2/27/16 Day 2 – Greetings from Cayambe, Ecuador!

The First Covenant 2016 Ecuador Team at the equator

After a few hours of sleep, most of the guest house was awake by 6:30 or 7. We had directions to be ready for breakfast by 9am. The MERGE staff had put out a breakfast spread with lots of options; cereal (including Froot Loops!), juice, yogurt, bagels/cream cheese, cheese, strawberries, buns, jam and peanut butter. After a delicious meal, we had devotions for the day, led by Bob, looking at Philippians 1:1-11. The MERGE staff did formal introductions, and went through more information about our schedule, food arrangements, as well as a review of guidelines for the mission trip and interacting with the Quichua people we will be working with during the week.

We left the guest house at 11am, and loaded onto our bus. We drove through Quito to get to our first stop, the Basilica del Voto Nacional. Before we even entered the Basilica, the courtyard outside was filled with amazing music! An Ecuadorian band was playing, and after that, a group of traditional Ecuadorian dancers performed an engagement/marriage dance. Such colorful costuming and beautiful movements! 
Basilica del Voto Nacional
This Basilica was filled with amazing stained glass, as well as Neo-gothic architecture. The best part was that for $2, you could climb up several flights of stairs, and a few scary, steep, ladder-style flight of stairs and could look out over the city from an opening you can see on the left side of the picture - the single spire. Included in that $2 was an opportunity to climb up several more flights of a tight, spiral-style staircase to the top of one of the bell towers, where you could see the back side of the clock face.
It was a little harrowing at times, getting up those stairs, especially when there were several times when people were coming down. The landings between flights weren't any wider than 1-2 people, and were only long enough to hold 4-5 people. Quite scary to start your descent when you were trying to get around a group of people on the landing, and trying to get your footing and hand holds!
The cafe near the courtyard is where we had our lunch. Most of us had some sort of ice cream treat, and a few of us even ate them before our lunch came! Yummy sandwiches and empanadas, and plenty of water. The restroom visits were typical Ecuadorian style, with a senora sitting near the entrance to collect your $0.25 and give you your toilet paper. And you are never, NEVER, to flush the toilet paper! No one has done this yet, thank goodness! We have been reminded many times, and we all remind each other when using the restroom!
We were back in the bus by 2pm, and on the way to Cayambe, we drove past the old part of Quito. Such amazing sights. We can't even begin to see them all or take pictures of them all...

The streets of Quito

The uphill trek to the Basilica

Ecuadorian band

Traditional Ecuadorian dancers

Some of the girls!

Quito, Ecuador

Intinan Solar Museum - The museum at the equator
We are standing in the mitad del mundo (middle of the world)

We had cinco (five) people able to balance an egg on the equator!

Presentations showing you can't balance on the equator

The hummingbirds are much bigger here, and are very popular
Lanny trying to balance an egg - he was successful!!

After driving through that area of Quito, we stopped by a shop that sold ice cream (holado). They had maracuya ice cream, which is passionfruit, as well as mora (blackberry), and coco(coconut). It was a majority vote to stop here! It was worth it - the holado es delicioso!

We finally arrived at the pastor's home in Cayambe about 7pm. He has so many extra bedrooms, most with their own bathroom, especially for guests. He and his family live on the upper floor of the home. Such a gracious welcome we had! We sang songs to practice for Sunday's church service in Lote Tres, and went to bed.

Pastor Jose and his gracious welcome
Hot showers and comfortable beds

Health and wellness for all the team - especially Sarah J.
Safe travels up into the mountains of Lote Tres on the bus
That God would be in each encounter and conversation with the people of Lote Tres

1 Response

  1. Thank yo for posting the wonderful pictures. I see my daughter, Krista, is enjoying the ice cream!! Your team is in my prayers. Glenda Laffen<br />

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