Friday, 7 February 2014

Back to Pioneer Work in Cuenca Ecuador

January has had a bit of everything in our schedule.  We arrived well, with all our bags and the best thing we didn't miss any of our flights... We only just made the LAX-MIA flight, we arrived to check in and they had just closed the flight however a nice American Airlines lady helped us check in anyway, we then ran thru security checks and made our flight just as last calls we're being made. Cut it a bit close! On the rush of making this flight I left behind a small little bag at the counter which contained Jeremy's sunnys and some goodies we had :( I only realized the bag was missing when I was on the plane! Too late to do anything about.

When we arrived in Quito, staying the night at the airport was not too bad... I believe this was because we were still on Perth time and for us it was like waiting during the day... Hehe.. The new Quito airport is actually really nice, it's bigger than the previous airport but still small compared with other international airports... They had a 24 hour dinner that served burgers, chips (fries), hot meals, hot drinks and a few other bits and pieces. The food is a little pricey but nothing in comparison to Miami airport food..  I was surprised at how many people were waiting for flights, I really thought we'd be on our own but no, it was actually difficult to find a corner to place our bags and sleep as most were already taken.  Soon it was our time to board our last flight, so after what we calculated at the end to be more than 50 hours!!! of travel and not much sleep, we arrived home... Yeah!!!  When we arrived my family and some kind friends had arranged breakie for us...  It was nice to be back, though exhausted and some what stinky from not showering in over 2 days, we were now back home.

Something we really missed was our bible studies and rvs so the next day we were right back out witnessing, we were so happy to be back.. It felt like we had been gone for months.

A few days later my mum told us she hadn't been well, she had been getting all types of tests done and finally confirmed she had bad gallstones, she was in surgery pretty much within days.  Obviously we were very concerned about what type of health care she would have as it is a developing country, yet we found a private hospital called Santa Ines. We had many recommend this hospital and it was very good. Mum had her own room with cable tv and everything, it even had a fold out bed for dad to stay with her and a small private lounge room outside her room for guests.. The care she received was also great, the nurses were very attentive and looked after mum very well.  The keyhole surgery went well, mum was in a lot of pain that night but the next day she was back on her feet.. I've heard keyhole ops are very painful but the healing time is much quicker. So far she's had her stitches removed and all is ok.. Obviously they sent her on a strict diet and the pain is still hanging around but she's much better now.

Dad may also have to have surgery while we are here. He's been having issues with his ear and they've just found out his ear drum may be perforated pretty badly.  For a while he's been having issues hearing and the doctors would check him back in Australia and tell him it was all ok, but he had tests done here and they've found out he'll most likely need surgery for it. They believe it's partly caused by his sleeping machine he wears for his sleep apnea.  A few years back we went to Galapagos, while snorkeling dad had a broken snorkel and water kept coming in, we didn't realize it was broken so we kept telling him to blow on it to get the water out but as hard as he blew it wasn't working and he started to swallow water.. He blew so hard he felt immediate pain in his ear and thought he may have damaged it since then, the doctors here believe that could have started the problem and his machine made it ten times worse as it was left untreated for so long. Poor Dad! We will find out what happens soon.

During this month we were invited to an anniversary party for a couple in our Cong.. The party was so nice. There was games and little skits the guests played. One was called motorbike, a bunch of the guests are put in a room, while outside a chair is prepared for you, the instructions are that you come out and do a little skit about this motorbike, one by one they came out. They had gone an extra step though and found things they could wear to make themselves look the part... it was so funny to see that even Vicente our Special Pioneer had made this effort.  Each one came out looking hilarious and acted out their part, what made it so funny was that the chair they thought was a motorbike was actually a pretend toilet, something only the audience knew.  The last one out was Jeremy, he hadn't been left behind, he had blown up balloons and placed them under his clothes to make them look like muscles and a fat tummy haha...  Here's some photos of the night

Shaving Game - Sulay and Ivan are in the middle, couple who's anniversary it was.

