Monday, August 05, 2013

Ecuador (Part 3)

This post is going to be a little more random facts about our trip that we found amusing.

There's no picture for this but rather just a plug for how great Bart is.  On the ride from the airport to the hotel (2+ hours), Bart had a pretty cool spiritual conversation with the guy driving us.  He worked for the hotel and was a student at a local university.  I didn't catch all of the conversation between the kids and the English/Spanish switching, but it was really fun to see Bart initiating an intentional conversation with someone that he would probably never see again.  And he could've chosen to just sit back and enjoy the ride.  But he chose to engage and pursue Martin even though he was tired and wanted to rest. He's pretty great!

Check out the below picture of all of the president/vice president signatures.  Apparently the hotel we stayed at and the restaurant are pretty popular for people who run countries.  At least in South America maybe.  Bart thought this was the coolest thing.  At one point we were laying in bed and he goes, "You know, we could be sleeping in the same bed that Chavez slept in when he was here.  Or Castro.  Or Ahmadinejad.  Isn't that crazy?"  There are only 8 rooms in the hotel (that they seemed to use), so the odds of that being true aren't too bad actually.
The board with all of the random "important" people's signatures
We found out that we weren't very far from the middle of the earth, or Middle Earth as we called it while we were there.  It was the line for the equator.  There was a pretty legitimate park, monument and a lot of shops and restaurants. There was an admission fee to get in, so it was way more intense than we were expecting.  We just expected a little statue or something, but it was pretty cool.
Noah running to the monument

Bart and Noah on either side of the equator

We were loving all of the fresh air of being in the mountains.  We explored down the mountain at one point.  Noah didn't enjoy it at all.  He has a tendency to overreact and think we're going to get lost.  At one point, we came across two random dogs, one of which seemed not very friendly so we decided to head back toward civilization.
On our little hike

It was really cool to watch the fog come in and out on the mountains.  At different points we could even feel the clouds/fog pouring over us.  It was a crazy feeling.  It was so surreal to get to experience the presence of God and his grace as we spent the time in the mountains.  We had one conversation about the power and majesty of the mountains.  It was hard not to in a setting like that.
Bart spending time with the Lord as the fog rolls in

We just felt so blessed to be able to get to go and stay where we stayed.  We were shocked at how nice it was for how little it actually cost.  The travel to and from was not super fun, but overall, we're really glad we chose to go and experience something we will never experience again.

The fog coming over the mountains to the side of the hotel

It has been good to be back in Venezuela.  At times, we've reminisced about what we miss about the U.S., but overall I think we're doing well.  We're trying to get caught up from being gone and trying to think through some of the planning we need to do for the fall and the arrival of the team.  We're grateful we had some time to talk through and process some of those things even in Quito.  Would you pray for us as we try to think through the fall and what the team and our family need?
It was tricky getting a family photo with no one around

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