The group of eleven people on a mission trip from various congregations in Oregon and SW Idaho Disciples of Christ Region arrived at 11:00 pm July 10th. They cleared customs pretty fast, and were in Otavalo by 2:00 am. No matter how fast they cleared customs, it had been a long day for them. They had had to get to the Portland Airport by 4:00 am that morning. Adrenaline put smiles and laughter on their faces when they arrived. Thirty minutes into the bus ride to Otavalo, everyone was zonked.
Below are some pictures of the first few days, with some Facebook comments of team members and any additional info I can add.
On Sunday, we went to church in Cachiviro, a village where the folks from Oregon would work on a new community center throughout the week alongside people who live there.
Congregation of Nueva Jerúsalem Worshipping
Part Of The Oregon Group (Duane, Irene, Alex, Doug, Bernice)
Clapping With The Congregation
Bernice Rivera Translating David Eggleston's Sermon
Blanca Puma Introducing Doug Wirt
Oregon Group And FEDICE Team Singing For The Congregation
Congregation Enjoying(?) The Group's Singing
After church, it was time for a little sightseeing. A favorite stop is Peguche Falls.
The Cascada Was Still Flowing Well, Even Though Otavalo Is Entering A Dry Season
Monday, of course, was the beginning of work. It continued throughout the week.
"Gathering at the worksite blessing of the tools for the project." - Rick Ikeda
Oh, Myyy Goodness! Will You Look At That!?
Don't Jump, David!
"Break time!" - Rick Ikeda
There Was Hearty Food Every Morning When It Was Time To Take A Break.
"Tea break by the lake during work." - Lauri Morris
(How Tough Could The Work Be?)
Well, This Tough...
...And This Tough...
...And This Tough!
"When all the ladders are being used, we find a way to get 'er done!" - Lauri Morris
In the afternoons from Monday to Wednesday, Bernice Rivera led a workshop for indigenous women.
Bernice (In Yellow) Conferring With Blanca As She Leads The Empowerment Workshop
One Activity Was A "Trust Walk",
Where A Woman Closed Her Eyes And Had To Walk Where She Was Led
Empowerment Workshop Completion Certificates
A Vacation Bible School was conducted every afternoon from Monday to Thursday taught by several members of the group from Oregon. There were four classes: drawing, art, bible story reading, and outdoor games. The children were split into four groups and rotated through each class during the afternoon's two hour session.
Hard At Work Making Cats, With Irene Instructing
Cats Come Alive For Precious Niñas!
Hmmm! This Looks Sort Of Like A Devil Cat. Wonder If He Understood VBS?
All Of The Kids In A Grand Circle After Classes
Susanne Starting A Game In The Grand Circle
There was also time for side trips. The group visited Cuatras Esquinas one afternoon and the Caluquí Violet Groth Vaca Daycare Center the next morning. Both of these communities have been past projects for Oregon groups.
A Group From Oregon Helped
Lay The Foundation Of This Church In Cuatras Esquinas
The Inside Of The Church In Cuatras Esquinas
Irene Got To See Her Godson, Eddie, In Cuatras Esquinas
Photo Op With The Children Of Caluquí's Violet Groth Vaca Daycare Center
The Children Soon Went Back To doing What They Do Best - PLAYING!
The road to Caluquí had been torn up because a new sewer line was being installed. Surprise! The bus couldn't negotiate it. Not to worry. Twelve people piled into the back of a covered pickup and set off on an adventure.
"You can easily fit 12 people in the back of a pickup when needed,
but boy is it a dusty ride." - Lauri Morris
And then there were the random, beautiful moments.
Bernice Rivera Holding A Cutie
"My two sweethearts, Natalie and Alison." - Lauri Morris
Rick Ikeda With Dena, His Goddaughter, Who Is Now 13 Years Old
The Oregon group would like to stay until the job is completed, but that's not feasible right now. They will need to stop work on Friday, joining the community to celebrate the work that has been accomplished this week.
Then, on Saturday, we and representatives of many communities in this area will get on a bus and drive south of Quito to a very special celebration in San Francisco. It will be the 20th anniversary of FEDICE! And an Oregon group, our long-time supporters, will be there to celebrate with us.
[Thank you, Rick, Lauri, and Bethany, for providing pictures. Rick and Lauri may not have been aware of their donations, but that's what they get for being friends with me on Facebook! ;-)]