Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rosa Ela

On Monday, we studied the second half of Luke 5 with Rosa Ela.  She's a nurse who came in contact with our fellowship through a cardiologist who had attended one of the brother workers when he was sick.  She welcomed us warmly and listened well.  It's a wonderful privilege to share the story of Jesus with hungry souls!

Sunday in Jipijapa & Manta

8:00 breakfast with V & MA

10:00 - Fellowship meeting

11:00 - Gospel Meeting 

1:00 - Lunch

Taken after lunch
Three generations of family

3:00 - Fellowship meeting in Manta

Back to Portoviejo for the night

My first full week in Manabí

Sunday, Jan. 18

9:30 am - Fellowship meeting in Portoviejo

11:00 am - Gospel meeting in Portoviejo

Lunch with these cuties and their adult relations ;-)

2:00 pm - Hospital visit in Portoviejo

4:00 - Fellowship meeting in Las Piedras (near Ayacucho)

 Snack before supper : Batidos de banana

 Preparing supper

A plate full of veggies!

Monday, Jan. 19

Quiet day in the bach

Bedtime snack

Tuesday, Jan. 20

9:30 am - Bible study in Manta (John 12)

11:00 am - Bible study in Manta (Acts 19)

Lunch at Subway in the food court at the mall

1:30 pm - Bible study in Manta (Matt. 26:26-75)

3:00 pm - Hospital visits in Portoviejo

Wednesday, Jan. 21

11:00 am - Hospital visits in Portoviejo

Lunch (pizza) in the food court at the mall

2:00 pm - Bible study in Montecristi  (John 8:1-30)

4:00 - Midweek Bible study in Manta (Ezra 5 & 6)

7:00 pm - Midweek Bible study in Portoviejo (Ezra 5 & 6)

Thursday, Jan. 22

5:00 pm - Bible study in San Bartolo (near Ayacucho) (Acts 6)

One of the ladies makes hats, so I got to wear one of them for the picture!

Sans hat

6:00 pm - Midweek Bible study in Las Piedras (near Ayacucho) (Ezra 5 & 6)

Supper & Night with Sra. M in Las Piedras

Our bedroom

The view from our bedroom window

The living room
Hammocks are a common sight in Manabí

Looking down the road

You don't see too many red-headed Ecuadorians, but this little chica is one of them!

Friday, Jan. 23

12:00 pm - Lunch with don I & Sra. L in Portoviejo.  Don A joined us.

4:00 pm - Hospital visits in Portoviejo

Saturday, Jan 24

5:00 pm - Supper with don O & Sra. M in Jipijapa
(Don't you love the name of that town?  Pronounce it HEE-pee-HA-pa.)

8:00 pm - Night with don V & Sra. S in Jipijapa

Hope you all had a good week! / ¡Espero que todos hayan tenido una buena semana!

On to Manabí

On the afternoon of Saturday, January 17, I bid a temporary farewell to Quito and flew to Manta where Janine S. was waiting for me at the airport.  We took the bus to Portoviejo where our bach is located, and I spent the rest of the day getting situated.

Here are a few shots of our bach.  It's an upstairs "room" in the home of one of our friends and her husband.

Look familiar???

Bedroom, Dining room, "Living" room

Kitchen, Laundry room, Entryway


 The view from the two windows in our bedroom

How the world looks from under a mosquito net
Buenas noches

Thursday, January 15

Unpacking and repacking
(AKA another messy bed)

Bag made for me by some of my sweet friends in IL

Mango + Papaya + Kiwi = Delicious Breakfast

Visa Registration

Diploma Registration

Lunch at the mall with six other sister workers

Early to bed

Special friends who "came with me" to Ecuador

Wednesday, January 14

Midweek Bible Study: Ezra 3 & 4, II Kings 17:24-41

View of the city after Bible study at M & M's

A few facts about my new country of residence


Official name: Republic of Ecuador (In Spanish, República del Ecuador, or, Republic of the Equator)

Neighbors: Colombia to the north, Peru to the south and east

The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador.  They are about 620 miles west of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean.

Official language: Spanish (spoken by about 94% of the population)
Thirteen indigenous languages are also recognized in the country.

Land area: 109,484 square miles 
To compare
Colorado - 103,729 square miles

Population: approximately 15.2 million (depending on your source)
To compare
Illinois - 12.8 million

Capital city: Quito

Largest city: Guayaquil

Monetary unit: US dollar

Current president: Rafael Correa (since Jan. 2007)

The country is divided into 24 provinces.  Each province has its own administrative capital.
(The province where I am on the list to labor is called Manabí.  Its capital is Portoviejo, and that is where we have our bach.  The land area of Manabí is approximately 7,100 square miles.  The estimated population according to the 2010 census is 1,345,779.)

