Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Take the Bad with the Good...

I guess you always have to be ready to take the bad with the good. This month has really been teaching me that lesson! Ecuador is an amazing place to be and I just LOVE it here. However.....

As you all know, this is a crazy month here as far as water balloons and water guns go...but, we had an experience on Saturday that tops all of that hoopla...

I guess Saturday was the first official day of "carnaval", but they didn't cancel service and I had a few studies to do, so the girls and I hesitantly went out. We passed by many groups having water fights, and a huge group covering each other with flour. (Which by the way, they were looking at us with gleams in their eyes...) We sure picked up the pace and walked faster at that prospect!! We survived the battle, had a really good study, and our "safety zone" (the apartment) was in sight! We got off the bus, noticed some kids with water balloons on the side of the road, so crossed over to avoid them. We were just chatting and walking when out of nowhere, comes this young guy and walks in front of our path and stops us...He looks at me and says, "I want your cell phones, I just want your cell phones!" I obviously have some changes to make in my personality, because, guess what I did? I LIED!! I told him I didn't have one, which I idea why I did that...anyway, at this point, he pulls out a pretty big knife and is showing it to us and now turns to Kami...."I want your cell phone...give it to me!" What does Kami do? Follows the example of her lying friend and says she doesn't have one either (which she did, too). For whatever reason...I like to think Jehovah's help, he just looks at us, puts the knife away, and walks away. I was half laughing, half crying, Sara was crying and Kami is interesting how each person deals with pure terror differently! We couldn't get inside the house fast enough! So, fortunately, we haven't really had to leave the house for the last few days, and if we did, our friend picked us up in the car so we wouldn't have to walk.

But, you know what they always say, "you just have to get right back on the horse", right? So, I plan to stick to my routine and not panic about walking around, what else can I do, right?

But, I have to admit, that even I was has taken me a few days to even have the desire to relive it enough in my mind to blog about it. Don't worry, it is the first time anything like that has happened to me in the last 2 years, and it turned out OK. We are fine, just a little shaken up. And the friends here have been wonderful. Two brothers walked us home from the meeting the other night, and as I said, our friend Fernando has been driving us everywhere or walking with us. His family even calls at night to make sure we are OK. There is always security in Jehovah's organization! And Chad will be home next Thursday!!! FINALLY!

Other than that, we are having a blast! Preaching, eating, playing games and watching's the stuff dreams are made of!

I have a few pictures of the trip so far...

The Criollo family that I study with in the mountains...
well, it seems more like a book study here!

Yes, the "gringas" brought the rain, but that didn't stop us from preaching!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Soaked by the Super-Soaker..

Just to add to this morning's blog...I didn't have to wait long at all for my next water experience! This afternoon Kami and I went to the outside market for fruits and vegetables and there he was...
Just crouching around the corner with an extra large super soaker in his hands and a twinkle in his eyes...

We walked by him and I thought maybe he had taken pity on us, and then...
We were soaked! There was nothing we could do, our hands were completely full with the vegetables and fruit! It was certainly a REFRESHING ride home!

The Days Just Run Together...

Well, we are having an absolute blast here with Kami and Sara...."paty all da time"!!!! Kami has gotten right back into the swing of things here with her spanish and the congregation is excited to see them all again.

I have been making them "pound the pavement" with me in service and they have been little troopers! They also brought the rain with them, so for 2 days straight it poured here!

We are officially in the month of "carnaval" here in Cuenca. Which as you will remember from last year is the month of water balloons, mischevous acts and basically any sin you can commit before you repent for lent. I received my initiation the first week of the month when I was conducting a bible study at a doorstep and all of a sudden.....BAM! I felt this stinging pain! Amazingly enough, it was remarkably similar to when I was beaten with the stick! Except this time I also had the sensation of water running down my legs!!! A pick-up truck was flying down the road tossing water balloons out the window, and well, I guess it is more points for a foreigner!! I have to admit, it was hilarious...we couldn't stop laughing. The only bummer was that, yes, at that speed a water balloon feels more like a rock and also, I had another study to go to afterward. So, off I went walking to my study...swish, swish, swish...and then when I left my second study there was a huge wet mark on the couch!!!! And the month has only just begun...

Friday, February 5, 2010


Hey! Just wanted to let everyone know that Kami and Sara made it here safely yesterday...but, funny story happened (well it is funny now after the fact!) They decided to save money and take the bus here from Guayaquil. So, we concocted this "master plan" Because at about 3 1/2 hours into the trip the bus gets to the road we live on. It then goes 40 minutes to the left to the bus station, but we live about 10 minutes to the right. So, Chad and I always just ask to be dropped off there and take a taxi home to save the extra hour trip. (am I rambling?haha) I gave Kami EXPLICIT instructions, which bus line to take, what time it leaves, and how to explain where to get dropped off and that I would be waiting there on the corner for her! We got there early, in case the bus turned into "the crazy train" and arrived early, too!

