Friday, April 27, 2012

Ecuador day 2, getting settled

It's funny how I feel like everything is going so slowly. I know I've only been here two days, well two days-ish but I feel like everything is moving so slowly. I know to expect that in places like this. There is a ton of run around sometimes and lack of efficiency sometimes. Or maybe it's just my urgency and excitement to get started.
I will meet with the director of one orphanage next Tuesday, and possibly another this afternoon or on Monday. I also stopped into Cuenca Cruz Rojo (The Red Cross-Cuenca) to see if I might help out there occasionally when I'm not at the orphanages. I was able to talk a bit to a girl, who started showing me around and then had to run off on a call-sounds like they could use the help as well. I'm pretty excited about that. I'd love to able to put my medical background to work here as well. One of the orphanages also mentioned that they have a surgical clinic and wondered if I might be interested in spending some time in there helping out as well. I'm very excited to do that as I've been able to go to Mexico with a group and do cleft palate repairs. I loved it.
I did get a lot done today despite not feeling like I'm getting anything done. I think I'm just ready to jump right in even though I haven't even had time to completely unpack
Today I found an apartment. It's small, but it's very clean, in a quiet, safe neighborhood-or so I'm told. :) I do like it. It already feels like home. And I'm getting the hang of taxis and working on getting the hang of the buses.
I tried walking from my place to my brother's place last night and got hopelessly lost. It was fun. :) I figured I would just follow the river...well, turns out there are like 4 rivers. It was lovely though. Beautiful sky, mellow weather, and lush green all around. I thought I could get my bearings by watching the mountains but there are just too many and I don't know them yet. There it is again, the feeling like I've been here forever and should have it all figured out by now. Hahaha. I'll get there.
I've already learned the musts before I leave my apartment (weird, only been there one night and I already feel like I've been there a while): sunglasses for sure! My pale eyes can't handle it's intensity without them; a sweater and scarf-cause the weather changes instantly from hot to cold and everywhere in between--the only rain I've seen so far happens to have been when it was the sunniest; and my Spanish dictionary-I'm having fun reading the signs though and trying to figure out what they say. So much of Spanish is so close to English that if I know the context I can sometimes pick out words or phrases.
I'll keep you posted on things as the details I worked out.
Here a few pics of little apartment and the streets of Cuenca.

Ecuador day 1

Spent all morning walking around trying to find the orphanage with my pregnant sister-in-law, my nephew (3yrs old) and my niece (2yrs old). No one seemed to know where it was and our taxi driver didn’t want to look anymore so he let us out on the street to look ourselves. It was cold when we left, but as soon as we got out of the taxi the temperature rose and we were walking through bus exhaust with thick, hot, cloud-covered skies. 

Once we finally gave up, we got on a bus and immediately received a phone call with a tip as to where the orphanage was located, so we hopped right back off the bus. We even got an exact address, but no one seemed to know where the street was located. We were told someone was going to wait outside the orphanage to help us find it. Guess they gave up, or more likely didn’t wait very long, if at all. When we got there were spoke to a few different people. Eventually someone got on the intercom and told us to go to the church offices. We’re back home for lunch now and the sun just came out and the temperature moderated. Awesome :). The kids were troopers but I’m sure will sleep very good this afternoon.

I’m off to grab some lunch for myself and hopefully get a phone number for the church offices. If not, we’ll try to get an address and go see them.

This particular orphanage needs the most help but is unwilling to accept help from members of my faith, which seems to me a bit silly but everyone has their prejudices I suppose. Especially if they are in a great of need as it appears. Rumors, which is really all you get here, say this orphanage has been struggling and just got a new director and is in desperate need of pretty much everything.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

There are Great People in this World. Thank You

For those of you who have asked for it, I created a PayPal account for you to donate funds toward my trip to Ecuador to work with the orphanages. I am no going through an official organization or anything but will be working directly with the orphanages. For those of you who want to help the orphanages and are uncomfortable donating directly toward my trip you can always go to and donate through OSSO, which is a fantastic organization.

I'm blown away by how many people have asked if they could help out and even requested the PayPal button. Thank you. I was planning on doing this trip entirely on my own and out my savings, but seeing how much people are excited to help, I'm excited to have the help.

The way one of my favorite songs opens kind of explains it all,

"Well, I got the time you got the money..." (Kiss you where you lay by Chris Trapper).

And I'm thankful to have the help.
So again,
Thank you for being so inspiring people. Y'alls is crazy!