Thursday, August 28, 2008

School and stuff

We started school today! Working here in this Christian international school has been very different from both of our secular and Christian school experiences in the past. So far all different in a good way. We started our day with chapel and worship - that was awesome. It was also fun to watch all the different types of kids attending this school - it truly is an international school. We are glad to get our ministry started with the students. We have enjoyed the time we had before school to get to know the staff and our team a little bit better before we start working together. So for now no major reports on school ministry.

Here are some pictures of Ben making our bedroom furniture. I mean Ben and Ethan. Ethan always comes home telling me that he was working with daddy making a bed for me.
This is one of Ben's friends Dan making a coffee table.

They are using the school wood shop to do this. They pay them for the wood and they let them use the tools for free.
Just in case you're wondering why Ben is making furniture, it's not because there is no furniture here - it's just that it will be more cost effective and he enjoys it. His father would be proud. I am!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's up?

What is up with us?

We start school on Thurs.

We found a sitter for Aiden while I am at school!

We are headed out on our 1st date since we got here!praise God!

Ethan starts school on Thurs (pre-school).

Our boxes are still in customs, boo hoo.

We are looking for a church, pray that we find one as awesome as Mckinney & WHCC.

I will address the school on Biblical Conflict Resolution Monday.

We are doing a 10k next weekend.

Ben has started a Spanish class that the school offers for gringo teachers.

We are trying to get Ethan to stop peeing in the bed at night. Any suggestions???

We are shopping for living room furniture.

Ben is building our bedroom furniture.

We need to decide on how we are going to be involved in the lives of our students outside of school. Plz pray for that there are so many opportunities.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I love how recreational family time is such a priority in Latin countries!

Every morning that I have gone running it amazes me to see how full the park is. I wonder don't these people have jobs to go to(grin). They do but they have a way of making time for family and fun. As I run around the park my tummy is awakened with the aromas of the little restaurant huts in the park who have their grills fired up ready for the morning traffic. The park is packed with men in their suits out playing with their kids before their day gets started, with 50yr old men playing basketball, with young and old zealous soccer players moms and kiddos going on their morning stroll. On weekends it really is packed every inch of grass is covered. They have little carnvial rides, horse rides, boat rides, cotton candy, this is a new one -bebe gun shooting, stunt bike riders etc...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What have we been up to?

We have been here in Quito, Ecuador for a little under a month now! So some of you have been wondering what have we been doing?
-First couple of weeks it was just catching up on our sleep, getting unpacked, going to the airport everyday to identify our lost luggage and settling into our new home.
-Now that we're past that we have been venturing out into the city on our own. We still haven't ventured out too far - no more than 10 miles from our home. We're baby stepping. Walking everywhere with 2 kids keeps us close to home.
-We took a trip with our school to a nearby village. (see pictures below in the other post)
-Ben started Spanish classes
-Going grocery shopping at least 3 times a week because, as I am cooking, I realize I don't have what I need. Starting your pantry and kitchen from scratch again is quite the task.
-I visited the local City Dump where there are families that live on the property and go to work there. We did a bible study, craft and songs with the kids.
-I hosted our first girls nite out with our new friends and neighbors while Ben went out with the men.
-Ben has been getting ready for class: preparing his room and lessons
-I am preparing for my first staff session on Biblical Conflict Resolution.

We have been enjoying our time here. And we feel blessed to have the Lord lead us here and use you all to get us here in so many ways! Gracias!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beyond the Cement Walls of the Big City of Quito

For all of you who live in big cities, you know how it is to live in the hustle and bustle of smog, traffic and cement buildings, loud music, constant honking of cars etc... If you go out far enough, though, eventually you can see behind the cement walls. Every country has its roots- here in Ecuador they date back to the Pre-Inca times. Our school took a group of us to a small town just outside of the city so we can breathe some fresh air and get some traditional sights and sounds of Andean music.
The Northern Andes is breathtaking! Look at how clear the water is. We got out at this lake surrounded by mountains. We hiked up to that little house you see on the trail and then we kept hiking up because Ethan was doing so well, although we didn't do the 5 hour hike around the mountain!
After this we headed to the little villages. As soon as we stepped out of our big 15 passenger van that is screaming "tourists!" this sweet little old indigenous lady came up to us with a big toothless smile. She didn't seem to speak Spanish so we just smiled back. Ethan quickly became her little buddy. Every time we saw her, Ethan would come up to her and give her his hand so she could kiss it and he would give her a big smile and say "hello" (in English).
This picture below is our team having breakfast at a cute little hotel we stayed in.
Looked at Aidens hair it was pretty windy up there. Here we are going back in time to some of the customs and traditions of the indigenous people at the market. This craft market is one of the most spectacular in South America. Yes, this is a pig on a large hot pan that is being served on plates for hungry shoppers at the market. I think I lost my appetite.
He loves music!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Tour of our Home in Ecuador

We wanted to share with you our home here in Quito! We are the only family that lives on campus besides the dorm parents. There will be 9 students that will live in the dorms, just above us. We live in the basement of the dorm. We have a nice 3 bedroom, 2bath apartment with a good-sized kitchen and living area. We pay a reasonable amount for rent, which I guess it would be equivalent to the States, around $700 utilities included.

We live in the capital city of Ecuador, right in the smack dab of the city. So, as in most big cities, it's really hard and expensive to own a house - so everyone pretty much lives in an apartment building. Similar to NYC, there's one big tall building after another with lots of apartments on each floor. Another thing about living in a big city is that you always need a guard outside your home. So whether you live in a house or apartment, you have a guard. Because we live on the school property we have 2 guards since the school has 2 entrances. So we feel pretty safe in our new home!

Our apartment is provided by the school and is temporary. We can only live in it for one year. So by next summer, we will be transitioning into an apartment near our school. I have gone out to price furniture and it seems pretty equivalent to the States, but without the sales :( But, there are so many other inexpensive things - like flowers, fruit and bread, which are some of my favorite things!