|The childrens' choir|
In the morning, we got up to the church early to prepare for the service. It was supposed to begin at 9, so we began to set up for our parts of the program. And then we waited, and waited.
People began to come, but 9 am came and went. Around 10, the service actually began. There were many parts to the service. It began with traditional Ecuadorian singing. They sang songs in both Spanish and quichua. Women did a couple songs and dancing. Children also did some songs and dancing, each of them giving the Americans a flower.
Then, another band showed up. They were an Andean folk band, with several guitars, pan flutes, and other instruments. The band was amazing! They played several songs. The service continued with our Noah play. The kids seemed to enjoy participating in the play, holding up their animal masks. Next, we sang a couple songs we had prepared. These songs were in Spanish and English. They wanted to hear more music from us, so we sort of scrambled and decided to sing another song many people knew. It actually went pretty well and they really enjoyed it!
|They gave us knitted hats!|
There was more singing and dancing done by children and adults from the church. There even was a young boy who rapped! After one of the women’s choirs, they asked each of us to come up to the front. They then presented us with knitted hats.
Four hours later, the church service concluded, and lunch began. Bowls were passed out among our group, with a variety of foods inside. There was a thick slice of their cheese, which they call fresh cheese. A piece of thinly cut beef, containing a bone, was slightly salty and cooked to the consistency of well done bacon. Two pieces of corn were cooked, although their sweet corn is much different. The potatoes were small and round, and could be dripped with a spicy sauce.
Jim and Richard set up for showing the photos from their trip earlier in the week to Oyacachi. People crowded around the projector and learned about agricultural practices as Jim explained them. They were also excited to see the short movies containing images of themselves.
Nikki, Kasey, Matt, and Philip played with the kids for a while. Then Nikki and Terry set up different stations for the kids. Some continued playing ball, which later turned into soccer. Some enjoyed coloring in sheets depicting Noah’s Ark scenes. Other children crowded around to chase after bubbles. And the most popular event of the day was homemade spin-art. Terry and Nikki brought several colors of paints, which were dropped on a coffee filter in a salad spinner. The children then used the salad spinner, causing the paint colors to blur and made neat designs. They really enjoyed it.
Mark, Jim, our interpreters, and members from Covenant organizations called FACE and MERGE met with town members to discuss the future potential partnerships with the groups. It was great for the community of Lote Tres to be able to meet these people and make connections.
After the meetings, a name drawing was done. In other trips, groups had brought a few items and given them to the pastor to give away. This year, we had people at the church service write down their names and put them in the drawing. They were winning hats, a jacket, bags, and other items. They seemed to enjoy it. Being sneaky, Richard entered his name into the drawing. But he had to put a Spanish flare onto it to make it believable. At first the group didn’t understand, and then began laughing when Ricardo de Jesus Franta’s name was read to win a bag. Sadly, they wouldn’t let him win any prizes.