Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ecuador Part I

We have spent the last 10 days in Ecuador. I tried to write a post on the second day but we were so busy that posting was impossible. So this is the first of a series on our trip to Equador. Below are Max and Grayson poking their little heads out of the suitcase. They didn't get to surface again until the just before the end of the trip. We did 10 trainings in 10 days. We had one day off - sort of - Monday of the first week we didn't have a training but I met with a mission president and 5 missionaries and Darwin taught a non spanish speaking senior finance secretary how to do an audit in spanish and we put together our own outline of how we wanted to do the trainings because on Tuesday we did our first training on our own. The last Saturday we did 2 trainings. (We did one and Miguel did one at the same time in another part of town.)

There are more pictures at the end of the itinerary, in a slide show that lasts a little over 6 minutes. There are some good shots of the area in and around Otavalo and Ibarra. The Otavalo Indians dress in there traditional dress. The men and boys wear while shirts and pants with a blue ruana, sweater, or vest and white sandles. Some wear western dress but most of the members of the two wards we visited in Otavalor (over 350) people were in traditional dress. The young men of Otavalo are not required to cut their hair to serve missions. They can wear their traditional hair style. We met a elder from Otavalo in Guayaquil serving in one of the wards we visited. We also have one serving in the Bogota South mission. During the week they where regular suits but on Sunday they wear their traditional clothing.

Our itinerary looked like this:

Left Bogota 6:30 pm Friday night, arrived at the hotel in Quito at about 11 pm.

Saturaday Morning Left Quito at 7 am for Otavalo and Ibarra. Did training in Ibarra and spent the night in Otavalo.

Sunday Attended two different wards in Otavalo and spot checked their financial records. Miguel did the same thing in a different building. Did a training in Otavalo for 2 stakes on Sunday night and returned to Quito after the training. Got to Quito about midnight.

Monday-Spent in the Quito office. Darwin training the finance officer for the mission and me meeting with the mission president and several missionaries (5) with problems. In addition we worked on putting together the outline and powerpoint presentations for the trainings in a way that made sense to us since we would start doing the trainings ourselves on Tuesday. Spent the night monday in Quito.

Tuesday left Quito by plane at 7 am and flew to Manta on the coast. Did training for 2 stakes/districts the Portoviejo Stake and the Jipijapa District. Stayed the night in Manta-This was on the beach - great swimming pool but we didn't have time to do any of that

Wednesday. Left Manta and went by 12 passanger bus to Guayaquil got hotel and then drove out to Milagro Stake for training that night. Stayed the night at Guayquil.

Thursday. Revised the training in the morning due to the nuances we discovered in Portoviejo, Jipijapa, and Milagro Stake. Went to Babahoyo District for a training that night. Stayed in Guyaquil.

Friday. Drove to Salinas. Was a relatively short drive. We had 3 hours to play before we needed to go to the training. We got to swim in the ocean and play on the beach. It was the first real break all week. Drove to Libertad Stake for training that night. Stayed the night in Salinas

Saturaday. Drove back to Guayaquil and split up the training. Darwin and I did Two Stakes in one building and Miguel did 3 stakes in another building. Stayed in Guayaquil

Sunday. Attended church in a different stake than we taught in. Spot checked the financial records.. Miguel went to a different building and did the same thing. In the building we attended there were mission farewells in both ward Sacrament meetings. 3 elders leaving from one ward and 1 elder leaving from the other. 4 missionaries out of two wards that week. Guayaquil has a population of about 3 million. There are 39 chapels in the city with 99 wards. I am not sure how many stakes. We were not training all the stakes in Guayaquil or any of Ecuador. We just train the ones with new leaders, or problems in their audits, or where we haven't had anyone do any checking for 2 years or more. After church we had about 3 hours before we had to be to the airport so we walked to the park of the iguanas and took pictures. Our plane left at 6:30 pm and we got home at 9:15 pm. We had a very exciting, hectic, educational, trip with great opportunity to see and do things I never expected to see and do in my life time but we were glad to back in our own bed last night. Bogota feels like home now. I love it here. I do look forward to our next trip to Ecuador. (Could be sooner rather than later, depending on the results of an audit that is going on right now)

I will do several posts with pictures of the whole trip. Below is a slide show of our first 2 days. It is just a little over 6 mins long and the title slides do not stay up long enough. You can pause it if you need longer to read the title slides.

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Sandra said...

Hey, friends...could you e-mail me the pictures about Otavalo & Ibara(plus Mountain scenery on the way). Remember, that's where Justin went on his mission. we picked up Jared in Brazil & were robbed in Rio. SO, we didn't have a camera to take pics in ecuador. Love you guys...Sandy

benandkiki said...

what an eventful trip. We love the pictures especially the ones with you in them. You are going to be quite the travelers by the end of your mission. we love you lots and miss you.

p.s. Sis. Shauers tell Justin and Jared that Ben says, "Hi".