Sunday, August 30, 2009

Grime Busters!

Today all the meetings and service were canceled in all congregations so that we could all go and help with cleaning the stadium in preparation for the convention next weekend. Even though it was a gloomy day - plenty of people turned up and everyone did a good job. If I had 10 cents for all the chewing gum I scrapped off - we would be able to stay here for another year! As my family know - I hate chewing gum! (I think that stems from my older brothers and sisters teasing me by saying when I was very little - I would pick up used gum and eat it - the thought of that, so scarred me that now I can't even stand the smell of the stuff!). The stadium was awfully dirty and even though we scrubbed and scraped - it didn't sparkle - I suppose though it was alot better than when we started. Next weekend it will be filled with about 12,000 excited and happy Testigos de Jehova - yay! Anyway after a mornings work we headed off to lunch with the gang of gringo's and totally ruined our diet! Oh well - another day tomorrow!

For you kiwi's back home - I thought you might enjoy the spelling of this icecream dish...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On Monday - my first real day out after being in the kitchen for so long, showing Aaron the country and then being sick for a week, we stopped by and visited a couple of inactive ones in the congregation. While small talk is not too much of a problem for us, when someone starts telling you their problems, they usually get emotional and start talking very fast. It gets very hard to understand them. Of course you can pick up one or two words and piece things together, to get a general idea but it is still very frustrating. We left one sister and I even made the comment to Mark - what use are we? However we had a reminder last night that we are not doing too bad when one of them made the effort to get back to the meeting and she came and gave me a huge hug. Then the mother of the other young girl came over to me and told me how much they had appreciated us stopping by and could we please come to her house another day soon. She said we encouraged her daughter to make plans to make it to all the convention. She nearly made me cry because I had been so negative about our abilities lately. Usually though when you hit a brick wall with the language, you are about to make another leap forward - so here's hoping.
Thought I would include this photo from last Friday night as I don't post a lot of photos of us together. We were taken out to see the lights of the city by the Ochoa Family - yep you have already met Fernando - who are just the sweetest people. (Sorry the photo of them is a bit blurry). Elvia has brought her children up by herself as her husband left them to go to America - the land where the streets are paved with gold - to make his fortune. It's a familiar tale here in Ecuador and of course a lot of times they never come back to their families - very sad. She has done an excellent job on her own though as the kids are doing very well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back doing what we love the best

Squish Squash!
Today we all piled into a van (24 of us in total) to go higher up into the mountains with the invitation to the upcoming convention.
It was awesome to be out again - we have missed it terribly!
It really is stunning territory

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Snippets from Aarons Visit

ps: Just in case any of Aarons Instructors at a certain school he will soon be attending sees this - he didn't really ask for that girls number - beseeching was the only word I could come up with that rhymed with preaching!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Hey everybody - we're back! Actually we got back last Friday night but we have been off line due to some internet problem and finally today we are all fixed. Unfortunately I am sick and can't really be bothered blogging much but just wanted to let you know that we have not fallen off the face of the earth. I thought we might the other night when we took a night bus from Quito to Cuenca - the roads are pretty hairy, as you can see by the photo. We made it back safely though if a little sore from 10 long hours cramped on a bus with blaring ecuadorian music most of the way! I will be posting more about our trip soon - till then Hasta Luego Mis Amigos!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am so happy

Ann and Rebecca
Just checked my emails (remember we are in the jungle at the moment) but I had to share this with you. In New Zealand it is not always easy to get and maintain a study so I was priviledged to conduct one with Rebecca. It took a while but here she is on her baptism day with my sister Ann. Made me cry to think I was not there with her on her special day but I am so pleased to see that she has decided to dedicate her life to Jehovah. Way to go Rebecca and congratulations from me a Mark - have I got a big hug for you when we get home.
Just a quick update on our vacation. We had fun visiting a monkey sanctuary yesterday (no Chad and Michele I couldn´t leave Aaron and Mark there - the keepers just wouldn´t believe me that they were monkeys dressed up in clothes) and today we have been out in service. Great territory here - placed 10 mags and used the bible heaps. The girl I was with started a study so that was cool. It is way too hot though and I am looking forward to being back in Cuenca soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just a quick note to say Hi! Having a great vacation - Aaron and Mark doing the more adventuresome stuff and me laxing out in spas and stuff. Got some stories to tell but no time today as we are finally off to spot the monkey´s. Chao for now!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Evelyns Wedding

