Sunday, September 07, 2008

Livin in the lap of luxury!

This is the way to do a mission trip. Wake up at 10, cocktails at the pool, all you can eat buffets, and maybe do a little bit of work to justify calling it a mission trip.


Chillin by the pool

5 star dining




Just kidding! This was a resort we stopped and looked at a ways down the river called Casa Suiza which is a Swiss resort in the jungle. Our accomodations weren't quite as luxurious.

We got back from Ecuador yesterday on our weeklong mission trip with some guys from our weekly Bible study. We had talked about doing this for a long time and we decided it was time to bite the bullet and just do it. It was an incredible time and we had a lot of fun.

We landed in the capital city of Quito late Friday night and were met in the airport by Leithe Camden who is our church's missionary to Ecuador. He took us to the hotel and we didn't get to sleep until about 3:30. It was a welcome change to be up in the mountains with 50 degree weather especially coming from 90 degree Houston weather.

The next day we drove 5 hours down to the jungle town of Misahualli. The drive itself was quite an adventure. We weren't 3 minutes into the drive when I spotted a dude walking down the streets of Quito with a shirt on, but no pants. I couldn't see a speedo underneath and I didn't look too close to find out for sure. We had a good laugh about that. The drivers in Ecuador are CRAZY! Passing on blind turns is the norm. There are no guardrails on the turns and it is common to be driving on a road with a 1/4 mile dropoff on one side. It was a little scary. The roads go from gravel to concrete with no rhime or reason. It is definitely not a very organized country.

We got down to the jungle and started to do what we were there to do which was work on a lady named Corolla's house. She was bit by a snake when she was a kid and had to get her leg amputated. She was living in a shack made with bamboo and scrap wood with 7 kids and we were going to finish up the house so that she could have a little more room. We learned that only about 10 percent of the people in Ecuador get married and that most of the kids have little or no contact with their father. The women do most of the work and the guys just sit around and get drunk and have kids that they don't support. It is definitely a broken system.The kids living with Corolla were her nieces and nephews that her brothers left with her. 2 of the kids,Max and Junior 9 and 6 respectively, hung out with us the whole time we were working and loved being around some guys that just had fun with them and tickled them. They conned us out of a lot of Cokes and candy and had a great time in general.

We worked 4 days on the house to finish it up. It was tough work. Lots of hammering and cutting wood. They really need to learn about air compressors and nail guns down there. That's just my opinion. We did take off one day to go on a jungle river cruise. We stopped at an Indian jungle village and went to the school, went to a zoo and saw a bunch of animals that were being cared for, and stopped at another village where there were some ladies that showed us a traditional Quichuan Indian dance and had us dance with them. While we were getting down in the jungle a monkey decided to grab on to my leg and hold on for dear life. He did not want to let go. Someone finally pried him off, but he was not happy. What can I say? It's just my animal magnetism! I think someone has a picture of it and I'll post it when I get it.

The highlight of the trip was every night when we had a little church service in the hotel with the believers in the town. Their church's pastor had disappeared a while back and they were starving for some encouragement and spiritual food. We had some really rich times and I think we all got encouraged from our time together.

I was actually surprised by the amount of Spanish I know when I really have to use it. This trip didn't make me want to move to Ecuador, but it was a neat place to visit and we were all glad to have had the chance to go. Thank you Sarah for letting me go and thanks to the Flemings for helping out with the kids while I was gone. I couldn't have done it without you.


1 comment:

Christine said...

Good post Trav! I can't wait to see the monkey pictures!