There is great variety in the climate, largely determined by altitude. It is mild year-round in the mountain valleys, with a humid subtropical climate in coastal areas and rainforest in lowlands. The Pacific coastal area has a tropical climate with a severe rainy season. The climate in the Andean highlands is temperate and relatively dry, and the Amazon basin on the eastern side of the mountains shares the climate of other rainforest zones.
*Thanks, Wikipedia!*

Because of its location in relation to the equator, there is little variation in daylight hours throughout the course of the year.  The sun rises around 6:00 a.m. and sets around 6:00 p.m. daily year round.

Ecuador has the most biodiversity per square kilometer of any nation in the world.

Perhaps that's enough for now.  Come on down and you can learn more along with me!


On January 13, 2015, Dad, Mom, Karmen, Grandma and Grandpa Rodgers and I left our hotel in Milwaukee, WI to make the short trip to the Milwaukee airport.  We arrived a few minutes after 6:00 a.m.  

My original flight itinerary looked something like this:

8:35 am - Depart Milwaukee
11:45 am - Arrive LaGuardia, NY
12:59 pm - Depart LaGuardia, NY
3:46 pm - Arrive Atlanta
5:30 pm - Depart Atlanta
10:54 pm - Arrive Quito, Ecuador

On the way to the airport, I received a message that my flight from Milwaukee to LaGuardia had been delayed for about an hour.  That would, of course, take up nearly my entire layover in New York.  When we arrived at the airport, several of the workers and a couple of the friends were there already, waiting for us.  I greeted everyone and got in line to check my bags.  

The ticket agent looked at my flight information and said, "Oh, you're going to have trouble in New York.  I'll put you on a flight that goes directly to Atlanta.  It leaves at 7:00."  So much for finding a coffee shop to wait out the delay!  Good-byes were swift on the "non-flier" side of security, and off I went.

The rest of the day passed without incident.  I arrived in Atlanta by 10:00 a.m. and made my way to the international terminal.  With 7.5 hours to wait, I made myself comfortable, got out my laptop and got a few things done!  

My flight to Quito was right on time, and we landed about 15 or 20 minutes early.  If you've never flown into Quito at night, you should try it sometime!  The city is long and narrow and is located in a valley surrounded by mountains.  It's a beautiful sight to pass over this lit up city!  

The Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito is new and quite beautiful.  I claimed my bags and whisked through customs with no problems whatsoever.  Outside of baggage claim were four workers waiting to greet me.  It was wonderful to see them!  The new airport is outside the city about 45 minutes to an hour, so we had a bit of a ride to get "home."  The bed that awaited me there was a very welcome sight!

Beautiful sunset somewhere between Atlanta and Quito

'Twas the night before Departure

Over the holidays, Dad surprised us with a special treat.  He borrowed a slide projector and dug out our old family slides for a wonderful evening of reminiscing.  We didn't make it through all the slides in one night, so we decided to take the equipment with us to the hotel the night before I left for Ecuador to finish the show.  It made for lots of laughs and a few cringes as well.  ("You let me leave the house looking like that?!")  :-)  

Dad mans the projector as Mom and the grandparents look on

Since Kyle and Kalynn weren't present in body, we Skyped them in on the slideshow.

Skype conversation after we were finished watching slides.  There's something about siblings that brings out the funny in you!  

I just want to add a note here that there are many "events" leading up to my departure for Ecuador that didn't get recorded, people who didn't get "acknowledged."  Since finding out the plans for me to labor in South America, an amazing number of people have greatly contributed to make my "getting ready days" wonderful.  I appreciated and appreciate so much those who helped me in so many ways -  packing, taking care of paperwork (of various and sundry kinds), getting rid of stuff, shopping, organizing, etc.  Thank you to those who wished me well and said, "We'll be thinking of you."  Thanks to everyone who showed interest in my new area of labor and asked questions I didn't know the answers to.  I'll try to learn a few things and get back with you!  Thank you for cards and notes and gifts and handshakes and hugs.  Thanks for sending greetings to the people in Ecuador.  It means so much to know that while I'm here, there will be people there who continue to live as they have been living - steady, constant, true.  Memories don't take up space in a person's luggage, and for that I'm very thankful.  I wouldn't have made it past the ticket agent in Milwaukee!  

Finishing up

Suitcases are packed.  
Now we must weigh them to make sure they'll get past the ticket agent at the airport!

Writing a few last minute letters

Scavenger Hunt the Second

Due to sickness among some in our number, a second scavenger hunt was arranged after the New Year's Day celebration for those who had missed out on the fun of the first hunt.  Teams were created to add a bit of competition, and the search(es) began.

Team Krista examines the first clue

Initial consultation for Team Brandon

3.5 heads are better than 1

And just because he was there when I was passing by...

And because he's just so adorable...


Team Brandon emerges victorious

Team Krista, however, sticks it out until the finish and is rewarded (or at least Krista is) with a goody bag.

Dad finally gets a turn