3/2 Day 6 – More Construction and school visits today!

School and recreation supplies for the Lote Tres School
Friendship lesson by Nikki

Our sweet little friends - Sandra (L) and Monica (R)
One of the teachers took a picture from the roof of the school
A little jump roping while on our home visits

Meeting a woman on the road to invite to the community movie

The beautiful land of Ecuador

The beautiful land of Ecuador

Angie's Amigos!

Nikki's Amigos!

They thought this was hilarious, taking a picture of our shoes - zappos!

Jiselle waving as we left!

Making corazons (hearts) with their hands as we were leaving

Cement work

Cement work 
Rebuilding the stage at the church

Mark and Sue at the top of the tower at the pastor's home

The agenda for today was construction and a friendship lesson at the school in the morning, and home visits in the afternoon, to invite community members that may not go to church, or may have left the church to Saturday's community movie.

I think the men are getting tired, but still jumped in this morning and kept going with the cement work. The men, women and children work so hard! Even a woman that was 7 months (siente mis) pregnant was scooping sand (that would be Angie's prayer partner)!

There were a few of the women that were dropped off at the escuela (school) to teach two different classes about friendship in the morning. We also had a few suitcases full of school and recess supplies to give to the teachers to use. We put our things in the teacher's lounge and left for the first class. The first class was the younger children, and they were so sweet and giggly! After the first class, we went to the older class.They were a little more serious, but seemed to be interested and enjoy the talk that Nikki put together, especially the games!

After this, we had a snack in the teacher's lounge, and presented the school supplies and sports equipment to the teachers. We then went outside to play with the children.Such a highlight of our day! We blew bubbles and they were chasing them, and we let them try to blow bubbles as well. The look on their faces when a bubble popped in their faces, when they were successful, or when they caught one that we were blowing was priceless. There were several playing with the new frisbee, and several that were playing with the chalk we brought. The first box we opened was gone by the time we left, but the designs stretched all the way across the middle blacktop at the school. Hearts, stars, and names were very popular. There was even a hopscotch game. What they really loved was when Sarah J. laid down and we traced her body with chalk. They filled in a face for her, too! Sarah J. and Angie had a couple girls who latched on right away - Sandra and Monica. These children just radiate joy and you just want to hug them all day!

We talked to the teachers on the playground for a little while as well and learned the importance of accenting the correct syllable... Ma-MA means mom in English, and ma-ma....well...doesn't. Also, from a previous day, pa-PA means dad in English, and pa-pa means potato.

We saw that Sarah S, and Sue were coming down the driveway at the school to start their reading session with the teachers, as we were finishing up playing, but our bus driver was driving away. We ran to the teacher's lounge to grab our things, said a quick goodbye to the children and ran for the bus. He was gone by the time we got to the road, but we called and he came back. Thank goodness! That would have been a long walk back to the church...

We got back to the church and they were setting out lunch when we arrived. The Ecuadorians had made their version of potato soup (papas sopa) for us, which was delicious! There was queso fresco (traditional white cheese), cilantro, avocado, rice (arroz), and carnes (ground beef). All of it mixed together was delicious, but some choose to eat the ingredients separately. We also had passion fruit juice to drink with lunch, and it was great. I don't think we are going to waste away on this trip...

We carried more sand up to the church, and carried more cement back down. There was some wonderful conversations on the main level as well. Angie was sitting talking to her prayer partner, and found out she was 7 months pregnant with her first child! She knows it is a boy, and her and her esposo (husband) are excited to have their first child. Then we got ready to go around for home visits to invite the neighboring homes to the community movie. As we were going around saying goodbye to everyone, two of the older ladies were saying, "Don't go!", in Espanol. We are making connections and God is working to tie us together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

We split up into two groups for the home visits - the longer, more uphill route, and the shorter, flater route. There was two church members and one interpreter for each of the groups. Climbing rough, cobblestone streets was definitely a workout, but it was an experience in the real culture of Lote Tres, and the country of Ecuador. We walked up to homes to speak with the children and families, we walked through pastures to get to a home a few hundred yards away from the road. We even saw some of the children from the school that day. A couple of the church children even joined us on our route and played along the way, jumping rope and holding our hands. At one point, we saw a sheep, and Jim asked Pastor Segundo "How do you say____?" in Espanol, and pointed at the sheep, and said Baaaa--aaa. Pastor said the word "bulla" (pronounced boo-zha in English), but we found out that meant noise, not sheep! Jim's new nickname is "bulla"...

Our group returned from our home visits and climbed on the bus. We stayed on the bus, and drove to the next intersection to wait for the other group to arrive after their home visits. It seemed like forever, waiting for them. We saw a pickup truck coming around the bend, and, lo and behold, the other half of our team was standing in the truck bed that was driving up! They had ended up far away, and someone gave them a ride!

We headed back for Cayambe and stopped at a small ice cream shop. With all of us in the shop, there was not much room for anyone else! We tried tamerin, mora and a few other non-traditional flavors, and some went with Oreo and mint chip ice cream (helados). We even used all of their small cones with our large group!

Back at the pastor's home, we ate our supper and laughed at the events of the day! What a wonderful time of fellowship!

Prayer requests:
1. For Ricardo, who is home now, diagnosed with kidney stones. Pray for him comfort and a quick recovery!
2. For the groups teaching the puberty classes on Friday. Pray that these classes may be well received and interpreted well.
3. For continued health and safety of our group - especially Bob who hit his thumb with a hammer today.

Praises:
1. Thank God that Ricardo didn't need surgery!
2. We are all pretty much healthy
3. We got helados (ice cream) again today

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