Don Iván Sinchi invited Todd and Sarah, Linda and I to lunch at Hotel Italia on Saturday. After a huge meal of locro de papa (potato soup) and churrasco (beef, fried egg, rice, avocado, beans), they brought out a birthday cake for Linda. Needless to say, we left the restaurant unbelievably stuffed!
I don't even know how much this bouquet of roses would cost at home.
Linda's birthday was on Thursday, so we went out for a yummy lunch at an Italian restaurant not too far from the bach. The baked ziti was delicious, and the garlic breadstick was like nothing I've had down here!
We celebrated again yesterday with pie and coffee. Because why not?
The other night, when Linda and I got to Loja, we were discussing supper options. Several of the restaurants that Linda mentioned came with the recommendation, "We've never gotten sick after eating there." We finally settled on a place at the bus terminal before making our way to the hostel, since we weren't sure what else would be open. As we were eating, I commented, "You know, down here when someone tells me they've never gotten sick after eating at a certain place, it makes me quite game to eat there myself. At home, if you asked someone about a restaurant and all they said about it was that they had never gotten sick from its food, I would immediately cross it off my list." High praise is not always the same across cultures. 😊
This past Saturday, Linda and I traveled from Cuenca to Gualaquiza by bus. By the route that we went, it's about a five hour trip and is quite beautiful - going down the mountains and into the jungle. Due to rain and general gloom and a dirty bus window, I didn't take any pictures on the trip.
On Sunday, Linda and I had our little fellowship meeting all alone in the bach. There are no friends in that part of the field yet. Then we traveled about an hour by ranchera to the "pueblo" of Sakanás for a couple of studies. As it turned out, only one of the studies worked out, but then we had a little visit with a brother of the lady with whom we had studied who had some questions about what we believe and what we do. This was the last visit to that part of the field before Special Meetings, so we had to tell them that no workers would be back until the end of June or the first part of July. It makes us especially glad that the work is God's and that He sees everyone everywhere.
On Sunday evening, we arrived to our evening study with Nancy at 6:00 as she had requested. She owns a little grocery store, and usually the study with her is later, since she's busy attending her customers. However, she said 6:00, so we went at 6:00. At 7:00, we finally decided that maybe we should just go get something to eat and come back. It wasn't that there were so many customers all at once, but when one left, another came, and there was no way that we were going to be able to have a study under those circumstances. We found a little restaurant a few blocks away that was open, had a bite of supper and returned to Nancy's store, beginning our study around 8:00. And so it goes.
Our two studies on Monday were both in the evening, so we had a bit of a restful day.
On Tuesday morning, we left Gualaquiza at 10:00 and traveled to Los Encuentros for a study with Vanessa.
We got on the wrong road for a while walking to Vanessa, but at least it was picturesque!
After lunching and studying with Vanessa, we got another bus to Yantzaza, where we studied with Corina, Anita and Ángel. Then another three hours on the bus to Loja and we called it a day!