Finally we see the bus coming barreling down the mountain. We are excitedly getting out of the car to meet them when...the bus just blasts right past us! Now what? We weren't sure if they were on the bus and forgot to get off, or if they weren't even on the bus! We opted for the decision to follow the bus to the bus station (which by the way is nearly impossible, we never did catch up to it until we actually got to the bus station!) We go inside and go to the bus--empty. We look for the bus driver (thinking we could describe the girls and ask if they were on the bus)--no where in sight. Dejectedly, we decide to sit down facing the arrival area in case they were coming in the next bus...10 min...20 min...30 min...45 min...1 hour....still no girls.

It had been sort of funny up to this point, but now I am panicking. Did they even get to the hotel last night in Guayaquil? Did they not find the right bus? Did they get on the bus after this one, got off at the corner of our road and are now just sitting there on the corner panicking?.....Just then my phone's Kami! She and Sara were on that bus, but the bus driver decided to be mean and not stop to drop them off! So, they also had been waiting in the bus station for an hour, right on the other side of the huge waiting room we were in! We were about 300ft from each other the whole time!!! Now you know why I said that the story is funny NOW.

The reason it is gringomania, is because the family from Canada (The Haines) that are in our congregation also have visitors. Brian's mom and dad, and Dina's mom are here visiting also! Very exciting! The congregation is just buzzing with excitement!

I had planned to take pictures yesterday of Kami and Sara getting off the bus and such...but with all the chaos and confusion, I forgot all about my camera...but don't worry, I'll make up for it!

Oh, by the way, Chad made it safely to USA and is enjoying the food and visiting (not so much enjoying the cold and snow!)

Well, better go, we are heading out in service, and since Chad isn't here to make the eggs......

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Thousand Apologies....

Hello my friends...sooooo sorry that I have been a complete slacker lately as far as blogging. I will try and do better! This blog will be pretty lame, since I only have a few minutes this morning, but just to catch you all up to speed on life here in Cuenca!

The ministry continues to be a source of complete and unending joy for us. The people here are really starving for the truth and are such a humble people. The congregation is booming with an average attendance of 180-200 each meeting!

The real news is that right now Chad is on a plane back to the USA for 3 weeks. Why? Well, we have been searching for any type of work that Chad could do from here in Ecuador, but still earn from the USA since our visa here does not permit us to work here. Since our money tank is practically on "E" the search has become even more desperate as we really would like to stay here. So, Chad decided that he will try to sell satellite dishes for "Dish Network" as you already know that he worked for them in the USA. The problem is, he obviously needs someone in the USA to install them for him. Surprisingly, he found a brother in the Hazleton area that previously worked for Direct TV and is out of work, and he is very happy to install for Chad. That meant that Chad has to train him for Dish Network standards. So, long story short...he is on his way back right now. We are VERY hopeful that he can earn enough to pay our monthly expenses here.

So, yes, I am alone in a foreign country. Well, techinically alone, but there are a few families here that are looking after me (almost too much!) And then for those of you who know Kami Wake...she is coming on Thursday with her friend Sara. Sara will be here until the end of the month, and Kami for 2 1/2 months. So, I will not be alone at all.

Just wanted to let you all know that I am still alive. I hope to post better, more interesting blogs in the near future! Especially about "the cousins"! We had an absolute blast with them, and miss them here. As I mentioned before, we have been in a drought here. Well, they brought the rain with them, as it rained almost every day while they were here. And, as you may have guessed, it hasn't rained since they left!!! So, a few brothers and sisters have asked if they could please come back and bring the rain with them! hahaha

We miss you all! Some of you will probably see Chad in the next few weeks floating around PA!!

Hi Rachel and the Kemlage family! Thanks for your was nice to hear from you! Also, to Roxanne from Alaska...welcome to will love it! As far as English groups go, there is one here in Cuenca. I know they have their Sunday meeting at 11:00am or 11:30am (or last I heard anyway). I can check on the rest for you if you would like and get the actual direction of the KH. As far as I know, Salinas does not have an english group or congregation, but, I do know of a sister that is from the USA that lives there and could help you find the KH if you would like. I don't have her number, but if you would like I could get if for you! Please keep in touch with us, we would love to meet you while you are here in Cuenca and we can help you out with whatever you need. How long will you be here in Cuenca? Anyway, my email address is

Chao my friends! I hope to blog again in the next year! hahahahaha