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8/22/05 (Monday)

We are at the guest house which has Internet access all the time.  It is nice to be able to get online and read and answer email once again.  Phyl and I are up and have had breakfast.  It was nice to eat Raisin Bran again instead of greasy fried fish or meat over rice and beans for breakfast.  Oh, I forgot to mention the fried banana that was served with every meal.  Fried banana is the San Lorenzo replacement for potatoes.  For juice we had some kind of fruit that would be run through a blender.  One day it was tree tomatoes.  I’m not sure what those are but they are not like what we call tomatoes.  On a couple days we had orange juice and also passion fruit juice.  The passion fruit was really good.  One day we had cantelope blended into a juice.  It tasted good also.


Today, we meet Jane about 9:30 and will then head to Otovalo to visit the market there.  Phyl wants to get some things including more carvings made out of jade.  We plan to spend a good part of the day just browsing and bargaining.


Staying here at the guest house is a young couple who are just starting a career in mission work.  They are from Minnesota and went to Valporaiso University.  Her roommate came from Ft. Wayne.  There are also a couple men who are in to Quito for a few days.  They serve in some mission work in the jungle working with the Indians.  One of them this moring at breakfast said that yesterday he met a group of doctors and dentists who came from S. Carolina.  They had come on a short term medical mission trip.  


The sun is bright and there are a lot of pretty flowers along the street where we are.  It is cold, though, possibly only in the 50s.  It will warm up into the 70s here in Quito during the day.  Jane told us to wear clothes for all seasons when we go to Otovalo today.  It will be cool since we are at a higher altitude but it could get quite warm if we are out in the sun all the time.  Being on the equator the sun is closer and much more intense than it is in Indiana.

Phyl looking at jade carvings at Otavalo

Phyl looking at jade carvings at Otavalo

Necklaces and jewelry

Necklaces and jewelry

Jane and Phyl working the jewelry vendors

Jane and Phyl working the jewelry vendors

Otavalo market scene

Otavalo market scene

Jane and Phyl showing the shoppers' joy of finding bargains

Jane and Phyl showing the shoppers' joy from finding bargains

Looking at chess sets

Looking at chess sets

Tonight, we went to a really nice, upscale mall in downtown Quito.  This place was 3 stories high and had a big parking garage underneath it.  It was just like being in an upscale mall in the States except everything was in Spanish.  Quite the place.  We went to a bookstore where I got a nice map of Ecuador.  I wanted to get one that had detail about the river system so I could see where several of the patients lived.  Many of the villages where they came from were listed along the rivers feeding up to San Lorenzo.  This gave me a better perspective of the area that we served.  We then went to this large food court and walked along looking at the various eateries…McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, a Chinese place, and some local Ecuadorian places.  Nothing really struck our fancy since we were still somewhat full from our midafternoon lunch of sandwich and pie.  So…we went to an ice cream place and had some special ice cream.  The funny part was they had Blue Moon ice cream, although it was called another name in Spanish which translated to Smurf.  We had to laugh at seeing this very popular ice cream in Ecuador and not just at Lickety Split in Englewood, FL.  Once we got back to the guest house we packed all the goodies we purchased today and have our stuff fairly well organized.  We will be going to bed soon and don’t have to be over to meet up with Jane until about 10 in the morning.  We will then go to see the hummers.  I can’t wait to watch Phyl salivate and drool all over herself as she sees more hummers than she will see in her lifetime.  We also will stop at the equator monument so Phyl can see the red line that is so clearly marked on the globe at Kim’s house.  Ben, you be sure to look again at the globe and find where we are.  We will be at Quito at the equator standing on the red line.  Grandma will be there thinking of you.  I will try to get a picture of her standing on the red line…just for you. 


Today, I talked with the director of the family practice residency program at the hospital here in Quito.  He was wondering what we did in San Lorenzo.  When I told him about all the big surgery we did he was really impressed.  He then told me about a general surgeon who is at the Shell hospital.  Shell is east of Quito about 5 hours out into the jungle area.  Shell is where Jim Elliott and the other missionaries were based when they were killed by the Auca Indians several years ago.  I would like to see the place sometime.  There would be a possibility I could spend an extra week and do surgeries with Jane in San Lorenzo and then go to Shell to do surgeries with this other surgeon.  I talked with Jane about it and she said sometime when I come we could drive over to Shell just to spend a couple days there seeing the area.  I want to devote my time to Jane as much as possible because she seems to constantly struggle with HCJB over getting the proper support for her clinic in San Lorenzo.  There is a general idea that San Lorenzo is not the place where health care resources should be sent.  Jane is fighting that attitude here in Quito and she gets quite frustrated at the rumors and statements made about San Lorenzo.  Many of the people in Quito related to the mission work do not want to do anything with San Lorenzo because there is too much violence there.  Jane says that she travels back and forth by herself at least twice a month and has yet to run into any kind of violence.  San Lorenzo compared to Quito is like going to the worst of the slums you could find compared to the big city where you have every resource and facility at your fingertips.  Yet, the people in San Lorenzo are just as important to God as anywhere else and they all are very receptive to hearing about Christ and receiving the healing touch from people like Jane and her team. 


Time to head to bed.  We have to get our sleep and rest so the hummers don’t stress us too much.










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