Sunday, August 30, 2009

Construction and Stuff

I do not really know where to start. Should I address in some witty way the fact that it has taken me 6 months to submit a blog or should I just write about construction? I know there are many who have not been here who would prefer lots of details and directions and those who have already been here who just want to know how far along the construction has come. Well, for the sake of my parents who want ALL the details and for those who have not yet come, I will take a chance at some of boring you with the hopes of sharing with our family in a detailed manner. I have put together a slide show in a timeline fashion highlighting the multi-use building. Although it would seem to be our biggest concern and project, we have not put very much work into it ourselves. Most of what you will see was done by a government grant and their workers as well as the roof that we recently contracted to be built. The only work that we, meaning myself and the three or four workers that work for House of Faith, have done on the MU building is help pour the 2nd story floor one 16 hour day, the columns for the roof, and the header to support the roof. Along with that many hands have helped tear down frames, pull nails, and stack lumber from the MU building. Other projects this summer that are not featured in the slide show are as follows: building inspection pits for sewage and water lines, installing water lines, tapping into the Shell water pipe line and running up to the tower, installing the water tanks on the tower , burying pipe, remodeling a house, a very long continual to-do list at the current orphanage, building a circle drive with 3 drives needing cement culverts, repairing the entrances to the cement bridge, plastering the columns at the swimming hole, using a machete to cut down the wild jungle grass AGAIN, provisional building a bathroom on the Septic Tank, and as always cleaning up around the construction site.

This has been a wonderful summer filled with many hands and hearts eager to serve. Well, at least the first day they were eager. Sore would be a better description of the hands and bodies the following days after the work at the property.

Patti Sue bought 3 hectares (approx. 7 acres) from Mr. Garces about 3 years ago. The only standing structures on the property that were built in the last 2 years were the water tower and the cellar (tool shed). It is approximately 360 meters east to west and 118 meters north to south. It is north of Shell across the river about ¾ of a mile from our house and the orphanage. There is much work to do but we take each day as it comes. Thanks to all who have Invested their time, prayers, sweat, money, and encouragement to Tandy and me. Lord willing I will post again before we leave here. Seriously though, it was intimidating since I waited so long.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


On the last morning of our vacation, we went on a whale spotting tour with the Barton's. Dwight took this video, and it cracks me up. Nathan was very upset at this point, because his hat had blown off into the water. It was VERY traumatic. Poor thing.

Other than that, we all had fun. After over an hour of seeing nothing....we saw a couple of tails flip up out of the water. You get your money back if you don't see anything, so I'm pretty sure the young guys would have kept us out there all day until we spotted something.

We just had fun being out on the water. :-)

Long Time no Blog

Warning: This post will be very long....and maybe boring to some of you. I always write with our parents in mind, because I know they want ALL of the details. :-)

Where to begin.... 2 weeks ago: vacation! Dwight and I left last Saturday night on an overnight bus to Same beach in Esmereldas. We stayed at Isla del Sol, in a little wooden cabana right on the beach. It was rustic but wonderful! I feel like all we did was eat for the 5 days we were there...but that's nothing new. Dwight got to eat shrimp at pretty much every meal, and while I abstained from that....I did enjoy the fresh pineapple smoothies.

Unfortunately we didn't take many pictures...not even one of us together! I feel bad considering it was supposed to be in celebration of our first anniversary. It just seemed like getting the camera out would take more effort than I was willing to put forth. I did manage to read about a novel a day....while Dwight swam in the ocean and made friends with other guests. lol....

Another missionary family- the Barton's- whom we LOVE spending time with- arrived when we had a day and a half left. They have 4 young boys, and it makes us feel like we're back at home with the nephews. :-) We had a blast spending time with them at the end of our trip. I'll try to post a short video of our little "whale-watching" adventure. I use quotations, because there weren't many whales to be watched.

Overall, it was great to get away and relax for a little while! When we got back to Shell we hit the ground running. Patti Sue had received a new little boy, Jhony, who has a large growth on his face and is need of surgery. He's obviously sleeping in this picture, and I wish I had a better one. He is ALWAYS smiling and such a cute baby!Patti Sue left around 5 am Monday morning to take Jhony to the hospital in Quito. Dwight and I moved into her house on Sunday night, and we'll be staying through possibly the 4th of Sept.
WHICH means that we are now the proud (temporary) parents of an almost 4 month old baby boy and 3 10/11 year old girls. I call this birth control.

No....I'm kidding. :-) We've been having a good time. It's just that we had a small group arrive this weekend, so it wasn't like either of our work schedules were minimized. It's work all day and head home to cook dinner. This definitely makes me appreciate working mothers!

Here's a picture of the 3 girls: (L to R) Jessica, Jenifer in the middle and Thalia. They were getting ready to go lift weights...hence the blue and red sticking out from their shirts. :-)
John Paul is growing so fast, and he's pretty cute if I do say so myself. He's talking to me right here. He loves to coo and make noise. Isn't he adorable!?!

So, at this point Jhony is now recovering from his surgery in ICU. The mass is gone from his face, but it's obviously still very swollen. I won't begin to try to explain what all happened during the surgery, b/c it was pretty intense. In layman terms, he has a hole in the upper nasal area, which has allowed brain matter and a lot of fluid to leak down and form this mass. The neurosurgeon removed it, inserted some type of titanium shield where the missing bone is and covered it all with a skin graft.

