Wednesday, September 30, 2009

mmmm yum!

Sadly my little camera is giving up as you can see by this photo. I am so sad because it has given me some good times! It even won me a trip to Australia once when the bank I worked for in NZ had a video competition. (I came in the top 5 for my creation - Desperate Bank Officers). So you can see why I am troubled about loosing a treasured companion. Anyway I digress - I wanted to show you a picture of this stuff that they sell on just about every street corner. You may think it is icecream but no - it is beaten egg white and sugar - yes like meringue but not cooked. The special ingredient has to be all the bus, car fumes and dust from the street. YUM!

By the way - I do have another camera so I will still get photos to put on the blog - it is just not as convenient as SONYBOY!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Crazy Gringa!

He he - made a bit of a booboo that is quite funny really. In one of my placements last week I talked to a lady waiting to see a Doctor. On Saturday Mark and I were up in the same (ish) area and came across a lady with her kids sitting by a house so I went into my presentation - with the magazines this time. The lady said something that I couldn't understand but it was something about a "librito" (their word for a small book). So I took from that - that she had already been called on that morning by someone with the book. Chatted for a bit, apologized for having 2 calls on the same day and then went on our way.
In the middle of the night I realized who she was and what she was saying - yep it was the lady at the doctors office. Oh dear how embarrassing - she must have thought "what a crazy gringa!" One good thing I suppose is that my brain finally comprehended what was being said to me - even if it did take about 12 hours to do so.
This morning I went back to the 5 studies I started last week - got 3 of them home so that is quite good for here. They were all good calls so I am hopeful they will progress. Problem is we don't really have time for door to door work anymore!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Where's Wally (oops I mean Mark)

Not hard to spot him really is it?

One thing that really annoys me here is the total disregard the people have for their beautiful country. Rubbish is just thrown on the ground and nobody bats an eyelid. We often see rubbish being thrown out of the window on the buses too - and this is by respectable looking people. This morning I had the opportunity to explain to the little girl, who came with us witnessing, that we should take our candy wrappers home with us and put them into the bin, because Jehovah has given us this beautiful earth to look after. Maybe the information sunk in - who knows!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sydney calling

Oh the joys of having an international family. With Aaron in Australia, Amanda in Taiwan and Ryan back home in NZ - it is sometimes hard to remember who is in what time zone. Consequently poor Aaron got it wrong this morning and called us at 4.30 am - actually not poor Aaron - POOR US! He decided to call us back a little later - which was a great idea, but I was so excited about hearing from him finally that I couldn't go back to sleep. I think today might be a real long one!

Anyway for those that have been wondering how Aaron has been doing - he is fine and really enjoying his time at the Australian Bethel. Reckons the food is great - I wonder if he will have put on any weight by the end of the course.He says it was very freaky to wake up the other day to the Red sky (a thunder storm had brought a cloud of red dust into the city). Interesting eh?

Monday, September 21, 2009

I really don't know if I am going to be able to keep up. This morning I started 5 doorstep studies!! It was really hard to get out of bed too and I had to push myself out the door. You see a new family has arrived in Cuenca - The Kellys - they are from over the ditch (Thats a saying we have in NZ for the space between Aussie and NZ). We had met them at the english convention and last night we were finally able to have them over and get to know them. Very cool family and it was nice to hear their accent and aussie-isms - aye darl?
Brian, Tania and their two daughters Amelia and Amber

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Well it has been a slightly overwhelming week for us. So much interest has been found - not only by us but all who are out in service. On Thursday morning alone - I started 2 studies, Mark 1 and Fernando 2! And that was just on 2 small blocks - and bear in mind the territory is covered every 3 weeks! Friday morning I was able to call back on a lady and she too accepted a bible study so it is very exciting for us. Flora has had 4 studies just this week alone and when I said to her that we don't want to overwhelm her so it is better to just stick to maybe twice a week - she begged us to come back sooner because she said she must learn what the bible says. She also said that we were the first people she had ever let into her house, so we are very privileged aren't we? Her brother Carlos was not there the last time as he works from 6 in the morning until 6 or 7 at night and also has an hour bus ride to and from work. We just can't imagine doing that - poor guy. But Flora said he really wants to learn too so hopefully he will get some free time.
Of course with all this interest you sometimes forget that not everyone wants to know the truth - so when someone told me the other day that I was a false prophet, I was a little shocked. I said - "oh Senora - that makes me very sad that you think that, when all we want to do is encourage people to read the bible" (- actually I was rather proud of myself being able to form that sentence on the spot). She just laughed and shook her finger at me - oh well I guess you get that.

