Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Travelling to Ecuador during the wet season... what to expect....

Before I start let me tell you that February is always a special month for us.  It's our anniversary month, this year we celebrated 11 years of marriage.  We've also hosted a few different ones at our home as we love having company around and it's been nice to get to know new brothers and sisters from all over.

As you may know, the wet season started a little late this time around January.  People ask us all the time what type of weather we get in Ecuador.... well, there's only two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season known as winter seems to start around the end of the year and goes for about 6 months. The dry season known as summer starts around June and also goes for 6 months which means the best time to visit is really during the summer months, this mainly applies for coastal areas. In the sierra because of the altitude there's no humidity really, its actually quite dry, so you don't get many mosquitoes nor real flooding, you can visit these areas at any time.

However on the coast, it's a different kettle of fish....  Most people seem to think it gets really hot during the summer months here, but personally I think the winter months are the worst.  Why? the humidity the rain produces, its so bad I sometimes find it hard to breath.  It's not like this everyday, there are some days it's not too bad. These are also the months of flooding, I posted a video on Instagram of what the street look like when this happens.  It's not nice at all!  Despite this, everyone makes an effort to get to the meetings... many bring a change of clothes and change in the bathrooms so they're all cleaned up by the time the meetings start.  The flooding seems to occur mainly late afternoon so witnessing hasn't been much of a problem.

The mosquitoes are also out in full force, but you can easily protect yourself  by wearing mosquito repellent anytime you leave the house, it's worked very well for me. So if you plan to come visit during the wet season, remember to buy some repellent when you get to Ecuador, the best one has been OFF!

Also drink lots of water, its amazing how dehydrated you can get when its this humid. Try to wear a hat, it may seem like its cloudy but you're still getting sunburned, actually wear a hat and apply sunscreen anywhere you go in Ecuador, the sun really burns here!

On the coast it's best to wear cotton clothing and for the brothers you'll be happy to learn ties are not worn out witnessing at any point in the year and suit jackets are also optional when on stage at the meetings.

I mentioned last month we had a plague of crickets, yes they were very distracting at the meetings, some of them even fly! Who knew crickets flew, I thought they only jumped around, but this only lasted about 2-3 weeks and since then I haven't seen them around.  I was told it happens yearly, right at the beginning of the wet season, in fact that's how they can tell the wet season has started.... hmm.... can't argue with that.... there's no question about it... we had a cricket get into our room, in the second story of our house! We still don't know how it got there, I have a theory it attached himself to Jeremy's suit and caught a ride in. It took us two weeks to find, and until we did, it drove me crazy with its singing, they're so loud! and they love cotton so you have to get them out. Eventually it woke me up one day at about 3am and wammo... got him!.... maybe it flew in???...  I'm still trying to figure it out...

During the dry season, it didn't rain once! When it did finally rain, it came down so heavy and for hours... that's what causes all the flash flooding...  it also shows up any cracks in your house, so for the first couple of weeks you're checking your roof, windows and walls any time it rains... and yes we had many leaks!... They're all fixed up now.... but not before causing some damage to the walls and ceilings, which we are now having fixed.

Most Kingdom halls don't have air conditioning, they only have fans, better than nothing right! So bring a hand fan with you, you know the cardboard ones, and you'll be fine...and girls if you have long hair, bring a hair tie with you, if you're anything like me, you won't be able to stand your hair down.

Ahhh, the fun and excitement of serving in the coast, its tougher but certainly lots of fun.

By the way, we finally got to the markets in Duran and well, the fruit was great, got all this for exactly $30.00USD, there's actually a little bit more but we had already put it away in the fridge.

All this for $30.00 USD

On to other news:

We had a great Aussie couple here spying out the sierra to possibly return one day.  They served for a number of years as Special Pioneers back in QLD and NSW.  With the recent changes and reassignments they thought they'd explore new options open to them.  It was so nice to spend time with them, get to know their story in Jah's service and learn from their experiences.  Their Spanish, although limited, didn't get in the way of them traveling around from Guayaquil to Loja to Cuenca to Ambato and back. We followed their adventure in Ecuador through the photos they posted on IG, there's no doubt they had a great time getting to know different ones in Jehovah's Org and having a ball out witnessing. Although its a scary thought coming to a third world country where you really don't know anyone, the language, the customs or the area, they survived and loved the whole process of learning about it all. They're another great example of a couple who are trying very hard to expand their ministry outside their comfort zone. Seeing their zeal and enthusiasm was certainly contagious and reminds us why we are here too. To this special couple we are amazed by your efforts and hope you come back soon, thank you for visiting us, we loved having you stay with us.

My gorgeous family!