Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Neighborhood watch!

I have seen many signs like this one posted about lately. It basically says that This Neighborhood is not responsible for what might happen if you , Mr Robber, are caught in your misdeeds. 
And they are not joking! If a robber is caught - we have heard of cases of them being doused with petrol and set on fire (this happened not far from us last year and the guy died) - you would think that it would make a robber think very hard before trying it on but it doesn't seem to affect them in anyway. We really are careful when we are out and about because unfortunately opportunist crimes are on the increase here in Cuenca. Of course, is that any different from other parts of the world? I think not!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Eating something delicious on the balcony at the west side market.

View out the window this morning

Eerie Lake

Monday, March 21, 2011

Always good advice! This was part of a display that has been going around the Bethels in NY.

Looking down on the Ground Zero site from an office building. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jungle Tripping

David and his visiting from Canada daughter, Jazmine
Intrepid Explores hit the road again. Here we are in one of Amanda's favorite town's - Mendez. It is a pretty little 'nearly in the jungle' town.
After some pretty terrible roads and 7 hours driving we finally arrived in Macas and our gorgeous lodge where there were many interesting animals including this little baby monkey. So cute!

A bat flew into the lodge that night to it's death - oh dear so sad!
A tarantula visited that night too 
Next day we trekked into the jungle to spend the day with a Shuar family. It was a mission to get there without falling on our faces into the mud - so much fun though!
What a fashion statement! It sure kept me dry though!
Interesting plant and insect life
Jungle Jim swings through the vines
Our Shuar guide shows the boys how its done! Point of interest - this guy has 11 children and is now
getting grandkids - must have started really young aye?

Row Row Row your boat gently down the Stream - no piranha's in this river much to Marks dismay!
But look what he did get to wrestle with
Lunch time
This is the last of Daniel's children - she was so sweet until  she had a sugar overload from all the candy I gave her - then she just became annoying - she wouldn't leave us alone as you can see from the following shot
Time to say goodbye with a song and dance especially for us
It was only a three day trip but we sure packed a lot into it - we drove from 10 in the morning yesterday till 11 at night to get home - stopping here and there to see more. Unfortunately the battery on my camera died  so can't show you any more shots but thems the breaks! Monkeys were high on the agenda this trip, Aaron would have been so jealous. It was a little scary driving through the night as we hit lots of pockets of fog, coming down through the mountains but we made it safely, thankfully. It sure was nice sleeping in my own bed last night but the memories of that trip will stay with me for a long time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gilead Graduation - Best Pics

 Look closely and you can see 'Read God's Word the Holy Bible Daily' sign. 

Sitting in the Gilead classroom!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just a quick update to totally brag. Had an amazing few days starting with the most exciting Gilead Graduation, but of course I will have to put photos up later. Met some of the graduates, Bethelites, sat in the Gilead classrooms, toured Brooklyn Bethel - even got a tour of the writing department which was a treat. It even snowed for a few seconds, enough to make me stare in amazement.
Tomorrow we do Walkill, then we take a long drive to Ohio where I'm sure I'll die of frostbite. Nice knowing you everyone!
Well seeing as everyone else has flown the coop - we reckon we can too. Tomorrow we are going to take a little trip into the Jungle part of Ecuador. We have been offered a spot with a Brother and his daughter to join them on their tour, which is just awesome. We get to go in a comfortable tourist busetta so my back should behave itself. Hopefully I will have something cool to blog about when we get back as we will be visiting a Shuar village at some point (it is very hard to find new and exciting stuff to share with you and I fear my blog is getting too boring to read).
Anyway hasta luego mis amigos - see you next week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

They're all leaving us!

Amanda and Damaris left by bus for Guayaquil - where they will catch their plane to New York tomorrow!
Not even a backward glance for her mother - kids these days!
Chad & Michel and the in and outlaws - on their way to see some of the country - hope they are having fun!
 So Mark and I are all alone - oh my it hasn't been that way for an eternity, whatever will we say to each other?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Special Treat

Say hello to this friendly little fellow - yep that's right it's a deep fried guinea pig!
Alison (in the Chinese group with Amanda and Damaris' room mate) get to try the local delicacy for the first time. Here is proof that they actually did eat it! So proud of them! A family from our old congregation brought a Cuye (Guinea Pig) as a gift to Chad and Michele's folks and so Amanda and Alison got to try it finally. This gift was very special (and I am not saying that jokingly) because a fat cuye like this one could fetch the family at least $10 in earnings. Not to mention all the trouble they went to cooking the little beast. It takes hours to prepare-not really worth all the effort in my book- but certainly a very nice thing for them to have done. Mark took things a step further when he deep fried it - not only to heat it up but also to add flavour - after all everything is better deep fried right?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Since theres not much to do while carnival is on we went for a hike up the Cajas. The picture of us at the end shows how pooped we were at the end. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Damaris is leaving - boo hoo!

But she's only going for a few months - just enough to earn some money, then she'll be back. Yay! This is a little goodbye for now video for her - we'll miss you Chica - come back soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The comings and going in our house always keep us on our toes. Wednesday, Chads parents', Doug and Judy and Micheles' Mom (Mum to us of course), Beverley arrived to spend a couple of weeks here - great excitement! Today (Friday) Mark has flown up to Quito to attend the elders school, he comes back Monday. It's a shame it had to be this weekend - one where the Meetings and Witnessing are cancelled and he could have had a good rest. It's Carnival time in Ecuador and if you go out Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, you are likely to be hit with water bombs, or worse - eggs and flour! Also because a lot of the people are rather intoxicated - it can be a bit dangerous. So we get to stay in the house the whole weekend, eating and watching movies - oh hang on - that's what I do all the time!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back in the saddle!

I'm getting back into being out in service and it is so nice to be back. Although I can't really do too much just working on getting around all my calls. This morning I was able to catch up with a study that I had last year - a young girl in a stationery shop, she was happy to see me and went to get her book with a smile on her face. That she knew where it was after all this time was pleasing to me. Often I take an extra book with me just to give the householder because even when you have placed something with them, they usually never have it when you go back - sometimes they have given it away - of course that is not a problem to us is it?

Must tell you about my study, Belen, she is a 17 years old and I study with her in English as she is learning it at school. She is very good at english but sometimes to explain more, we have to revert to spanish. It's quite hilarious slipping in and out of the two languages. Anyway Belen asks some very interesting questions and she keeps me on my toes. One hang up that she has though - she doesn't like wearing skirts and can't understand why I am always in a skirt! Never had that one before!