This picture is for my daugher, Amanda who posted on her blog a picture of cooked chicken feet - I thought she might like to see the raw version - mmm yum!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

One word of advice to fellow bloggers - never post and say on your blog that the weather is beautiful and there has been hardly any rain because sure as eggs that will change the very next day. There has been abundance of the wet stuff pouring out of the sky today but thankfully it was when we were inside, so we didn't get wet. Of course what it did mean was all the dusty roads turned to muddy roads! Yay - more tramping through mud - just what I have been missing - NOT!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It is about time I introduced you to the newest members of our gringo family. This is Brian and Dena and their daughter Drew. They arrived from Canada just before the english convention and are fitting in very well. Poor things though - I don't envy them this first year here as it is really tough not knowing the language. They have the right attitude though and being a lot younger than us - will surely learn it fast. Anyway we all went to the english meeting on Sunday and of course we enjoyed the association with english speaking brothers. You can see by the photos that it is very warm here at the moment. We are not having the same weather as last year - hardly any rain at all - just sunny clear days. It's very pleasant when you are walking not to have to drag along coats and umbrellas.

So after this photo was taken (I stole it off Dena) - we went out for lunch to a all-you-can eat place. Bad decision! By 7.30 I was feeling very seedy - I had eaten something bad and needless to say I did not have a very good night. Spent yesterday lounging around feeling sorry for myself but today was a much better day. It is 8.30 pm and we have just arrived home from our study with Flora and her brother Carlos. They want us to go back again on Thursday night so it is a real boost to our confidence - that they want to learn from us. I asked Flora if she knew the story of Noah tonight and she said she had read about him in the book I left her the other day for her kids (My book of bible stories) - she said she read most of the book, so I was very happy to hear that. No doubt I will keep you informed as to their progress, lets hope they continue on as they started.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh happy days...

Mark and I came home from service yesterday with big smiles on our dials! We had our first study with Flora - we had found her before the remodelation and then never again. (Turns out she had been away in the country for 2 months). Anyway just shows persistence pays off because when we got to her house at the arranged time after finding her the other day - her brother was also there and we studied with the both of them. Another cool thing was that we really did ok with the language thing - not struggling at all. Carlos expressed an interest in coming to the meeting too last night and we were really hoping he would turn up but sadly he didn't. Who knows though he could have gotten lost so we will make sure we draw him a map for next time. We go back to them on Tuesday night as Carlos works from 6 am - 7pm everyday. I said I hoped he wouldn't be too tired and he said it didn't matter because he really wants to learn what the bible says.
Then we walked over to another call and when we got there - another sister was already there! Blow I thought (especially as she already has 21 studies) but then realized she was talking with the mother and my lady was inside the shop - so we went and talked with her. She would like to study too so we had a very successful morning!
That's really what it is all about - coming home exhausted from walking but so happy to have been productive.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary AJ & Jordanne

This is AJ and Jordanne, a new-ish gringo couple here from the States. It was their 9th anniversary and they were decked out in Toilet Paper finery to celebrate the occasion.
Some of you will recognize the picture in the background and the bar - yep it is our old apartment. AJ and Jordanne now live there. I certainly don't envy them the 3 flights of stairs to get home - of course they are a lot younger than us so it's all well and good.
Anyway congratulations guys on a great 1st party (it is right?) - well done!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A post script to the pioneer school post:
Today for the poor things no lunch turned up. I had just got myself into my bed for my afternoon nap (after walking up hills all morning) before the group - when Mark phoned to say there was an emergency and could I go downstairs to the Pizza place and order 8 large pizza's. You would think that would be no problem for a restaurant that is open and ready for trade - but no they had no dough made up so that was that. So cheese and ham sandwiches it had to be. I just ran across the road to the store and brought 40 bread rolls (they make really good bread rolls here - nothing like the ones at home), ham, cheese, chips and cookies. That saw the hungry souls right and they were ever so thankful.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pioneer School

This week there is a pioneer school happening at our hall. We were invited and declined going to one that was on while Aaron was here but we could have changed it to this one however I am so glad we didn't. You will notice the Scarborough family in the photo (I introduced you to them when they first arrived last year - maybe you remember a blog called Payton's Place?). They are doing really good with their Spanish - especially the kids but Gary says it is really hard to concentrate all day - then go home and do the mountains of study - in Spanish!! I don't think my brain would have been up to it. There will only be one chance for me to attend the school so I really want to do it in English!
However good on them for getting into it - I admire their tenacity!
Yesterday the pioneers from our congregation were invited to go out in the field with the students and I worked with a lovely young lady called Maria. She said she has been in the truth for 10 years along with her mother and grandmother. Seems the grandmother was bothered greatly by the hellfire teaching in the Catholic church so when someone called on her door and taught her the truth - she was very grateful.
We will be working with them again on Friday - returning to the interest found and starting Bible Studies - so hopefully we will be handed over some new studies next week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Empty Nesters once again!

