Sunday, June 29, 2008

How Great thou Art!

O Lord my God,  When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all, the worlds thy hands have made; 
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
and see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
and then proclaim "My God, How great thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spa Day

Steam box exfoliation treatment - $4

1 Hour Massage- $15

Taxi ride- $2.50

Being warm for once and relaxing to the fullest extent- Priceless.


Today we stayed in and worked all day with Maria Eugenia- how is that for a fun Saturday? Well it was freezing cold and raining so it really was not much of a sacrifice. Kimley and I decided to keep our lazy weekend very lazy so we set up spa appointments with one of our co-workers cousins. 

First, she had us get into swimsuits and sit in these big wooden boxes, I was for sure skeptical- looked more like torture device to me. It is hard to describe but I will do my best to paint the picture in your mind. So the box opens up and inside is this little stool that you sit on and then they close the box around you so only your head is exposed. She handed me some exfoliation oil to smother myself in while in my treatment. When you are inside, the box fills with steam and the scent of Eucalyptus and you stay in there for a half an hour. Basically, it is your own personal steam room, but I can't imagine how strange it looks. It was nice and I think I lost about 20 pounds of water weight. Sick.

Second, I was looking so forward to my 1 hour massage, but too bad it was more of a rub down. She did some reflexology on my hands and feet, but everything else was like a back rub you get during sacrament meeting.  I feel asleep and it really did feel very nice, but it did nothing for my knots. Kimley passed by so I asked her to tell the massage therapist, Anita, to give a deeper massage, I had no idea that Kimley was passing by to go pass out in the bathroom.  

We have discovered that Kimley is allergic to heat and after the hot box and she went to hang out in the jetted bath tub it was not a good idea.  She passed by as  she went running towards the bathroom- so quickly that her towel totally fell off. Anita followed her into the bathroom, where she was throwing up totally naked, so she rubbed her back while she was sick- can you say akward?  So funny, sad, but funny. Anita kept trying to give her tablespoons of sugar saying that it would make her better  but it only made her more sick. In the meantime, I am just totally zonked out on the massage table having no clue as to anything that is happening. After Anita came back and finished the massage I found Kimley just lounging around in her towel seeming totally fine.Luckily after she got everything out of her she was feeling better,  I had no idea about most of this until I got home and she told me the story. Just goes to show how relaxed I was. What would a day be here without an adventure, even a day meant for nothing but laziness?  

Friday, June 27, 2008

New additions to my love list...

I am a lover of fruits. If I had to choose one food group to eat for the rest of my life, fruits would be it. I love how cheap fruit is here in Ecuador. Last night I bought a huge fresh fruit salad with every fruit you can imagine in it for only 2 dollars. Heaven. New favorites: White pineapple and Coconut

I love the new Coldplay album. It is beautiful. If I had to listen to one band for the rest of my life, it would be Coldplay.

I love warm weather. It is begining to get warmer here in Cuenca and I am seem to be a happier person because of it. They told us it would get warmer in July and they were surely right.

I love Chilcapamba. It is my favorite community that we work in. Although it is not necessarily the most impoverished, they still have basic needs that we are trying to meet. The children are so excited to learn which makes me excited to see their beautiful faces.

I love working in the dirt. I can't wait to start gardening  and really getting my hands dirty.

I love sleep. Something that I have not had much of lately, but I plan to rest up, to create a lazy weekend. I was considering going  back to Montanita with Emily but for some reason, traveling does not sound as good as sleep- sad I know. Don't you worry, not every weekend will be this boring.

I love the people I work with. Although Maria Eugenia does not speak any English, we manage to get along alright. Her radio in the morning drives me crazy, and when she talks to me in extremely fast spanish assuming I understand gets frustrating, it's all good. Mark Steve is so kind and is like an older brother figure for me. He is sweet and very protective of us girls. Prisilla is so beautiful and is such a great example of never-ending charity. She works two jobs, both of which are centered around improving the lives of others. Everyone in the communities love her and there is no doubt as to why.

I love taking pictures. I have never had so much fun taking pictures, all thanks to my sweet new camera that I got before I came here.