While all my peeps back home in Tauranga enjoyed their final day at the convention (great eh guys - so are you planning on serving where the need is great now too?) - Michele and I were once again in the kitchen! We are so used to getting up and going there that we couldn't break the habit! Nah just kidding - it was to help out Evelyn -who got married today(she lived with the brother and sister who lent their house out for the remodel and we have become firm friends with her). She had a very simple wedding with copious amounts of fruit - which we sliced, diced and made into amazing creations for her. It was a big change from cooking soup and rice like the other 8 weeks! Anyway it was cool to help out and we have just come back from the reception, having left the kids (Chad, Michele and Aaron) dancing the rest of the night away. I am too exhausted to carry on moving to the grove! Must tell you that so many people get a shock when they see Mark and I dancing - apparently they are used to Gringos who don't like to dance. It is such fun!
We are off on our vacation tomorrow - in search of monkeys for Aaron but after I come back I will try to put together a video of the wedding - things are done a little differently with the bride and groom

Friday, August 7, 2009

Last day - maybe

This is the Reis Family from California. They are here spying our the land, so they come by the cocina yesterday to have a quick chat. Scott told me that they had been trying to get some information about Cuenca and keyed in Salon del Reino (KH) on the internet and the search engine found my blog. They have been following our adventures here and say that I have answered lots of their questions, so I am glad my musings have been some help in encouraging them to come here. It was lovely to meet them even though for just a short time before the battle of serving lunch began.
Marisol (the groups boss lady) - trys to fit everything back in the box
Final goodbye photo - note the poor brother on the phone - he's the boss and he is organizing their next build - which starts next week - they really do work hard, these guys!
Here we are - getting a little excited at the thought of not having to cook another meal!
Things are looking decidedly good for our getting back to our real life - the group said their goodbyes this morning and all the kitchen stuff was loaded on to their trucks. Having said that - they are still working in the hall, finishing off this and that, and lunch is being prepared by a few willing sisters (obviously I am not a willing sister, cause I am here blogging). I won't lie - I am glad it is nearly over - the 13, 14 or even 15 hour days have taken their toll on me and I have realized I am not as young as I was or I thought I was - hopefully I will get back my spark when we get out in the field again. Also now poor Aaron will get a little bit of attention from us - sad that we only have 10 days left with him!

Monday, August 3, 2009

English Convention

Very happy to have our boy with us!
With our other kids - Chad and Michele
Fellow kiwi - Tony Pratt
Donna - beaming after her baptism.

Sadly Aaron could not be in the Kiwi photo as he was on security -
here he is looking very sad and lonely.
Crazy kiwi's
Aaron takes in the sights as we leave the city. I think he likes the place!

Well we are back safe and sound from the English Convention in Guayaquil. What a wonderful convention - very, very upbuilding. Of course I can't say much because I know a lot of you in New Zealand have not had yours yet but I have put a couple of highlights on the video. Nothing too revealing of the treats in store for you - just an interview they had with Adella, a maori sister serving here from NZ. I missed the first part of it but she had just said she was down to her last $3 and thought she would be swimming home to NZ after being here 11 years. Her thoughts are exactly ours. Then there is a part of the experience Aaron had on the way over - once again I missed the first part (I'm good at that) which said how much can result from wearing your lapel card. Aaron has had an email from the man saying he would like to know more - very cool.
The sister in the photo who has obviously just been baptised is Donna, who last year came to Cuenca for an operation on her neck. She has a brother serving down here and came to live near him. Sadly she had a terrible accident and nearly died but the witnesses looked after her so well that she decided to look into the bible. I was priviledged to go on some of her studies while she was recuperating here and it was a real joy to see she had progressed to baptism. As you can imagine there is not too many that get baptised here (at the english convention) and those that do are usually younger ones of families serving here, so the applause when this sister stood up was thunderous. A buzz for everyone.
I cannot stress enough how upbuilding this particular convention is (the information is awesome and you will love it too, but I am really refering to the needgreaters english convention). We get to meet so many different people and they all have a story to tell about why or how they are here. We finally got to meet Tony Pratt, who many of you will know, and he was great to talk to. The other amazing thing is that all the speakers are incredibly easy to listen to - not that I am saying ours in NZ aren't but these guys are either missioneries, circuit overseers or Bethel brothers so the caliber of their talks is pretty awesome.
After being in the kitchen and construction so long, it really was just what we needed. We have come back with a new zeal - ready and rearing to go again. Sadly we still have a couple of days left of work before we can get out in the field again - but all good things come to those who wait eh?