We also went to a symphony.  They happen every few weeks, the next one in mid Feb.  They are really good and best thing, they're FREE!.... I think its only a temporary thing, much like the symphony in the park back in Sydney.

This month I started taking art lessons, I found this place by word of mouth, I've asked everyone since we got here if they knew of a nice art school for adults.. Nothing too full on just a few hours a couple of days a week.. Finally I found this little school, about 15-20mins from our house.  Two hour lessons, twice a week for about $40 per month, not bad huh! They started me on drawing first and will slowly teach me other  forms of art like oil painting, pastels, acrylic and so on. I'm really enjoying it, I've been wanting to do this for years but never had the time, the money, nor the place to do it.. Jeremy, the sweet husband he is, helped me set up my own little art studio at home.. At the moment its still pretty bare but give me sometime I'll build it up slowly.. and yes the art studio has an easel... here's some pics... hehe

We had our Cong Pioneer meeting last day of Jan, it was such a nice outline.  The theme was based on Heb 13:7 imitate their faith, it focused on imitating the Governing Body in various aspects.  Their love for bible reading, their preaching activity and their wise use of resources.  There was a question about one of the recent videos on the web, the one that made a comment about us not being attached emotionally to Brooklyn, and what it taught us.  It was really nice to hear some of the comments the pioneers made, funny enough we also had the privilege to tag along to the pioneer meeting in our old Cong and the same comments were made.

Check out our Cake... it was a surprise from our elders ;)

We have our Special Assembly day next Sunday, Debora is being interviewed and Jeremy also :) & of course our 9th Anniversary was on the 4th of Feb.  Jeremy took me for a nice dinner and we received many little congratulations on Instagram, thank you everyone ;)

We have also been participating with Metropolitan Witnessing, the longer we do it, the nicer the experiences get.  We've had some really nice chats with couples, and been able to answer questions using our bibles, I'll never get tired of seeing people come to a realization they've found the truth, when answered directly from the bible - they are amazed the answer has always been there and that it is so simple for them to understand!

One my studies has recently moved cities :( but she will continue her study where she now lives. I have been able to start a new study with a young mum hehehe ( I seem to always get them) she has a little 3 yr old, husband is a police officer who is not very eager about her studying.  He sister is a witness and she has gotten to chp 6 of the BH book. She has many questions but is also very knowledgeable so this study will be very good for me to learn from, I can tell the questions are going to be good.  She's also agreed to come to the meetings when her husband is at work, so hopefully at this rate she will make fine progress.

Oh yes, I also wanted to include some photos I took at the Miraflores markets.  We were told there is also an organic section in this market so we are trying to get what ever we can from there.  Organic food is not big here, it's only just coming out but it's good to be able to get anything.. For fruit and veggies I'm spending around $30 per fortnight... pretty good huh... and take a look at the fruit we can get, obviously it doesn't last as long as the supermarket fruit so I do have to buy a little less and more often. I still haven't bought meat or chicken from here, a bit scared but many do and they are still alive.  I stick to the supermarket (supermaxi) meat. However I have bought fish from here and its been good....

A little entertainment anyone?

Look at these strawberries!!

The Meat Market
 Now for some very irritating news: It seems like its the month for FLEAS!!! again they are relentless and anywhere we go they seem to only attack us!!!! It's been so bad even Jeremy has been getting bitten.  We have fumigated, washed, cleaned, vacuumed but like I told one of my friends I feel like we are going to die from the fumes of fumigating before they do! (She kindly sent us some info on flea bites and what to do to try to avoid them... thanks darl you're always so helpful :) ) Anyways we'll give those ideas a shot and see how we go... Oh did I mention I also had a spider bite me!!!.... what is going on with the insects in Cuenca??? My poor ankle swelled and burned for days..... a month later and it's still itchy!...

There's also an English Circuit Assembly in Cuenca in March... I'm so happy!... can't wait for it....

Ok, that's all, talk soon... love JnK