I love Skype.I love being able to talk to my family and friends any time that I want. 

I love cleaning. I know- crazy huh? But really, I took everything out of my room yesterday, scrubbed the floors, washed all of my bedding, dusted and straightened everything up and had a blast doing it. I just love when it is all done and I can walk into my room that now has a clean scent, walk barefoot on my scrubbed floors and snuggle up in my clean sheets. It is just such a good feeling.

I love cooking. Since living in Ecuador I have had so much fun cooking and trying new, random foods. All of which are healthy, I know, even more crazy. At home, all I knew how to cook was sweets because I sure knew how to use an oven. In Cuenca we don't even have an oven so I have had to learn how a stove works for foods other then Mac N Cheese and Grilled Cheeses.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Viva la Liga!!

We watched the championship soccer game for all of South America and Ecuador won!!  It was so fun to watch surrounded by Ecuadorians and having gained that Liga pride since having lived here. It was incredible to see how passionate these people are about their soccer. I loved it. It made it my favorite soccer game I have ever watched.  

English Classes

We have set up a program within all of the villages we work, to teach english classes to the children. It is incredible to see how eager they are to learn something that I too often take for granted. It is as if they are taught by their parents that if they learn english then they will be able to do anything and have anything they want in life. The adults are also very eager to learn which is so wonderful that they would have confidence to go back to school. It is so funny that we have so many other courses to offer them, as well as projects that we could accomplish in their villages such as irrigation systems, health classes, gardening etc. However the most important program for them is to learn english while the Americans are in town. 

The children are so fun and so responsive. Today we taught the ABC's, colors and every villages favorite- Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. It has been such a good learning experience for me because I knew very few of these simple words and phrases in Spanish. I am not teaching the children, the children are teaching me. The funny part is, they know it so they giggle at me the majority of the time.  We have set up a reward system which makes the children want to answer the questions even more.  We made fake money which they can use at the end of the program to buy the treats we brought from America.  I am so excited to see the progression of their learning throughout the next 4 weeks. Wow, only 4 weeks left. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Braveheart

I am feeling brave. I have walked around the city all by myself three times now and am starting to get the hang of it. I really enjoy being by myself with only my thoughts to keep me company. Although I cannot get completely consumed in my thoughts for fear of not being on my guard, it still nice to think, even if it's just a little bit. It is amazing how strange it feels when you are always with someone whenever you leave the house, to not having someone with you. I love that feeling though. I love being alone and, honestly, it's nice to be a little selfish sometimes.

Last night I wandered the streets, window shopping, breathing in the cool night air and feeling the rain mist away my confusion. During my night time self discovery, I discovered some shops with just what I needed for a little pick me up- dresses. ha, I honestly hate spending money on clothes, and food. I just think that with that money I could pay for a flight somewhere, or it could pay for gas on a roadtrip.  Since I have been in Ecuador, the majority of my money has gone to food, because eating out is just so much fun and inexpensive.I have never been on a shopping spree and don't usually like shopping by myself, but for some reason last night I went out of comfort zone and spend way more on a dress then a should have, but, strangely, had a blast doing it.  Afterwards, I treated myself to grilled cheese and an ice cream sundae. I am changing. I just hope these habits don't keep up when I get home, otherwise,  I will be broke.

Today I walked around the city during my two hour siesta and just enjoyed the sites, sounds and beauty of thus bustling city. It is amazing how much there is to discover in one city, I have lived here for two months and I feel like I only know one part of town and the rest is a complete mystery.  Living in Utah my whole life, I have never felt that way, I feel like I can go to any city on the Wasatch front and be able to find exactly what I am looking for.  In Cuenca, I feel like one of those experimental rats that has to find it's way through a maze. Around every corner there is something new to discover. I thrive on this new element of surprise in my life. 

