7:00am is a rude awakening when you’ve just gone to bed at 2:30am, however the view from the front of our glamping tent was pretty amazing. We had a lovely breakfast that included a specialty to the Cayambe area… Biscochos with dulce de Leche! After some great devotions led by Pastor Adam and Jonah we loaded up in the truck taxis and headed to Lote Tres. It was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies and we caught our first views of the beautiful mountain! Our translator Ester told our truck that the indigenous people believe Mount Cayambe is a female volcano and she hides herself to mock people. She was not mocking us this morning as we saw her full splendor for our entire drive.
When we arrived at Lote Tres it looked almost deserted, and we got a little bit worried because we realized we were late for church. Our worry didn’t last long as the children quickly streamed out of the church to greet us with hugs. We were ushered into the church and were met by a whole line of church members waiting to greet each and every one of us with hugs and handshakes.
The church service started with some songs from the women of the church and then we sang them some songs. They spent a great deal of time greeting us and thanking us for coming.  Pastor Adam gave a great sermon, and they sang some more and the Sunday school children sang for us. At the end of the service we took photos of each family in attendance and will print them to hand out next week. A lot of team members had some pretty basic conversations with the people from church and then headed for a simple lunch served by the church of potatoes, fried beef and some sort of sauce and a warm oatmeal drink.
Mark and Sarah met with some of the church leaders to discuss this week’s projects and work out some details.  We headed back down the mountain and all enjoyed some time resting and relaxing. Our MERGE coordinator determined that the nights are getting too cold to continue glamping and talked to the owners of where we are staying. All of the people who were staying in tents were able to pack their things back up and move to a house very close to the small house a few team members are already staying in. We have plenty of space in this house to hang out and have meals together which is really nice. Most team members took naps to catch up on lost sleep from yesterday and we all enjoyed exploring the grounds, seeing animals and just having fun together. We did have to convince both Ethan and Jonah to not jump in the pond for the 50 pesos that was offered to them. We even had time as a team to open all of the suitcases ans sort out all of the things for various ministries that we have going on this coming week.
We were served a lovely dinner tonight of spaghetti and meatballs (very different than at home, but delicious), avocado slices, fried sweet plantains and fresh blackberry juice. A lot of the team spent time tonight playing some games together and enjoying some time together. I firmly believe that everyone will be in bed quite early and will all sleep well.