Friday, December 31, 2010

Crazy time of Year again!

Not quite sure of the significance of jumping over the burning effigy- will have to find that out!

Hey can I see someone I know in there?
Well it's going to be a noisy night tonight - being New Year and all (of course NZ is already in the future - how's the year shaping up guys?) We are soon flying up to Quito so while we will be escaping the noise here in Cuenca - I am sure there will lots more up there!

So we are off on a little tiki tour to show the boys some of the country - we go to Quito, Otavalo, Tena, Puyo (where the monkies are for Aaron) Banos and Riobamba - hopefully we can do the Devils Nose Train Ride but unfortunately I have a bad back at the moment so that might be out of the question. Anyway - what ever we do, we should have plenty of stories to tell when we get back. Nos Vamos!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amazing Race 2010

Amazingly enough I was able to put this together despite all the craziness going on in our house. As you can see it is in 2 parts and the quality unfortunatly is not the best. For some reason I could not get the videos saved any other way. But never mind - you will get the drift!

Aaron and the boys are not just playing while they are here - they have been out in service nearly everyday, helping out the English congregation. They came to our mid week meeting too the other day and I was so proud of Peneti - he answered in Spanish! What a guy! Aaron did too of course but he has a lot more spanish under his belt!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Preview of the Amazing Race Cuenca 2010

Aaron shines the shoes of a stranger

Chad asks some random dude what Luke 23.43 says

Winners of the first leg of the race


Awh ain't that sweet!

Fernando - our native quichwa!

Peneti - get out of that dress!

Damaris makes friends with  the Senora for a photo
Chad's guy looks unimpressed with the job he's doing

Someone else just had their day made for them

Where am I?

Hey wait up girls!
So I couldn't help myself - I had to organize another Amazing Race even though I had sworn never to do it again! But what can I say - except that I love organizing stuff like this. We invited the folks from our Language Course (and a couple of ring-ins) and the day went off very well apart from some unexpected hitches (mostly my fault, with a couple of the clues) Everyone found their way to the finish line though so it all turned out good in the end. Of course I am working on a video to show you some of the crazy things the contestants had to get up to - with our schedule at the moment though-who knows when it will be finished - these photos will give you an idea though.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Well they are here and getting right into it!

Amanda enjoys seeing what goodies Aaron brought for her!

Chase tries his first chicken head - beak and all!

And Peneti makes us proud by giving it a go at the language course.
(Chase and Aaron did too in case you were wondering.) If you listen closely Peneti decides that if you add an 'O' to any name - it will sound spanish!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The countdown until Aaron and his mates come - lied! He is in Ecuador but won't be with us until tomorrow - can hardly wait! We won't have to wait too long though because he has been in touch to say they will come by plane instead of bus - a 1/2 hour trip as opposed to a 4 hour one - good thinking eh? Party time tomorrow! Bring it on!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a woman!

Sorry about the sound quality - what you miss hearing is that she says - Matt chapter Six - Huevos (eggs instead of verses) 9 and 10. I just love how she has a good laugh about it!
I just love this photo of her - she is having so much fun - just shows, you are never too old!
Elsie is in our Spanish class and she just gives us all such warm and fuzzy feelings. She is 85 years old and has only just arrived to live here a month ago (with her son-in-law and daughter). What a great old girl - imagine trying to learn another language at 85 years old? She's trying very hard and doing so well - and inspiration for us all!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I know I am a bit slack...

...but really there is not much to report. We all have our heads down and tails up trying to get through all the homework for our language course and fit in our ministry time of course. We are all also bracing ourselves for the onslaught that is Aaron and his friends coming next week - it's going to be crazy!
Had a nice experience the other day when I was invited to go along with Amanda to the Chinese study she has in a town not far from here. It struck me how special this is to be serving together in a foreign land and also how cool it is that she is now speaking 3 languages! Who would have thought!
Just to show it is not all work and no play - here is a photo taken of us and the Lopez family from Amanda's congregation. They invited us over for lunch the other day, which was very nice - they are such sweeties!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dia Libre

Today all of Ecuador has shut up shop and stayed indoors because they are doing a census. It is a law that you stay inside your house from 7 am - 5 pm so that someone can come around and ask you the questions. Actually they have been very smart and used college kids to do the job - it's their civil duty so they have to pay them! All religious meetings or activities are cancelled so we have a great excuse to take the day off ourselves and veg out! So what have we been doing? Well everyone that knows me understands I have a need to change furniture around occasionally - and I never have time to do it on normal days so our bedroom is having a make over. Mark is cooking us a roast dinner (lunch), Amanda is doing her homework and C & M are busy little beavers too. Of course in between all this work we have found time for a few games of Settlers and maybe later we will watch a movie or two! Yay for the census - will only have to wait 10 years for the next forced day off. I shall look forward to that!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not much been happening since the Brits left so nothing much to report except I had another first last night at the meeting. I answered without notes! And not a one word answer either!  I don't really know if I said everything correctly but it was a good feeling all the same!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A couple of Brits join our multicultural home for a visit

Ben and Louisa from England - having a laugh!
Just look at these 2 desserts - aren' they a work of art?
5 Brave Souls

Too late to back out now Louisa

My face says it all

Relief that I am actually still alive

Mark thinks he is George of the Jungle
So we have been having fun with our new friends Louisa and Ben from England - last night we went to an awesome restaurant which I just had to include the pictures of the desserts, they were so cool (and delicious). Today we went zip lining - it was a lot of fun - I have to own up that I only did two lines - not 5 but at least I tried!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I cannot BEAR to be called a ...