The Ochoa Family - special friends of us all but particularly Chad and Michele and the Willis Family stopped by to say their goodbyes before we went to the airport.
Little Pablo can't bear loosing his friend - Chad.

The kids left today and of course we are all sad to see them go. I know it is only for 2 months but still - the place is too quiet without them.
Their original plans were to leave for good - having exhausted all their options for staying here but things worked out that they could come back. So I am clinging on to that fact - it may happen for us too!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Final day

Well we did it - sat through 3 days of pure spanish that is and managed to even take notes. Well I did - poor Mark was on attendant duty so was mostly away from his seat. The drama was just as awesome in spanish - yes it made me cry again - too many of our young friends have been lost to the world back home and I couldn't help but think of them. Also couldn't help thinking about the backdrop we had for our convention here - the picture shows just some of the hills in the background - they are right around us - awe inspiring to me. When they played the new music the other day the clouds parted and the sun streamed down onto the mountains and it was breathtaking.
This is our DO and his wife. She is from California orginally - came here 40 years ago as a missionary and met him. He is from Germany, also a missionary. So they were very interesting to talk to. That is one thing I am so appreciative here - we have met so many different people all with great stories to tell. How very fortunate we are!

PS The peak attendance reached 10,307 today - and 30,000 in Quito. There were lots of people in casual clothes so I am presuming there was a good response to the invitation campaign.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Asamblea de Distrito 2009

The crowd becomes a sea of umbrellas as the day progresses
Just home from the 2nd day of the convention and glad there is only one more to go. As you can see by the pictures the sun creeps up the bleachers and let me tell you - it gets very hot. Well I suppose I would be complaining more if it was raining! Anyway there is not as many attending as they had anticipated - with the peak so far being 8,700 - however it is still one of the largest conventions I have ever been to. There is another one in Quito this weekend with 25,000 in attendance - how awesome would that be. I can only imagine the crush trying to get to your seats - it is bad enough here!
Some of the 200 baptized this morning

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Awh thanks guys!

Thank you everyone for you lovely comments on my last blog - it just goes to show that we truly do belong to an awesome organization. To have friends like you guys (some we don't even really know) - means alot to us. Your encouragement is very much appreciated and I am thrilled to know that my blog has encouraged you too in some small way.
Looking forward to one day meeting up with Cheri and Greg, Isaac, Grace, Eden and Saren - if not in this system of things then definitely in Jehovah's new world.
xxx to you all!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thoughts for today

Today Mark went up the the assembly hall so I was walking home by myself after an excellent morning in the field. That's when I get to thinking about stuff so here's my thoughts for this day: We love it here and cannot bear the thought of having to leave. However our son is getting married soon so we are having to return to NZ at the end of November. That gives us only 3 more months here and we are very sad about that. (Don't worry Ryan - we wouldn't miss your wedding for the world). However I have to say that it sure has been a privilege and we are so happy that we had the opportunity to come here. We have met all sorts of people from all around the world, we have partly learned another language and have been able to help out where the need is great. If anyone is contemplating making a similar change in your lives then JDI because the blessings far out way the sacrifices. Ecuador needs more help - so put this on your list of possibles. Where else can you walk along a beautiful river like this while out in service?Here you can spend just 2 hours in service and return home with an empty bookbag and some really good calls to return to like my morning today. I placed everything in my bag and have to take a bible back to one lady. I think because this is a poor country , people are very aware things are not right. Because NZ is so far away from the rest of the world, we tend to be more insular and only worry about ourselves. Maybe things have changed somewhat with the economic downturn and more people are sitting up and taking notice of world events. I hope so for their sake.We know that time is getting very short for this system of things.
So for the next 3 months, Mark and I are going to have to really make the time count and learn as much as we can, just in case we don't get things organized so we can come back. He will tell me off for being pessimistic - being so sure a miricle will happen and we will be able to continue our work here. We shall just have to wait and see what happens - however as I say, it has been an awesome life changing experience and I am just happy to have had it!