Speaking of elements of surprise: The woman who set up our trip the Galapagos said that all of the plane tickets are sold out so now we are on a waiting a list that probably won't thin out. Surprise! Thats a bummer. Well I sure hope my Manchu Picchu trip does not fall through as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Middle Man Syndrom

So I am at this stage in my internship where I have passed the "Honeymoon stage"  which is where everything is new and exciting  and am not quite to the "Homeward Bound stage." It's tough being in the middle. I am really so happy to be here and love the work, the people, the culture, I love everything here, but somehow as I sit and eat my grilled PB&J, I can't help but think of how much I miss home. So here I am, a sappy homesick person that I never thought I would be... after all, it's only 3 months, not 2 whole years.  I am going to vent for a little while and hopefully that way it will be enough to help me move on and finish this last half with a bang.
I miss:
-my family
-my friends
-bare feet
-boating
-mom's cookies
-a couch to sit on
-movies to watch while sitting on the couch
-my big fluffy clean bed
-being clean
-having a clean house with clean floors
-a bathtub
-hot water
-being able to drink water straight from the tap
-fresh milk
-Great Harvest bread
-an oven
-English
-warm summer days/nights
-air conditioning
-swimming pools
-campfires
-hiking
-longboarding
-rock climbing
-Late night chats
-Special K Vanilla Almond Cereal
-being able to walk around at night feeling totally safe
-sunsets
-the wasatch mountains
-my backyard
-family reunion
-24 hour Grocery stores
- a car to drive so I don't have to pay for taxis
- feeling safe
-understanding what people are saying
-Grandma's cookin'
-Watching my dad talk to himself
-Salt Lake in the summer
-The orange bag of skittles
-the 4th and 24th of July
-Circus animals cookies
-Cucina and Sages Cafe
-Understanding church lessons
-E.L. Fudges
- Cake batter shakes
-Maren and Lindsey
-The sound of lawn mowers outside my window on saturday mornings
-the sound of sprinklers
-Husking corn on the back patio
- Star
-having nothing to do
-3 generational shopping sprees
-Cassie and her amazing hair cutting skills
-Drive-ins
-being able to talk to people without it costing me 5 cents a minute
-Everything

Well how was that for sadness. I really feel much better now. Thank you for listening to me, but please don't worry, I am cured now and will be ready for the next wild ride of a month!  

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice

So I am now half way through my internship and summer decided to have a party for me! Although living near the equator nothing changes, the sun still rises at 6 and sets at 6, it is nice to know that my friends and family back home can celebrate for me with sunshine late into the night. 

This week we have been working in the communities teaching english the children and gardening. It has been fun, but it does get hard at times when you are trying to communicate with people and they don't understand a word you are saying even though you are trying your hardest to get the point across. I had a few meltdowns this week, and am missing home like crazy. However, I love it here, and can't believe how fast it has gone. I can't wait for this second half because if it is anything the like the first half it will be a blast. I will of course still keep you updated, whether you like it or not...or more likely, whether you are bored to death or not.

Happy Longest Day of the Year everyone! Party until the sun goes down for me! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Montanita





So since all 5 of us girls were together, we decided to pack our bags and take time for some fun in the sun. We left at 4:00 AM on Saturday morning for Guayaquil with an American couple, Matt and Carla. Apparently the doctor gave me the equivilent of Loritab for a pain killer, I had no idea, I just took them not knowing anything. Stupid. He also told me that I had no need to take the pills with food. I don't do well with pain killer, especially strong stuff, so needless to say, I was extremely sick. There was no way I was going to let it stop my date with the ocean. I was so nervous about the 4 hour bus ride that was ahead of me and asked Matt to give me a blessing. It was such a terrible situation to be a on this bus, with crazy spanish music and people talking, but the Lord was there with us and brought so much comfort.  

Emily, Kimley, Matt, Carla and I went to the temple in Guayaquil while Ashlie and Marianne kept on going to Montanita to scout it out for us as well as to enjoy an extra half day on the beach. The temple was incredible. It is huge and the facilities around it are beautiful. They have an entire apartment complex/hotel for anyone traveling a far distance. Emily forgot her recommend, but after the temple president made a few calls, we were given a green light. The baptistry was packed! I was so humbled by the dedication of these people who traveled long distances to be there.  I loved hearing the ordinances performed in spanish, it is such a beautiful language.