I have to tell you something really funny: 1st of all - as you know we are from NZ and C & M from America so our accents and the way we each say things makes for good teasing material for all parties. Michele has gotten into the habit of saying my name like she thinks I say it - BEETH. I don't mind that at all but at the moment we have Louisa and Ben, staying with us from England  and for some reason they have been very interested in how it is that we all can live together (something that fascinates a lot of people I might add). Now we know the reason it seemed to be a concept difficult to grasp - Louisa thought Michele was calling me BEAST!  They either thought that I was very forgiving or that I had my own derogatory name for Michele that I was muttering under my breath. Anyway we had a good laugh about that - as the British would say it was -Way Funny!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trip to Santa Isabel

We cover our territory every 3 weeks here so it was decided that we would all go to a nearby town to preach in territory that is seldom worked. Santa Isabel has a small congregation and a big need so a bus was arranged and most of our peeps jumped on board with plenty of literature. Because the town is at a lower altitude - it is very tropical and the air much more humid - quite tiring really but a wonderful experience. The people are so nice there - happy to talk and discuss the bible. Of course everybody we talked to took something to read so it was a successful day for everyone. I hope we can go back there soon!  

Hats drying in the sun - interesting sight

The locals must have thought they had an invasion of Gringos when they saw us coming

Louisa - visiting here from England enjoying a welcome rest

Glad we didn't have to walk up that track on the otherside of the valley
Somebody had a tough day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now things are really hotting up - Amanda, Mark and I joined the Spanish Accelerated Language course being run by two brothers today. We have to do at least an hours homework every night and 1 & 1/2 hour class time weekly for 3 months! We will be starting at the beginning again but that's a good thing because now we can work on our pronunciation - something I need because I get told often that I am saying things wrong. For example Torro (bull) instead of Todo (all). I can hear the difference but evidently my brothers and sisters can't! Humph!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(South) American Graffiti

One not very nice thing about our new house is that on a wall right across the road someone had kindly graffitied IN ENGLISH so everytime we opened our curtains we were acosted by not very nice words! Amanda took it on herself to paint over the most offensive word last night when nobody was around so it looks a little better now. I wonder if any of the neighbours noticed a difference!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Camilla and Xavier

I would like you to meet Camilla and Xavier (seen here with their little boy David -note he is wearing Kiwi Booties). Camilla is our Doctor and friend, she is as cute as a button, and thankfully speaks very good English. She has been baptized now for a couple of years and her husband, who is an orthopedic surgeon is now studying. Interesting story with Camilla - she was searching for the truth for many years and even got baptized into a evangelist church when she was 16. Her mother was furious and grounded her when she found out. Not too long after that - witnesses came to her door and the Mum asked if the witnesses would allow a girl to just get baptized like that. Well of course they explained that baptism is not a spur of the moment thing and  it takes  time and study to come to that decision. The mum was impressed with that so allowed Camilla to study the bible with them. Xavier started studying when their little boy (Gabriel, not the new baby) said one day as his mother was getting him ready for preaching - "why doesn't Papa come with us?" That comment made Xavier realize that he should do something. Such a lovely couple and whenever we need anything medically, they bend over backwards to help us out. Just hope we don't need their services too many more times!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Welcome to the new house
Lounge and formal dining area (posh eh?)

Breakfast Room

Our roomPlenty of Wardrobe space!
Lovely blue bathroom (I'm kidding)

Amanda relaxes in her spacious room

Hospitality Room (fresh new towels and everything)

Laundry area

The courtyard out back - no that is not an outdoors bathroom

Mark doing the job he love best - toilet stuff
Our brand new-nobody-sat-on-it-before Toilet!
Still get a glimpse of the mountains  -just!
So here we are - back online and everything. Chad called from the states and arranged for the internet company to change the connection and the amazing thing was - we didn't spend 2 or 3 days waiting for them to turn up! (I'm telling you - that really is incredible because usually they tell you a day they THINK they may arrive).
Anyway hope the pictures give you some idea of our mansion - we haven't lived like this for years and we feel a bit naughty -   we are supposed to be suffering in some little wooden shack somewhere - right? 
It's been an awfully busy time trying to move and still get our service time in. One thing I have noticed with this shift is that yes we are needgreaters but we must think we have a great need  for stuff - how we collected so much I will never know!
We have also had people staying in our guest room Mikka and Erja for one night and Pedro and Isabel Johnston a couple of times (- you may remember I interviewed them last year - our last C.O and his wife). We have decided to have a room set up specially for visitors because there are always people coming to Cuenca either to check out the place to come and serve in or just on vacation. We will operate on a donation basis as on our missionary visa - we can't earn money while here, so as long as our guests help pay for power/food etc, we are happy to open our home to them. Also looking forward to meeting lots of new people! 
Chad and Michele return this week on Thursday and we are so looking forward to having them back. It's been a busy but fairly quiet 6 weeks without them around.

Oh by the way - the toilet story. We were dismayed (you have an imagination - use it) to find that 2 of the 4 toilets did not work properly so after the deluge that occurred one night I rang the landlady. She came right over and we explained that Mark had the ability to fit new ones if they brought them. They arrived Saturday afternoon - and new basins because they couldn't match the colours (imagine that). So now Mark has been working to get them all fitted before C & M come home - good times!