Monday, February 11, 2013

Home again...

After a great Friday morning of a couple of last projects at the bodega, we took a hike into the rain forest - ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  When we reached our turn-around point, we learned why they call it a "rain" forest.  :-) 

Friday afternoon, we said our farewells to the staff who supported and encouraged us, turned our backs on the kids (it's easier that way for both the kids and for us) to hide our smiles and our tears, loaded up our stuff and left Shell, challenged, enriched and tired.

We enjoyed an overnight at a marvelous inn in Banos where we had magnificent views of the waterfall, had a chance to see the sights, hear the sounds, and taste the flavors of the resort-type community. 

Then it was back to Quito for one last stay at the guesthouse there (the best showers in the world!).

We arose at 3:00 am Sunday so we could get to the airport, through customs and onboard for our flight to Houston.  There were a few delays there, waiting for our plane to arrive but we finally landed in Minneapolis at 7:30 pm - a long day.  When we arrived, we learned that a snow storm had closed I-94 so we got to spend another night in Minneapolis.

Roads on the way back were good in spots but a bit tricky much of the way.  We arrived home to more than a foot of fresh new snow.

Now bags are unpacked, clothes are in the wash, we've shown pictures to the family and it's time to reflect on what we've seen, heard, tasted, smelled and - most important - learned about ourselves, about the team, about the kids, about the VERY special place called Casa de Fe.

More pics will be posted soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A great group.

Standing L-R:  Dan Madson, Walt Fadness, Patti Sue, Rae Holte, Jeff Holte, Erling Opskar, Jordan Richardson, Jon Moore, Patty Beil.

Sitting on sofa L-R:  Estelle Hanson, Tammy Sadek, Pat Beil, Coni Horsager, Wayne Horsager, Grant Richardson, Sarah Pruett.

Sitting L-R:  Pastor Dan Forsberg, Tandy, Jonathon, Dwight (Casa de Fe staff)

 Rae and Jeff Holte

The brand new cement mixer being put to good use.
Jeff Freeman and Jeff Holte

Jeff Holte and Jordan Richardson
The stream running past Casa de Fe was dammed to create a swimming hole. Here, Pastor Dan and Grace enjoy the cool water on a hot day.
Rae trying escape getting soaked during a water fight game with the kids.
 Great way to start a day, with a view of a volcano.
 Patty sewing dresses for the older girls at Casa de Fe.

Pastor Dan leading a sing along with a little help from Talia during treat time on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ecuadorian sunset... A beautiful ending to a great day.

On the way to the kids' Bible study in the Casa de Fe bus.

Patty Biel and Grant Richardson playing therapeutic games and hanging out during baby time at Casa de Fe.

(Left) Making a trench to divert water from flooding the playground.

(Right) New placement of fence that expands playground area by about 25 percent with a fresh layer of sand.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

 Walt showing care with an infant in need of a man's presence.
 Estelle exercising a young boys arms.
Nice new shoes! Compliments of some very kind people.

 Today we completed a project at the mission hospital and are very close to completing many projects at Casa de Fe. The sun came out today thanks to me considering i did not wear sun screen. -Jordan

P.S. Thank you for your comments. Please feel free to comment on any post at any time, we love feedback!
  Dan prying a rock out of the ground. We were fortunate to have the truck for assistance.

Coni and Pat helping dig holes for fence posts. (There were more rocks than dirt) 

Group effort working on the new bookshelves

Grant and Pastor Dan look on as Sarah installs new lights.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today we worked on many projects including electrical work at the hospital, painting at the new bodega, staining and painting at the schoolhouse, sorting donations for the kids, a couple of diligent workers did concrete work around the facility having to remove big rocks out of the ground with their hands (uff dah!), and making bookshelves to name a few. We had dinner at an outdoor grill named Abuelo's with a missionary family, the Freemans. The cement mixer got it's first of many uses today, a extremely important piece of machinery. This is a beautiful community that needs our help. We are blessed and grateful to be here.
The Nazarine church welcomed the team on Sunday morning for a service in espanol.
Fun with the kids was very special for all involved, with Jeff Holte cooking up delicious burgers for everyone.
Estelle and Tammy

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Working hard, wish you were here       

Jeff Freeman (left, a mississippi native) explains the history of Nate Saint and the people who started helping in Ecuador in the 1940s.

The Nate Saint House was established in 1948 (left), with an airplane hanger (below left) contructed shortly after.

Many handmade items made by the indigenous people of Ecuador are available in the Saints House and help pay for their medical bills

Today we headed to Casa de Fe and were granted a tour of the grounds and facilities. There is a newly erected school building with multiple classrooms, a multi-use building where the children live, and a Tilapia pond in the early stages of use. We also sneaked a peak at the new cement mixer that is very much needed.

Two other leaders at Casa de Fe are Dwight and Tandy, a couple from Texas living in Ecuador committed to helping the people of Ecuador. Dwight is in the back left with a light blue shirt. Tandy is on the right of the door giving us an outline of the week to come.
The girls in their room shortly after arriving at the guest house in Shell.

 L - R   Estelle Hanson, Patty Beil, Coni Horsager, Pat Beil, Tammy Sadek
In front - Sarah Pruett
On the night of arrival in Shell we were treated to traditional Ecuadorian food, pizza. Joining us were founder and director of Casa de Fe, Patti Sue, and Sherilyn, a young missionary with bright eyes for the future at Casa de Fe.

Far left red hair - Patti Sue

Left front - Sherilyn

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday we made the journey to Shell thank you to our confidant and skilled driver Nelson.

We made stops at Latacunga for lunch and shopping, and Mikos in Salcedo for the world's best ice cream
The team enjoying a nice breakfast provided by the generous folks at the guest house in Quito.
Jon Moore greets the day on Friday at the guest house in Quito with a hearty, "Praise the Lord!"
Standing L - R   Jeff Holte, Erling Opskar, Dan Madson, Jordan Richardson, Coni Horsager, Wayne Horsager, Walt Fadness, Tammy Sadek, Pat Beil, Patty Beil.
Sitting L - R   Jon Moore, Pastor Dan Forsberg, Estelle Hanson, Sarah Pruett.
Kneeling L - R   Grant Richardson, Rae Holte.

Minneapolis airport waiting for our flight to Houston, TX.

Packing Day - Wednesday Jan 30 at Cormorant Lutheran Church.