Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On ATCK's Who Choose the Overseas Life

I am so excited to be guest-posting today over at Djibouti Jones (my very first guest post!) as a part of Painting Pictures, a series on Third Culture Kids. I've been reading Rachel's blog for some time now, and I love the way she talks about the expat experience with so much openness and honesty. Her series on TCK's has been wonderful, and there have been so many great submissions by some really talented writers and bloggers (so stick around when you're over there and read some of the other entries!). I am honored to be a part of it. I chose to focus my post on what happens when an ATCK (adult Third Culture Kid) chooses to live overseas. I hope you'll read it and join in the conversation via the comment section on Rachel's blog.

I have one more "Catching Up" post to do -- I am combining the months of June and July because (would you believe it?) we took almost no pictures the month of June! I'll get that up within the next few days.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Catching Up: May

Just when I think I'm about to get back on track with blogging or any of my other responsibilities, something happens to throw everything all out of whack again. This time, it was finding out that we are pregnant with No. 4! I am 13 weeks now, and still trying to get over the shock of it all. I am finally starting to feel a little better and have more energy, but it was rough in the beginning when I was just so tired all the time. I also struggled a lot more with nausea this time around, and sitting in front of the computer only made me feel worse, so, needless to say, I had to let some things go for awhile.

I am still trying to catch you up on what's been going on in our family the last several months, so without further ado, I give you... May.

May was the month of visitors for us. We had several house guests, as well as many people over to just share a meal. At the beginning of May, we hosted Trent, who we met through a mutual friend in Oklahoma and who was in Ecuador on a medical campaign (not connected with Operation Ecuador). Overlapping with Trent's visit by a couple of days was Shanaal, a Fulbright scholar who has been living in Guayaquil and teaching in a university there for the past year. We were able to take both of them to Mindo for the day, and also did a couple of things in and around Quito.

On the teleferico in Mindo
We are having fun! (Ben, however, screamed the whole way across.)
Neill and Julie Bird, the OverlandBirds, were our guests for nearly a week. They are on a round-the-world journey in their Land Rover Defender (read more about it on their website), and it was lovely to have them in our home and hear all their stories. Of course Rusty and Neill also enjoyed talking shop about Land Rovers, and Neill even helped Rusty do some work on our Land Rover.

With Neill and Julie in front of their Land Rover.
Rusty had his 40th birthday, and we celebrated with a curry buffet and cheesecake at our monthly Operation Ecuador Praise and Potluck. Julie Bird, who happens to share a birthday with Rusty, and Josh, whose birthday is only a couple of days later, were also honored.

Happy Birthday!
At the end of May, we were able to get away for 2 nights to celebrate our anniversary, thanks to the Marcum family who watched the boys. We went to a lovely eco-tourist lodge, the Black Sheep Inn, in a picturesque part of Ecuador called the Quilotoa Loop. The food was so delicious, and there was great hiking, as well as the world's highest disc golf course (or so they claim)! On our way home, we stopped to see Quilotoa Lake, a beautiful lake in the bottom of a volcanic crater.

A gorgeous view from one of our hikes
The real draw for Rusty was the disc golf course.
He played it 3 times! (I only played once.)
Celebrating 14 years!
Overlooking Quilotoa Crater Lake
Also in May, we began discussions with a group of Christians from the church where we have been worshiping, who want to start a new church in a neighborhood not far from where we live. They invited us to work with them and we agreed. As of August, we are meeting each Sunday in different members' homes.