Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A day out



Oh the relief - we got out of the kitchen for the day (actually, we are out for the next 4 days as well because we are off to the convention tomorrow) - and we made a trip up to the Incan ruins to show Aaron. As you can see - it was freezing up there and so we didn't spend too long looking around. - just enough time to get some cool photos. Fernando came with us too as he deserved a day out as well, he has been working just as hard as us.
Aaron was pleased to finally get up close and personal with some llamas and Michele and I were like kids let out of school early - a fun day, if a little cold!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mark gets up close and personal with our new friend.
Finally Aaron has his bags returned to him and he is happy to find all in tact. Of course we were happy to have our supplies of Vegemite, Baking Cocoa and Sweet Chilli Sauce replenished too - not to mention the 3 kgs of pineapple lumps (of which we have already consumed 1 kg).
Another week has finished and once again we are just exhausted - but there is a light now at the end of the tunnel. Seems that there is only a week and a half to go and of that we only have 2 or 3 days left to work. We are taking Aaron to visit the Incan ruins on Wednesday and then we are off to Guayaquil for the English Convention - yippee!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The measure of a man


Aaron went to the tailor yesterday to get measured up for a new suit (just in case his other one doesn't ever turn up) and it gave the guy such a laugh. I don't think the chap had seen anyone like it before. As you can see Aaron is nearly double the size of the average Ecuadorian (astually he's nearly double the size of the average New Zealander too) so we shall see what sort of suit turns up - it could be that the length of the trousers only goes to his knees!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Another day dawns and finishes in the kitchen. Wednesday was just a blip for me as I worked 14 and 1/2 hours without my buddy Michele. She has been battling the flu or gripe (grip-pee) as they call it here, and really needed a day to stay home. Actually all went rather smoothly until Big Mumma arrived right on dinner time to get a jump start on the next days preparation. She tends to take up all the available space and so we were having to work around her - not the most unstressful time.
Aaron got to chow down on his first true Ecuadorian meal - complete with chicken feet in the soup - he said it wasn't half bad. He is a happier lad now as he finally got one bag returned to him and a promise of the other one coming soon - of course there was an accident and all his body wash was spread throughout his clothes. I am just glad it was not the bag he had my pineapple lumps in!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday morning came around again and we were off to the kitchen at 6am as usual. On the menu was Tortillas de Verde (that's pancakey things made out of green bananas) however we weren't feeling it (actually, Michele and I don't really know how to make them properly) so I thankfully I had taken with us 2 cans of sweet corn. We decided to whip up a batch of corn fritters and I have to say it was so much easier than boiling, mincing, pounding and frying the bananas. Of course when it came time to open the cans of corn it became a little bit of a mission because there was no such thing as a can opener to be found - they would never think of opening a can - everything is cooked from scratch here!
The plan was after breakfast for me to take Aaron to the mall (to buy more clothes - he still has no lugguge) and return to help with the lunch but by the time I got back home, the headache that I had in the morning, morphed to migraine status and I had to sleep most of the afternoon to get rid of it. I did get back to the kitchen at the end of the day and do the most strenuous job of shelling peas. Now you might think - oh how wonderful, fresh peas - but I have to shatter that illustion because the peas here are not sweet, juicy young things, no - they leave them to grow so long on the vine that they become hard little marbles. Very disappointing but probably my sister Ann will be glad to know that or she would be very jealous of me (she doesn't just like peas - she serves them at every meal because she LOVES them).
Here I am with the boys I recruited to help - we ended up having pea shelling races - hey anything to get the work done faster eh?

Monday, July 20, 2009

We had an impromptu beinvenidos (welcome) for Aaron last night and of course he had to bust out with a few moves. As you can see in the photo - it sure entertained the ladies!
It was nice to do something other than just going to the kitchen, going to the meeting or going to bed. We felt like we were human again.
Poor Aaron still has not got his lugguge so for 3 days he has been without clothes (and I have been without my pineapple lumps that he promised to bring). He has had to buy a pair of pants and has borrowed shirts off his Dad and Chad. We were pretty amazed that he found trousers long enough here in Ecuador for himself seeing as all the men are approximately half his height! Anyway we have been on the phone most of the morning with no success so we are considering taking a trip down again to Gauyaquil - what a pain that would be if it comes to that!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

He's here


Well what a day yesterday - we left Cuenca at around 2 in the afternoon and arrived at Guayaquil bus station not long after 6. I phoned the Brother from the Bed and Breakfast to pick us up but they were off to a meeting and so could not pick us up till after 9 so I suggested that we just wait at the airport until Aarons flight arrived at 12am. It arrived on schedule but when we were still waiting for him at 1.10 am - I was getting very worried as to what was the deal - had he missed his plane or was he lying in a ditch somewhere in Peru? Finally he stepped through the door - but his luggage didn't. Poor guy now has just the clothes he stands up in and his laptop. Hopefully when the bags arrive in Guayaquil they will do what they have promised and send them on to Cuenca.
Anyway when we had worked that out we called Brother Mena to come get us - wouldn't you know it - he didn't answer! 7 missed calls later he finally took our call and we made it to bed around 2.30am - only to have to get up and catch our flight to Cuenca at 7.30. What a mission that was too. Brother Mena slept in and we only just made it to checkin on time. Then the huge line up to get through security meant that we had to run for the plane. We are here now thank goodness and so let the fun begin!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One day to go

