Monday, April 14, 2008

parte tres: part three: Las Aguitas

The week that the Canadian team left I was SO sick. I havent had a fever in Canada for about 8 years, and sure enough, when I get to the country that is located ON the equator I get a fever. It was uncomfortable. There was a week before the next camp started (mayores- highschool aged campers) and I was staying with Janna... I did get out of bed long enough to go to Alborada with Ivan, Carlos, Willian, Janna, and Dale to watch a worship team practice.
All week long I was SO worried that I wouldnt feel better by saturday. The plan was that I'd go with Carlos to a neighbouring province (manabi) to the community of Las Aguitas.

The Block 6 Bastion church has a partnership (maybe thats the right word?) with this church... they did a Christmas celebration together and Carlos and a few other youth leaders from the church are involved with their youth ministry there. Carlos actually goes every 15 days to do youth group and also to speak in their church there.

It was a 2 hour bus ride out of Guayaquil, then after that there was another 20 minutes in the back of a truck and then about an hour hike uphill to get there.
Its a TINY little community that we had to hike through knee high mud to get to :).
**Its not always knee high mud, but in the rainy season the road gets washed out so you cant drive up... its donkey or walk. We walked.
Now, Carlos had told me before we went that I needed shoes. I had planned on buying $3, but Janna told me that perhaps borrowing her Crocs would be a better idea because then if mud got in them it could just run out and also they'd wash off well. Little did we know that this mud wasnt just normal mud. It was so thick that it was sticking to the bottoms of my shoes. The spots that were dry and where I wouldnt sink into the mud were few and far between, so I was taking a step and then searching for the next safe spot to put my foot. This worked for about 20 minutes until I misjudged and sunk up to my mid-shins in mud. As I pulled my foot out, my other one started to sink in, and my shoes were suctioned off of my feet. It was a sticky situation. I ended up walking the other 40 minutes without shoes because it was pointless to try to get the mud off. It was fun.
When we got to the home where we'd be staying we ate dinner and sat at the table for HOURS. It was so neat. They didnt have power so there were no lights, and it was POURING so we couldnt go off the patio. It made me think that I want my family to be like that someday. I dont want to need entertainment like tv or radio or computers to be able to spend time with them. Oh. After dinner they put this big bowl on the table and it was full up with mangos and oranges right off the trees in their yard.

Ecuadorians are short people, and sometimes I forget that. I was reminded quite clearly of it though when I went to have a shower that is just separated from the kitchen by a wall and I could see the family the WHOLE time I was showering. It was a wee bit awkward. But it was dark so it made it a bit better.

Somepoint during the night I managed to start not only talking in my sleep, but walking in it too. I woke up being led back to bed by one of the two people I was sharing it with. (we were all laying on the bed sideways so there'd be space. They fit, I didnt. It wasnt bad though :) It makes for good memories.

In the morning we went to church where people were quite shocked to find that I was nineteen, unmarried and had no kids. It was great. Carlos spoke. There were about 15 people in attendance, and also women were breastfeeding through out the whole thing. Carlos didnt even flinch. Its so different culturally than at home.

After church I changed into my super crocs and pantsand went on a hike with Carlos and four other people. It was beautiful. we got to the top of this ridge and I turned around in a circle and as far as I could see there was no major civilization. There were hills covered in huge almost jungle-like trees and a few random patches that were growing corn on the sides of them. Every now and then I could see a couple small bamboo houses. Guys. It was cool.
Oh Yea, I forgot to mention that the boys were hacking ahead of us through the "woods" (used for lack of a better word) with a machete. I was terrified of a snake dropping down on me the entire time, but it was awesome. **I did take pictures of this, but they somehow got deleted when I was at camp, along with several others. I nearly cried. But It could have been worse... as in my camera could have been dropped in the sand or something.

On the way home we walked back down the muddy road , thankfully I didnt fall in or lose my shoes again (though there was a close call or two). A few guys from the community came with us too since they were going to camp which started the next day.
It was a cool adventure. I'm thankful that I was able to go and that I didnt feel sick AT ALL the whole weekend.


alli said...

TA DAA You won the long blog award for the week!! I loved reading the part where you were sleep walking, and were LEAD back to bed. AH funny. OH the memories. I love hearing about everyone back in ecu.
I cant wait to hear about some of your classroom experiences!! HOW WERE YOUR FIRST FEW DAYS???
love you

Tim said...

COOL! I didn't know you were staying there too. I'm going to have to post my pics of the DR. I'm a horrible person. JK :)