Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First Days

We’ve been in Quito nearly two weeks already, so it’s high time for an update! It’s been a busy two weeks settling into life here. We arrived in Quito on April 12th (actually it was early in the morning on April 13th). Our plane was rerouted to the city of Manta on the coast of Ecuador due to bad weather when we were on our approach into Quito. After spending some time on the ground refueling and dealing with a medical emergency (not ours), we were finally able to fly back to Quito and this time, successfully landed. All of our luggage made it intact, and Josh was waiting at the airport to take us to their house.

We spent the first few days living with Josh and Julie (my sister), and it was a nice way to recover from the trip as well as the craziness of the last few days in the States. It also gave us an opportunity to take care of things like making sure we had working cell phones and a drivable vehicle – after sitting for several months, our Land Rover was in need of some TLC, as well as insurance. We learned our way around the Marcum’s neighborhood, and I even made my first foray into a local grocery store. For some reason, grocery shopping is just one of those things that is always completely overwhelming and stressful to me in my first few weeks in a new country. We went to church with the Marcum’s (they attend a church plant in “the valley”) and attended their small group that meets on Wednesday nights. The cousins also enjoyed some concentrated time together, and we went on a couple of fun outings.

After the first week, we moved into a small, furnished, two-bedroom apartment at the EQEB (Quito School of Biblical Studies), which also houses the Colón Church of Christ. Interestingly, this is the second time in our married life that Rusty and I find ourselves living temporarily in a church – the first time was right after we moved back to Japan, when we spent about a month living in the Hitachi-Taga Church of Christ! It is pretty tight quarters, but I think we’ll manage for a few weeks. Our plan was to live here until we find a house and our container arrives. Amazingly, we have already accomplished the first part – finding a house! We thought it would take us much longer to find something both suitable and within our budget. But, the third house we looked at was pretty nearly a perfect fit. Rusty signed the contract on Monday and we will get the keys this Friday. So, technically, we could move in anytime. But we would be sleeping on the floor and cooking over an open fire in the backyard because all of our things are still in the States. The folks at Healing Hands will hopefully be shipping our container sometime next week, but it could still be awhile before it gets here. So, I think we will stay put for the time being.

A good thing about living here at the EQEB temporarily is the location. We are right downtown, and close to many of Quito’s plethora of Spanish language schools. We spent yesterday and today visiting several of them to find out about their prices and services. We hope to make a decision and start classes by next week. I have actually been pleasantly surprised by how much Spanish I understand, thanks to all the time spent studying Portuguese. Speaking is a little more difficult, so I’m looking forward to getting into the classroom and actually learning the Spanish so that I’m not constantly guessing at words and how to pronounce them when I talk to people! Living here, we will also have the opportunity to practice our Spanish with the students and staff.

Here are a few pictures from our first couple of weeks:

Cousins at the Carolina Park
Paddle boats (Carolina Park)
Our Land Rover will fit both our families -- 11 people in all!
Enoch and Benjamin are going to be good buddies!
Eliana and Alex (The kids got their faces painted at an open house at Jana's preschool.)

Jana and Stephen


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