats off now.
Mark's Dad in his time was a very good shearer and tells me he could do 250 odd in a day - I think though they are happy they only have a few to look after now-a-days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yay Spanish Again!

This is the lady I had the privilege to study with today. She is from Columbia and has been here in NZ for 5 months so does not have much english. I really wasn't expecting to have to conduct the study but the sister I was with just left me to it as she doesn't have too much spanish at all - it was a little hard not having time to prepare for it but we managed ok, she said she understood me "a little"!
This morning we were out in the territory for the first time (well me for the first time anyway) and I was happy to find interest at the first door. The young man said he had 3 sons and was worried for their future - he took the BT book and I told him we offered a free home bible study, however my son would be the one to return to talk to him about that. I was pretty happy about finding the interest and thought attitudes certainly have changed in the year we have been away but unfortunately that idea was shot down with the rest of the houses we did - same old same old - not interested!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Update time

This is Mr Richard Lee and he is a study of Aaron's. He is a lovely man -(speaks english in a very heavy chinese accent). Amanda picked him up in the territory during one of the tract campaigns and he studied with her for awhile before she handed him over to Aaron. He loves the kids to bits and just this week brought Amanda a digital camera for her trip to Taiwan - generous eh? Yesterday he took us all out for Yum Cha lunch - and wouldn't hear of us paying. We brought him a panama hat as you can see but sadly he put it on a chair in the resturant and the waitress dropped soy sauce over it then took it away to wash it - something you don't do to panama hats. He was so proud of it so hopefully it is not totally wrecked!
Here we are having our first family meal together in a long time. Ryan left Bethel today so he is with us for a little while before he settles down somewhere.
It didn't take long before there was noise- oh I mean music!
I thought this was a cute photo of Mark and Amanda - witnessing together.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Maybe there is a genetic disorder all kiwi's suffer from...craziness!

When the weather is hot - it makes people do crazy things is all I can say about this video!
It really is drainingly hot here at the moment - very humid too. I am up at 4 am in the morning and the thermometer on the wall says 26 degrees (that's 80 F) - hate that when you can't sleep because of the heat. I know I know - I am never satisfied - complaining of the cold, rain and mud in Cuenca and complaining of the heat here - some people are just born complainers!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Little sojourn at the lake

Yesterday we toddled off to the lake about 1 and 1/2 hours away from here, to visit with my nieces and their families, who are holiday. We loved spending time with them and meeting our new great nephew, Lincoln. The days are very hot so being by the water was great.
Tomorrow the holiday is over when we go to Hamilton to join our kids for the weekend. They have studies and calls they want to take us on, so it will be all on. However I am a bit worried about the spanish ones - I hope Aaron hasn't been talking our language skills up too much cause they may be sadly disappointed. Will let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

mmm Food that I've been missing!

First dinner here had to be fish and chips (not on the beach unfortunately but still delicious). Then the second meal - roast lamb! I think I might be rolling back to Ecuador!
Amanda took me out for coffee and a muffin yesterday and I enjoyed them both immensley (something they don't do well in Ecuador is coffee) but did not enjoy the price - nice for a one of treat but won't be spending too much time in the coffee shops here!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Home Coming

We even found a Mexican sitting in the corner   
Yep we made it and with only one little hiccup. We arrived at the airport in Cuenca for our flight down to Guayaquil to find that the airline had changed the schedule (without letting ticket holders know) - thank goodness Chad and Michele were with us cause they helped us get the last plane on a different airline. We had to race across a four lane road, pay for the ticket and race back again - give C & M a quick hug goodbye and run to the plane! I made the comment to Mark that hopefully that would be the worst thing that happened and it was. - the rest of the trip was pretty easy. I was a bit annoyed that my plan of taking a sleeping pill and sleeping all the way didn't work though. I only slept 3 hours! Mark on the other hand didn't take any thing and slept 10 hours.
I had told the kids not to come to the airport until at least 5am as it would take us a while to get through customs etc so when we just breezed through and out by 4.30 am, it was an anti-climax as they weren't waiting for us. Finally they arrived and we then faced 2 and 1/2 hour car trip back to Tauranga. Maureen (Marks mum) had decorated the trees with yellow streamers and made a huge sign so it was fun.
Today Mark went out witnessing with his dad and came home telling me I would sure miss Cuenca when I get to go out. The apathy is still here unfortunately. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

See you on the other side of the world!

Well the time has come and we are going offline for a few days - my next post will be from New Zealand.
Today we are canceling our internet here at home (it's cheaper that way), finalizing a few other things then tomorrow it is all on when we begin our trip with our flight down to Guayaquil. We will stay the night at the bed and breakfast run by witnesses and be back at the airport for the long haul home by 10a.m Friday (that's 4a.m Saturday NZ time). Thankfully I think I am getting better (although not a good sign that I am doing this post at 4.30 in the morning as I have had to get up to take headache pills - probably just getting a little stressed). FYI - we will still be contactable by email if anyone needs us.

Mark has one more hurdle to get over tonight when he takes the congregation book study for the first time - should be interesting to say the least. Hard enough
trying to get spanish out without having to worry about remembering and pronouncing these folks names!

So friends, I will update as soon as possible to let you know how the trip went, until then -adiĆ³s y cuidado!
Bye Cuenca - see you in 6 weeks!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Any excuse for a party!

We were given a "surprise" farewell last night by some of the young ones in the congo. I say surprise but really we knew about it. Thankfully Chad and Michele had given us the heads up earlier in the day because A) I still have the flu and B) the apartment is a bit of a train wreck at the moment, with our packing and all. Anyway we were expecting them to turn up at around 8pm but of course with Ecuadorian time (similar to Maori time) - they came closer to 9pm. Mark had given me every cold and flu drug known to mankind so while I was dopey as and looked terrible - I managed to stay awake and was able to smile. They really are a sweet bunch of kids (actually some of them are not all that young - early 30's). So glad that Chad and Michele came too because they helped get the party going and keep it going for us! It is so nice to know that even while we can't communicate very well with these young folks, they appreciate our presence. Chad told us that one young lass said to him that they can't wait to be able to understand us and us understand them. At this stage they only know we love them and are here to help. Every time I pulled my camera out, the girls had to strike a pose because they know these pictures are going home with us and our sons will eventually see them - I am beginning to think that could be the reason we are so popular here! In the card we were given, one chica wrote that I was not to forget to bring her a souvenir - our son Aaron! What a crack up!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Yesterday I woke up with a bad cold and so have had to stay indoors. That meant I had some time on my hands so this is the result. Obviously there is only one thing on my brain so once again you have to put up with hearing about our trip home!