July 18, 2008

Another Eventful Week in Ecuador

This week has been another great one here in Ecuador. On Tuesday evening I found out where I'm going to be the volunteer over the site. I was selected to be over Casa Allegria. The Allegria site consists of three babies one of which is downs syndrome, and three toddlers one with a mild case of cerebral palsy. There were two other toddlers but they have recently, as of this last week, been adopted. Adoption here is sweet yet somewhat hard. It is so good to see them go with families that will love and care for them, but we do miss them. We truly do grow to love them.

My other site I will be over is called HML girls. We go to HML girls twice a week and do an activity somewhat like mutual. These girls come from all different backgrounds. Some have living family they are able to visit and are living at the site for education. Others are orphans that live at the site year round. They are so energetic and fun however due to the short amount of time we are able to spend with them it is hard to get to know them as personally and individually as I would like. It will be something to work for. I also was assigned to the Housing Committee and I will be over making sure rules of the house are being followed and that people are taking care of the house. Needless to say I'll be busy for this next month and a half.

The kids are doing amazing. One of the little boys has been really sick this last week. My prayers have and thoughts are often on him and I feel the Lord is watching out for him. My heart has expanded so much in this last three weeks it is incredible. I know that I'm suppose to be here right now and I feel that I'm learning a growing so much. There are so many moments that just steal my heart. One occurred as I was leaving from one of my shifts. I had been working with some toddlers and as I went to leave and, like I often do, I told them that I love them in english. One little girl looks up at me and in her few english words says "I love you, too much!" I feel very taken back by the love the children are able to give. It is amazing to me.

Yesterday was our first field trip day. We went to Inca ruins called Ingapirca. It was neat to see the small amount of structure that is left from their civilization, and as luck would have it, the day was beautiful! It was fun to see more of the countryside and the surroundings outside of our main city, Cuenca. After the ruins we were able to go to an old church built into a mountainside and see even more breathtaking views of the country side. The climb to the top was around 385 steps! It was really neat. I also got a little color from the sun. It happens easily because the altitude here is so much higher. It was nice to get out and have a day to enjoy the sites. I really do love it here. If anyone is looking for an experience of a lifetime I highly recommend Ecuador!

July 6, 2008


I've had some people ask about getting updates of the experience I am having here in Ecuador so I decided to jump on the bandwagon with all the sister-in-laws and Em and start actually using my blog.

Well, I have been here for a little over a week now and it has already been an adventure and learning experience for me. Our flight from the United States took us to Quito Ecuador, which is the capital. We stayed at the OSSO house there for the night and then took a forty-five minute flight to Cuenca which is the city I am living in for the next two months. The house that I'm living in is actually two houses hooked together by a back walk way. They are really good conditions and I'm enjoying all the crazy girls that I live with. There are so many different personalities that make it all so fun. As volunteers we are assigned to work two shifts a day with three shift off each week. During our off shifts we are able to do whatever we want, this is where shopping and site seeing within the city takes place most often. Our day starts with boarding the bus to go to our sites at seven, a break for lunch from noon till two, and then the afternoon shift ends at around six. The shifts make for long days but very fun and always different.

Enough with the technical stuff lets get to the real reason I'm here, the children. They are amazing. You can feel their love and sweet spirits. We have five main sites that we work at throughout the week. The first we call Cunas, it is about 15 little kids from 3 weeks to 2 years old. The second sight we all Casas. Casas has about 13 kids form ages 2-8. Both of these belong to one orphanage run by Catholic nuns. The three other sites are from the orphanage that OSSO recently opened up. Here there is; Milagros, with older severely handicapped kids; Allegria, with healthy infants and babies; and Esperanza, with younger severely handicapped children. They are all so sweet and each one provides a different experience.

I am loving it all. It has been and will continue to be a humbling, life changing experience. I appreciate all the love and support I receive and love any updates I receive. I couldn't do it without you all. :)