This summer has been wonderfully full and busy. I lived in Quito (the capital of Ecuador) for a little over a month. I had the opportunity to help out in the offices of Reach Beyond in Quito with paperwork and organization. I love this kind of work, so it was a lot of fun. However, I really missed home.
When I got back to Shell, I was really grateful for things that I missed. (Or things that were fixed while I was away) I thought I would share some of these with you. Many of them might sound really small to you, however, I can assure you, these small things can all add up to make a huge difference.
1) Church- Although I attended church in Quito, it was not my home church that I have grown to love over the last few years. My first Sunday back was so much fun. The amazing thing to me was that the church in Quito was an English speaking church. My church in Shell is all in Spanish. I couldn't believe how much I had missed singing the worship songs in Spanish. Even the greeting time (which is not my favorite) was fun.
2) Lower Altitude- Quito's altitude is over 9000 ft. After a month of being in Quito, it was so wonderful to be back in Shell (3,000 ft altitude). Breathing is so much easier here in Shell!
3) Being Home- I was so excited to be back home in Shell. I missed my apartment, my classroom, my church, and apparently the smells of Shell. (Well, maybe not all of them- dog poop never smells good). Let me explain. My second day back in Shell, I went on a walk into town. I found myself grinning ear to ear. Yes, I was excited to be back. But, what was making me grin was the smell of the street food being cooked. Now, the strange thing is, I don't usually eat the street food. (Street food is more likely to make me sick, so I tend to only buy food in restaurants). The smells of the cooking pinchos (meat on a stick) and choclo (field corn with cheese) smelled amazing. I thought to myself, I am home.
4) HOT WATER- Over the last year, my apartment has been having some hot water problems in the shower. My showers were luke warm at best. And we haven't had hot water in the sink to wash dishes in over two years. While I was gone over the summer, they worked on the hot water system. My first night back, I washed dishes with hot water, and the shower was almost scalding it got so hot!!! Hot water for showers and washing dishes is one of the things that I do not take for granted after living here in Shell.
How you can pray:
1) This school year comes with a lot of changes. I will be helping fill in for the principal while she is in the States for around 6 months. I will be doing all the administrative paperwork that comes with her job. We have a wide range of grade levels this year for only 3 teachers. So, I will be teaching 10th grade (Algebra II, Chemistry, Geography, and an Apologetics course), 5th grade math, 6th grade math, 5/6 grade science, and 7/8 Earth Science. I am excited about this new year, but I know that it will be very busy.
2) One of my best friends (the principal of the school) will be in the States with her son for 6 months. Her son will be having a surgery that he cannot have done here in Ecuador. I will miss her greatly.
Pray for Beth and her son Nanki as they leave their husband/father and live in the States for this long amount of time. Pray for them as he has surgery on his leg. Let me know if you would like more in-depth information on their situation and how you pray for them.
3) A family that I was really close to moved back to the States in June. They attended my church and helped me feel at home at this church. Although I now realize I feel at home at the church on my own, I am going to greatly miss this family and their friendship.