Yes, you read that correctly and although it sounds completely opposite, it explains pretty well where we are, oddly enough. Our coming back to Ecuador on Tuesday, the days we scheduled after moving it back from February was maybe a little surprising to us. That probably sounds more odd than the title, huh? We were so busy the weeks leading up to leaving that the decision to actually leave was made when our friend from Chicago came down to Goshen to pick us up! That day, which was Monday, did not seem like the typical day you would think of occurring prior to moving out of the country. It seemed very unorganized and disheveled. Probably because that is how we had been feeling.
We stayed with friends in Mt Prospect that evening and had our last “American” meal of Steak N Shake, full of greasy calories and topped off with shakes for all!
We woke up and headed to the airport, even without getting our last cup of Starbucks. We were sending our dog, Hireq down as well and so we had to make a stop to drop her off before going to our terminal. We basically got to our check in, which took quite some time as you can imagine with the amount of bags we had and finally made it to our terminal with mere seconds to spare to go to the bathroom and board the plane. It was quite a whirlwind to say the least.
A friend asked when we thought it would hit us that we were going to Ecuador…
I don’t know about Joel, but for me, it happened as the plane touched down in Ecuador. As I saw the massive, majestic mountains, all the green and the familiarity of Ecuador just brought a flood of emotions. Overwhelmed at what we left behind with Joel’s mom and leaving family and friends, not feeling like we said proper goodbyes. Overwhelmed at the unknown of what seems so familiar, but what is now so different and what FEELS so different about being here. We know our surroundings and they are familiar, but things have changed, we have changed and are different than the people we were before we left a year and a half ago. It’s a new life for us and for myself, I hadn’t thought much about that before. I think that is best seen through Simeon. He was only 2 and a half when we left and he is now 4. So much development has taken place in his life in that small window of time, but yet it is so noticeable. He is adjusting fine, he seems to love the fact we can be outside without a coat, the parks and he even starts conversations with people (in English of course). But I love that the language barrier does not faze him, he just keeps talking and trying to explain himself and will every once in a while add a Spanish word.
When we arrived in Quito, we were unsure if there would be someone to pick us up, we really hadn’t set that up. But we were greeted by maybe 15 people including our friend Henry, our regional coordinator Eugenio, and many faces from Cayambe, where our work is going to start, including Pastor Jose (from our Santiago Partnership video if you have seen it) and members of his family and church. We made quite a seen and it was so humbling and overwhelming! But it made us feel so loved! Our good friends Mandy and Ricardo also called us on our way to Quito to welcome us! Safe to say, we were welcomed with open arms!
Our apartment is very large for just the 4 of us, but we are so excited to have a place we can temporarily call our own and house MANY people if needed!
The evening we arrived, Tuesday, Joel traveled back to the airport to pick up our dog, only to find out that we couldn’t get her out of customs because no one was there to talk to. On Wednesday, we had our first Ecuadorian meal, at our favorite Colombian restaurant including arepas, huevos (eggs) cheese and the best coffee in the world! We then all headed to the airport to “find Hireq” as Simeon put it! After probably 7-10 trips back and forth around different places at the airport, transporting 2 vets from the airport to another facility to examine Hireq, we finally heard her bark after she saw Joel and were able to get her out after almost 24 hours! It was good to have her home with us and I think she is adjusting well! FYI, if you are shipping a pet to South America, it is a good idea to make sure they are on the same flight as you. That is what was such an issue between Copa and United airlines because she was on one and we were on another.
Today, THursday, we all ventured different ways, Joel went back to the airport and then to check on a couple of pertinent things we are going to need to do here soon, and Simeon and I went to the park, to eat lunch, and shopping for groceries and then taking a taxi and back to a park. He was in bed by 7:30 and I SO wanted to follow him! This pregnant mama was tired!
So, there ya go. That’s what we have been doing. We will try to do better about getting pictures and videos to show.
Please continue to pray for Ruthie, she continues to have good days and bad days, with many ups and downs. Today was a good day and we pray for more of those!
The next week or so we will be working on: Getting our visas registered, starting Spanish classes, getting a car, establishing OB care as our baby is due in June, getting cell phones and catching up with friends!