Another week is flying by and it is only one day till we go to Guayaquil and meet Aaron. As we speak he is in the air - he has a horrendous flight, 1st to Buenos Aires - then up to Lima - another flight to Bogota, Columbia and then back down to Ecuador arriving at 12 am Friday night our time - I think he might be a bit shell shocked when he gets off that final plane. Poor guy!
I suppose I should explain to those that don't know us personally that Aaron is our oldest son. Even though it has only been since February that we've seen him, it feels like a lot longer and I do miss my kids so much. That is the hardest part about being here - not having our kids with us. Of course they have their own lives now and don't need us but I sure need them! So I am very excited to have one of them here with us.
The kitchen this week seems to be fairly calm and there have been no upsets. I cannot wait till the build is over though cause these 12 -13 hour days are wearing me down. We leave the house when it is dark and return when it is dark - such fun.
On Monday though, my day off, I was asked by a new sister to help her with her first talk. That is an unspoken rule here that the assigned householder helps the less experienced prepare her talk. I got to her house (a tiny one room shack) and we sat down to go over the material. I soon realized that I was actually required to write the talk. I kept saying - how would you say this etc but she still wanted it word for word. Now you can only imagine what someone with limited spanish would write and how it would sound - I do hope she gets someone else to proof read it. It was actually nice though - being able to share a bit of my 42 years theocratic school experience.
Anyway it is now nearly 6 am and I have to get to the cocina. Michele is finally taking a few hours off and we are just hoping I don't have to ring her to say nobody has arrived so HELP!

Friday, July 10, 2009

When I'm bored - I blog!

video
Last day at home and so what better way to fill in the day than by making a film! This is something that Michele and I came up with a while ago - if the boys could be Supermen - then we could be Charlies Angels!
By the way -I love photoshop - you can make your body into everything that you wish for!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who is this masked man?


Mark seems to always find a niche for himself - the guys soon learned he knew what he was doing with a spray gun - well I think he knows what he is doing although you will be wondering if any paint made it on to where it was supposed to be going!

These are the trusses that Mark is painting - unfortunately they did not get painted while they were on the ground so he is having to paint them from on high - hence the face cannot help but get covered! By the way notice there is no hi-ab lifting the things up - it's all manual labour here!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Interview

video
Seeing I have been sent home from the kitchen in disgrace (I have an eye infection - not the best thing to have while cooking and serving food), I thought I would put this interview of our Circuit Overseer and his wife together. It is a long video (15 minutes) but they were so interesting to talk to - I am sure you will enjoy it.
Peter is Canadian but has been here since he was small and Isabel is a native Ecuadorian (you would never guess that by her accent though). I am sad we did not get to spend more time with them while they were staying with us but duty called I am afraid.
There was a lot of good stuff that I had to cut out of the interview unfortunately - however I hope what did make the final cut gives you the right impression of this lovely couple. They have made the service of Jehovah their careers and are an inspiration to us all. They also went through a very stressful time recently with Peter having to return to Canada for a major operation - it was touch and go for awhile - but thankfully all is good now and they are able to continue with their assignment to the joy and relief of everyone here.

So make yourselves a cup of tea and relax for 15 minutes while you listen to their story...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Oh no - our two days off went too fast and it is nearly Tuesday again! Oh well I suppose the sooner the time goes - the sooner Aaron gets here! Yay - I am so excited to finally have someone from home come so we can show him our lives here. That is if we have time to show him around!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Can you hear the bells, Fernando"

I would like to introduce you to our mate, Fernando, the guy that is changing my mind about the Ecuadorian men with their idea that kitchen work is woman's work. This guy has helped us so much - spending time washing the dishes, cleaning floors, serving meals (with hat and apron on - it's so cute), and generally keeping us smiling. If he is not at the kitchen he is helping in the construction or doing all night guard duty. Of course there are plenty of fellers (that's Kiwi for fellows ) doing very hard work in the construction but because Fernando is the only one that comes to help us - he's definitely our favorite.The other plus is he is attracting all the young sisters to the kitchen so that's why I say - "can you hear the bells, Fernando" - wedding bells - you'll be snapped up fast if you don't watch it.Michele teaches Fernando the serviette shuffle
ps: I had better mention that Chad and Mark have been doing their best to help us too
(wouldn't want to uspet them would I?)



Thursday, July 2, 2009

mmmm yum!


My favorite food was on the menu this morning - empanadas made out of flour. I got to help the sister who I think makes the best so consequently - I have learned her secrets. The one in the front is my first effort - you can tell it just doesn't look the same as the others. Maybe if I practice hard I might be able to make some for you when I come home - of course they are dripping in fat but hey - one can't always be worried about that - especially in this country!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smiling

My equilibrium has been restored! I was able to spend an hour and a half out in the ministry. I have missed it very much - it certainly is the thing that keeps us here. I had a nice talk to a young man who in the end, after listening to me read a couple of texts in the bible, took a brochure. Then I found one of my calls (she had progressed to a study but has not been at home for ages) and she said she would really like us to keep trying to find her at home. Yay (except of course her house is the most inaccessible house in the territory - uphill all the way - that's the way it goes I suppose!)
Michele and I think we are now up to being able to take turns - morning on - morning off, so hopefully we will both get to spend time in the field.
We also have the CO visiting our congo this week so we are busy but they are very interesting to talk to and very encouraging. I am trying to talk (I have even attempted trying extortion) them in to letting me interview them so you can meet them too. We'll see what happens.
I am home now to bake a cake as Carina, the sister sent by the branch to help us for 2 weeks is leaving. Have to show her our appreciation somehow eh? Anyway I better get to it!