i decided today that i would write a very unconventional blog post...at least unconventional for me. i have been wanting to tell about what i've been up to since bein' back, so here goes.
first (and this within 12 hours of planting my feet upon Ecuadorian soil), a graduation of two block 10 high school students that i have grown to love very much, Geannella and Edison.
Edi (20) was one of our youth (and one of my favorites), back when i first got involved in bl.10, and now he and his "wife" live in a little bamboo house attached to his mother's, where he- the man of both homes since the sudden death of his father 4 years ago - works full time for the municipality (landscaping) and has been studying with Geannella on Saturdays and Sundays to finish their secondary ed. together finally.
though you might be tempted to think as i, that such young love will never last, we have seen something so special and unique in this case. indeed, their going-on 3 year relationship reflects genuine respect and self-sacrificing love...and i feel so blessed to share some of life with them, and want to pray them through the years ahead.
may God use their example in Bastion, of love and sacrifice for one another - He has begun something very cool in their lives.
this Sunday i hope to spend the afternoon with them making lasagna at their house - Geannella has been waiting patiently to learn since they finally got a stove of their own that has an oven!!
ok, lets see. Less than a week after i returned we had a bit of a spontaneous gringa event (while Rachel Bryant was visiting) of shopping downtown and visiting Sweet and Coffee our favorite java shop, and it turned into a movie and sleepover back here in Caracol. Spontaneity is always fun.
oh yes, and i helped Luke paint his and Daniel's new place - see Luke's blog for pics- that was fun and we got caught up. (He, Dale and the 4 Horst boys make up the male constituents of our team...obviously absent from the pic.)
and so, as you might have guessed, not only was it fun to return to my place amongst our team of Canucks (and Erin), but it was sweet to be reunited with Ecuadorian family. Erin was so kind to host an American Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings at her place the next week, and it was great to spend time with friends that work at the school... good good friends. the turkey was delicious, we made great gravy (if i do say so myself!) and the best perk of all is that i get included as honorary "school" personnel - and can hang out with friends at all their parties. :)
so dear friends like Maria Eugenia, Esthella, mi tio Felipe... i've been simply enjoying being on the same continent as them.
and then of course there are other favorites that its been nice to work alongside again... many of whom sit around the table when it comes to camp administration, or camp program. and oh, have we sat around a few tables since i arrived back. lots is going on this time of year, and our program team is enjoying each others company... most days. :) the other night, we were together for four hours, how terrible long for a meeting, but alas it didn't qualify as a meeting, not to worry... we had pizza.
this very team hosted a training weekend at camp two weeks ago... a great retreat, well planned, and lead with workshops in evangelism, counseling and conflict resolution. there was lots of fun had, and lots of 'wheel-turning' thought provoking discussion. approx 50 volunteers attended, and though many of them are young we are trusting the LORD to provide the laborers needed to continue this vital ministry of discipleship. may God bless this effort and use these days and the upcoming 2011 season to continue to do His Kingdom building... through camp.
please keep us in prayer as you consider the camp season - Daniel, David, Carlos, Willian, Anita, Johanna and i ...its a full load of responsibility and with lots of pressure as this crew takes leadership amidst their peers. thank you.
this pic just for curiosity sake (or for pica like we say in Spanish :) ...yes the beach is just as spectacular as ever.
ok, can you believe i am writing this post? i still can't.
i did want to tell you that Nikki and i hosted the grade six girls (they will graduate from the school in January) for a sleepover back in November. it was really fun to do that together, as we don't really 'serve' or share ministry together... ever. these sweet girls are very good friends with each other and special to both nikki and I because they were in the first class we taught 5 years ago. back when we both taught English in the school - another life ago. anyways. i am pretty sure our pyjamada was the highlight of the month for these girls, or maybe the trimester, or possibly the whole year. Seniorita Liliana came and hung out too, and it will definitely be a special memory for us... one of those occasions we know we wouldn't survive twice. :)
ok, just two more pictures to end this foto-documentario. Luke making coffee for us in his new place, looking rather 'at home' the night of Nikki's birthday when we landed to watch Princess Bride and eat homemade ice-cream cake. and Nikki and me... with one very-madly-melting, yet delicious, mess.
that's it. that's me, bein' in Ecuador again.
until i take more pictures at least.