In action throughout Ecuador
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The last few days have been a journey of adventure.
So, the Semester Abroad program is part of a branch of a mission organization called Youth World here in Ecuador. One of their other branches is a place called El Refugio, which is a retreat center on the outskirts of Quito in a town called Calle Calli. We as a group went to El Refugio to do some team building activities. Some highlights from this trip/day was:
Jacob's Ladder, a huge ladder which you can only use yourself and your partner to get up without using the ropes.
On our way back, we visited the equator (Mitad del Mundo)
Yesterday, we went on this great adventure to the Cloud Forest for zip lining. It was an exciting idea, but we got there, and it was still pouring rain. Were we prepared with rain jackets and shoes for hiking? Nope, not at all. We zip lined 13 courses over hundreds of feet above the forest with rain slapping our face going through the clouds. This day consisted of three hours of being drenched while enjoying this great experience. How many times can I say that I zip lined in pouring rain over the forests of Ecuador?
Today, we went back to El Refugio to have worship and fellowship with the staff and families of Youth World. We met the other missionaries, their children, and former street boys that live in a ministry home called Casa Gabriel. We attended a service that consisted of both Spanish and English. It was a blessing to be amongst missionaries and their families, and I had a taste of community and the life of a missionary.
All in all, I am having a great time here in Ecuador. I mean, we only had orientation and fun adventurous activities this week, but I like what I have seen and experienced so far. The staff here is amazing and cares for us in every way. That is a blessing in itself. Soon to come is intensive Spanish courses, homestays, classes, and internships. Here I come!
Only in Quito…
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I've only been here about four days, and it seems like forever. Today we went on a scavenger hunt around Quito, Amazing Race style, and had many interesting moments. The best part of day was having a taxi almost drive off while I was about to get in, and the driver still kept going while we were yelling, "ESPERA, ESPERA!" I'm going to have to get used to this. But, I do love every encounter – the culture, the people, the scenery, and maybe even the smog blowing in my face as I walk the streets.
As I've spent the last few days here, here are things about Ecuador I have learned from observation and advice from others:
Pointing is not a good thing. I keep catching myself doing it!
With this traffic, there may be many life-and-death experiences. Not really, but I can't apply my Chicago jaywalking skills here, or I am out in a heartbeat!
People are very friendly, and I appreciate their patience with the lack of Spanish skills I may have.
The greeting here is not a handshake, but a beso. If you don’t know what that means, it’s a kiss.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sending my greetings from Quito, Ecuador. We just arrived a couple hours ago, unpacked, saw the view, and even had an adventure with some interesting fruit. And yes, one of the things I am doing in the few hours I've been here is writing in my blog.
The weather here is awesome. They said it gets to the 70s in the daytime when the sun is out but cools down during the nights. The apartment we are staying in is awesome. It is all the girls, seven of us including an intern, in one very spacious apartment. There's a roof that we are able to go on top of, and the view is great! That's really all I can tell you about Ecuador right now.
Also, I had to add that I have the greatest friends and family! First of all, thank you for the many encouraging words, blessings, and prayers for me and my trip. Secondly, I am so blessed to be surrounded with loved ones that have given me gifts and letters for coming to Ecuador.