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Day 11 – 7-30-2016 (Saturday)

Today is travel day with a trip from San Lorenzo to Quito.  We will be leaving around 9 to 9:30 this morning and travel to Ibarra where we plan to stop at the shopping center to buy some groceries and other things.  Then we travel on to Otavalo.  Travel time from San Lorenzo to Otavalo is about 3 to 3 ½ hours without stopping.  Our stop in Ibarra will have us arriving to Otavalo sometime early afternoon.  At Otavalo we will spend some time in the market shopping.  I have a list of items I want to obtain for gifts for family and friends.  The items in Otavalo are made by local artisans and are nice reminders of the country and culture of Ecuador.  From Otavalo we will then journey on to Quito to a guest house Jane as reserved for us.  Sunday will be a day of a little bit of sightseeing around Quito.  We plan to go to the equator monument and also visit with Tony Nunnery to watch the fascinating hummingbirds.  Then, very early Monday morning we will be heading to the airport to fly to Miami.  Our flight leaves at 7 am so we will have to leave for the airport about 3:30 to allow travel time and enough time to process through check in and security.

I slept fairly soundly until about 3 am when my bladder awakened me.  After that I had trouble going back to sleep.  There was a few dogs on the other side of the wall who felt it their duty to talk out loud to one another.  The barking was incessant and that didn’t help getting sleep.  Then I decided to spend some time praying and enjoyed the conversation with God for the next several minutes.  After this I couldn’t fall to sleep so I arose and got ready for the day.  I have all the stuff packed and ready to load.  So now I’ll enjoy some coffee and read in my book.

Father, You have been so gracious to us, to me, in this mission trip and also in my life.  Your love has no boundaries, no limits.  It is truly unconditional and infinite.  I can’t wrap my mind around that totally but I trust You for it and thank You for that love that fills my soul.  Lord, I think about what Your love did for me.  Rightly I stand condemned before You.  I am as filthy rags before You and don’t deserve to even be in Your presence.  My sin makes me unable to even consider approaching You.  However, You not only look upon me as judge and rightly pass judgment of death and banishment from Your presence because of my sin, but You also then came to me through Jesus, Your Son, to pay that penalty for me so I could be declared righteous and qualified to not only be in Your presence but also to spend eternity in Your presence.  I don’t understand that level of love You have for me but I accept it.  Lord, and it’s free!  I can’t earn this righteousness.  I don’t deserve this righteousness.  But You give it to me freely.  Through faith in You I am declared pure and holy in Your sight.  Lord, thank You hardly seems enough to say but that is all I can think of.  Thank You, Lord! 

Father, I pray for today, for our travel.  Please cup us in Your hands and protect us on the road and while we stop and even shop.  Help us to remember You are with us all the time and You offer protection to us freely.  Father, I pray for my family and for the families of those on our team.  Please give them a special measure of Your love today, Lord.  Father, I love You and am so thankful that You love me.  I pray all this in the precious name of Jesus.  Amen.

After breakfast Jane brought us some morocho, a warm thick milky drink made from a type of corn.  It is sweet with a flavor close to tapioca but distinct and different as well.  Along with this is a fried tortilla, much like an elephant ear without sugar.  The combination is very tasty and gave a perfect end to our breakfast.

Morocho

Morocho

Tortilla

Tortilla

Maria Luisa brought a treat for each of us.  She had containers of coconut balls for each of us.  These are a local home-made treat of ground up coconut rolled up in a ball.  It also has some sugar in it as well as it is sweet and melts in your mouth.  A great way to eat coconut!  The ball is an inch or so in diameter.  She made these for us and gave each of us a container of these coconut balls to munch on as we traveled.  What a treat!  She did this special for us.  The love these people have for us is incredible.  Thank You, Lord!

Coconut balls

Coconut balls

About 9:00 am we departed from the clinic on our way to Ibarra to stop at a mall there to shop for some specific items at the grocery store.  Then we will move on to Otavalo to spend the afternoon in the market.  Then we will move on to Quito.

We stopped partway to Ibarra so I could change seats.  I was in the back of the van and with the swaying from side to side and the van driver went what seemed like rather fast cutting in and out of traffic and taking the curves, which are many, at speeds that made us change positions whether we wanted to or not.  I got the beginnings of motion sickness and I needed to get out and walk a little and hopefully change seats so I wouldn’t lose all my breakfast along the road.  By moving up front and also the driver driving more sensibly, I was able to tolerate the rest of the trip.  I was still nauseated some so I kept my eyes closed and tried to sleep.   I had taken medication for motion sickness but that didn’t seem to help as much as I had hoped.

At Ibarra we stopped at the mall so we could pick up some food and some other items.  There were food items that some of us wanted to take home so we bought them at the grocery to pack in our suitcases.  It felt good to walk around.  Once we were finished with the shopping we left for Otavalo, which was about a 15 minute drive.

Otavalo market was packed.  There is a large open square in the center of town where the Quichua Indians sell their wares.  The square is at least a city block square if not larger.  It was packed with tables and vendors as well as all the side streets had vendors extending from the square in all directions.  There were all sorts of handmade weavings, clothing, necklaces and jewelry, carvings in wood and jade, tagua carvings (vegetable ivory) and other items.  It is a very interesting place just to browse but it would be difficult to walk away without buying something.  This market is supposedly one of the main attractions for the country of Ecuador and tourists come from all over just to experience this place.  We shopped and picked up special items for our families and friends.  While there we stepped into a small coffee shop that also had a sandwich and soup menu and had lunch.

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About 5 pm we left for Quito, a 1 ½ hour drive.  As we drove out of Otavalo there were some clouds over a mountain on one side of town and another section of blue sky.  It must have been raining as the sun was producing a brilliant rainbow.

I slept some on the way to Quito but still was not feeling well.  Once we arrived at the guest house where we will stay for the next two nights, we then walked a few blocks to a nearby mall to a restaurant there for dinner.  This restaurant is called Sports Planet and it has televisions all around the place all tuned to soccer games.  Lots of sports memorabilia hang on the walls, much of which are jerseys, flags, and other items from US pro and college sports.  The food was good and my meal landed okay.

Now we are back at the guest house and I’m ready to go to bed.  I hope I feel better in the morning.

Father, thank You for protecting us today while travelling.  You kept us safe the whole time.  Thank You for answering my prayer, actually our prayers.  Lord, You are awesome!  Your love covers us continually.  Thank You Lord.  Father, I pray for a good night’s sleep and clearing of the nausea.  Thank You, Lord.  Amen.

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