Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Catching Up....

Wow! Time is really flying lately. I thought I’d catch you up on a couple of things…. (Note: This is a very long, detailed account that I’m doing because I know our parents love it.)

Last week we house-sat for a missionary family that was out of town. You’d think I would have posted more blogs considering I had the internet at home….oops. :-) But what I lacked in my posting, I made up for in my baking. …And Dwight is very happy because of that. I made his favorite cookies the first Saturday and again this past Sunday…..the same with banana bread. Amazing how special the small things can be when living in a foreign country. This family’s kitchen was fully stocked with everything imaginable….and the best thing of all- wheat flour. Thank you, Kristin McWeeny. It’s one of the things I haven’t been able to find here yet. It was like Christmas morning when I found it in the freezer…with a note that said, “Use me!”

This past Saturday we took a little road trip with Patti Sue, Chantal, Melissa (our two teachers) and a friend, Donna King. We drove to Ambato, which is about 2 hours up headed to Quito. Oh my….I think I just get overwhelmed with all of the shiny lights and readily available cheap pastries. Everyone in the group (besides Dwight) was so amazed at the amount of food I packed away. I’m sorry…I just CANNOT turn down a honey-glazed, pudding & peaches filled pastry for twenty cents!! I had one when we got to the mall…and before we left the mall. I also had Kentucky Fried Chicken, French fries, some of Dwight’s burrito, some of Patti Sue’s hamburger….and a very large frozen yogurt with strawberries. What a good day. OH! And then we stopped in Banos (that’s said with the “nya” sound) on the way home and got empanadas. They were SO GOOD! I had banana…. Who knew…I even like pastries filled with fruit that are deep-fried. –All that to say…if we are looking for some comfort food, we have somewhere to go. :-) Don’t worry about us in that department.
So, anyway… we drove to Ambato and went to the hardware store. It was a little bit of culture shock, because they had pretty much everything! I’ve already gotten used to the selection available at stores in Shell, so it was quite overwhelming. I felt like I was back in the States….with 23 options of every single item in the store. – Dwight was looking for some specific tubes for the water system they’re putting in…no luck. He’s going to have to go to Quito for what he needs.
On to the mall…yes, the mall. It feels funny to even say that here. I felt like such a typical tourist walking around taking pictures. That should show you how dedicated I am to this blog…I was willing to be the foolish gringa walking around taking pictures of nothing.

I just wanted you guys to see the similarities to home! Specifically note the Cinemark and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It’s just so funny to me.

What’s not funny is that you go 2 minutes down the street, and you’re back in poverty. It was the same way when I was in Tegucigalpa, Honduras as well. 3rd world countries are confusing.

SUPERMAXXI. This is one of my new favorite words. It’s the name of the huge grocery store here in Ecuador. It is like heaven after shopping in Shell. It would be a more enjoyable experience if my stomach wasn’t hurting the whole way through….dreading finding out the total during check-out. Lol…. We did some serious stocking up. I already have my new list started for our next trip. :-)

On the way home we dropped Donna off in Banos where she lives. She and her husband, Wes King, run a home for boys there called Dulce Refugio/Sweet Refuge. I think they currently have 9 boys living with them, and we got to meet them briefly. I REALLY admire them for tackling all boys. They don’t have any hired help…they do everything on their own, and they’re in their 70’s.

Wes has built this home completely on his own…and it is beautiful. He bought this orchard (approx. 2 acres) right on the slope of the river…next to the base of the mountains. He built a multi-level house that perfectly captures the essence of the location. He’s also landscaped through the orchard with stone trails that lead down to a gathering area with a stone grill- facing the river and mountains. I could not get over how beautiful it is!

Oh…AND they let us pick 3 huge bags of avocados to take home. They were only the ones that had fallen on the ground….must be rough to have that many avocado trees. Ugh…. I’m a little jealous.
We also got a gift for Ines while we were there…a new German Shepherd puppy! Apparently her dogs are always dying for random reasons, so Patti Sue decided to surprise her with a puppy. We surprised her that night after we got back.
I thought it was funny…one of her sons surprised her with another puppy the next day. Ha!

Anyway…we had a long day, but it was a lot of fun. That was the first time Dwight and I had left Shell since moving down here. Everyone else takes off on little Saturday trips all the time. We usually don’t want to leave the house when Saturday rolls around…trying to recover and regenerate for the week to come. :-) I say that as a good thing, though. We really are having a great time, and we wouldn’t trade this time here for anything. I can’t wait to see what the next step is in life…and how God will use this experience in the future.
All for now…. tandy


  1. More people than just your parents look forward to these blogs!!!

    I'm a little jealous about the avocados too!

  2. I thought Bano meant bathroom, which after that food (sounded delicious by the way) I was not surprised to hear the Bano was the next stop. Man I miss you guys.

  3. I second that... Jeff and I look forward to this blog too! I have a link on the side of mine that notifies me (by moving you to the top of my list) every time you update. You guys are awesome and are very missed! Keep posting... we love it!