Patti Sue has been sending updates via email and there are a lot of people praying for this little boy! It was a very intensive surgery, but he's doing great. There are obviously a lot of medical expenses from all of this, so please be praying about that as well. I don't know how long we'll have Jhony with us after all of this.
On another note, we also got a new little 6 month old girl named Fernanda. Here are a couple of pictures of her.... The police brought her to us, and I haven't heard the whole story yet about why she's here.
I wish I could get a better picture of her smiling, because she's a cutie. As soon as the light comes on on my camera, she drops her smile and gets all wide-eyed. lol...

Other than these things, I'm busy preparing for the beginning of school and our teachers' arrival to Ecuador! Dwight and I will go to Quito on the 31st to pick up Alison and Dallas, and we'll be coming back to Shell on the 1st. Melissa, our other teacher, will arrive on the 3rd, and hopefully travel down with Patti Sue.

There is a lot going on right now, but God is good! Thank you for all of the Happy Anniversary wishes. :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a BEAUTIFUL Day in the Rain Forest!

We woke up to clear skies and sunshine this morning, and it is just a gorgeous day! It's usually pretty overcast, so this is a welcome change.

Today's kind of a catch-up day trying to finish up a few things, and I wanted to give some updates. Several people have asked about Rosa and Anita, and we're thankful for everyone's prayers on their behalf!

Anita was released the day after my post last week. It took her another full day until she seemed back to "normal," and she stopped having convulsions. Patti Sue took her to Ambato earlier this week, and they did confirm that she has epillepsy. We're not sure if there's more to it than that, but she's doing much better now that's she's on anti-seizure meds.

She's having a great time with the other kids, and she always has a smile on her face. Praise God!

Little Rosita is doing much better as well! I tried to take a picture of her on Monday to do this blog, but she was NOT HAPPY with me. She was sick, but she's better now after taking some antibiotics.

I went in today to get a picture, and at first she pushed me away. Then she proceeded to pose and smile like she has NEVER done before! She is a character.....

Here's a couple of more pictures of every-day life here.....

Grace with a baby someone donated that makes noise when you push its belly. :-) She loves to take care of babies....

Here's one of Krushkaya/ "Cuca".... being her usual self. For those of you who have met know what I mean. :-)

I took this about 10 minutes ago as the kids were preparing to leave for the park to enjoy this weather!

Dwight and I are leaving tomorrow night on an overnight bus to go to the beach for a few days!!! We're going to Same Beach, Esmereldas...near Atacames in case anyone (family members, I'm sure) wants to look it up on the map. We are so ready to have a break after the long summer, and we're also celebrating our first anniversary! Our first year of marriage has flown by....We've lived in Alaska for 3 1/2 months...Texas for 3 months...and now Ecuador for 5 1/2 months! What a first year... We are having the time of our lives, and God continues to teach us both on this new journey. :-)

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This is the first time a video has EVER loaded for me!

This was earlier this week during a VBS. I tried to get a video of Pablo, because he gets super excited when a song starts....and he sings REALLY LOUD. He also dances while he sings. You can't understand his speech, but once you get to know gets better. lol...

Also notice how he constantly turns around to make sure I'm watching. It's hilarious.

I have a few more short videos, but i'll try to get this one posted before something goes wrong!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Prayers needed!

Anita, the new little girl I just posted a blog about, is currently in the hospital here in Shell. On Monday night she said her head was hurting and went to lie down. The Tias found her in bed having convulsions. I went and saw her in the hospital, and it's very strange. Her body will just slowly began to shake all over, and it lasts about 5-10 seconds. This happens repeatedly about every minute or 2. Dwight and I stopped in last night, and she is still having them.
The difficult thing is that we have no idea what her history is! She could have been on anti-convulsant medicine before coming here, and now we're seeing the results of its absence. Others have speculated that she was abused, and that the convulsions are a result of psychological damage. The tias are convinced that she was beaten and abused and she is shaking and in pain because of the fear she has. The doctors are having to start at square one with tests and different medicines, so please pray for them and for Anita.

Also, little Rosa had a little accident this past Saturday. She was in a wheelchair or stroller, and one of the othe little kids somehow managed to pitch her out of it face-first. Her face was all scratched up and she broke her leg....that already had a cast on it from a recent surgery. The doctor wasn't available for surgery until early Monday morning, but it went well once it happened. He took the cast off, and the previous surgery had worked perfectly on her kneecap. He put a plate in where the new break was, and she doesn't even need a cast.

The first night after surgery, she was in a lot of pain. She was asleep when I got there, but woke up and began to cry. It was so hard to see her lying there and not be able to do anything about it!

Yesterday I made a card, and all of the kids signed it during VBS. You should have seen her when i showed it to her! It was hilarious. She doesn't speak, but she just began to jabber nonsense as she pointed at everything on the card. I took Dwight in last night to see her, and she got so excited when she saw us through the window in the door. We pulled the card out and she did the same thing again...this time the jabber was to show Dwight. She then proceeded to scribble all over it with her crayons. :-)

Please keep both of these girls in your prayers! Also, please pray for Patti Sue as she deals with the coordination of their health care, medical bills, staffing Tia's to sit with them, etc.....