Kimley, Emily and I headed straight for the bus terminal after the temple and found out that the last bus had left to Montanita 20 minutes before we got there. We had no idea that there were so few buses that traveled there. They did, however, offer us an alternative route where we would have to switch buses half way through, we took it and were on our way within 10 minutes. We had successfully gotten off of one bus and on to the one to Montanita which was standing room only,when we were pulled over by the cops. They said there were too many people standing to be safe so they made all of us that were standing get off of the bus in the middle of nowhere.  Luckily there were enough furious people to convince the cop to let us back on the bus... however.... the only way we could get back on was if we sat on the floor. We all eventually stood back up and were finally on our way.

Montanita  is home to Ecuador's best surfing. Lets just say that I know I was meant to be born in a tropical climate therefore it was like heaven to me. It is this small little surfer town where the phrase "no shirt, no shoes, no service" is nowhere to be found.  Although the drugs and booze were too abundant at times, the scenery was breathtaking.We found this amazing hostal right on the beach and far enough from town to be quiet at night. The only problem with this hostal was the giant spiders infesting it! No joke, I have never seen spiders so big and all of us were scared out of our minds to even try to sleep there. We found the manager to have him come investigate and when the spider would not die because it was mutant he upgraded us to his house. Thats right, we had the entire upstairs of his beach mansion all to ourselves.  We always seem to get some sweet hook ups from hotel managers every time we travel. There was a gazebo right by the beach with hammocks, cushions and a TV, so every night we would end up falling asleep to a movie and not use our sweet beach house, oh well, it was hardly a sacrifice.

We spent the next three days laying on the beach, swimming,surfing, exploring tide pools, bargaining with vendors, making friends with locals, lathering up in aloe and stuffing ourselves with incredible vegetarian meals, topped off with fresh coconut ice cream. Can life get much better?  Swimming in giant waves is such a fun, exhilerating experience. 

Thoughts: The ocean is so powerful and overwhelming to me. It is so beautiful to relax and let her take you away, tossing you in the waves and then washing you on her shore. The ocean has always held my heart, it is a place where I can feel totally comfortable. It is like home to me when I am far from home.
The moon was almost full and illuminated our nights which is another part of our world that stops me in my tracks in awe.  The moon is the only tangible thing that has any control over the ocean. How would it be to have that kind of power? Since our bodies are made up of a lot water, I wonder what kind of movements it makes within me. Maybe that is why I am so drawn to it.

I was in no way ready to come back to cold, rainy Cuenca but... duty calls. I can't wait for the day when I will live on the beach and be able to combine the two for a perfect life.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Daddy-O

To my dear ol' Daddy-o.... 
Thank you for being my support, my traveling buddy, a listening ear whenever I need one, for being the kind of man that I want in a husband someday, but mostly, for being my best friend. I love you. Happy Fathers Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An apple a day... and bug spray





My mutant bug bites never stopped swelling and hurting, even after I pumped my body full of anti-histamines. I showed one of my co-workers last night how swollen then were and he said " Oh, well we should get you some anti-itch cream." So with that reaction I thought things like this happen all of the time. This afternoon, I showed another co-worker because the bites were just as bad and she freaked out... which of course, freaked me out. She took me to the hospital immediately and in a not so good, round about way, basically told me I could die from these bites. I started to get more and more nervous as we inched toward to the convent/hospital. First of all, I hate hospitals, sorry to all of you that love them, but any time I am in one, I usually pass out or just get dizzy enough to have to sit as close to the ground as possible. When we got there, I handed the nurse my ID card and my credit card because I knew it would cost more then I had in cash. After she created my record she gave me my bill... for SEVEN dollars! I took my card back and handed her cash which did not help my nerves. What kind of a hospital charges only 7 dollars? Thoughts started running through my head about them just cutting my foot off because it was swollen so big, or Kimley misinterperting something and having them take me to a dirty back room somewhere where they performed an operation. Yeah...maybe freaking out is an under exaggeration. 

They took me into a room filled with nuns that only spoke spanish and told me to sit in a chair. When I did, five of them came at me at once all saying things at once as well... it was a nightmare. Can you imagine being surrounded by nuns with random tools in their hands, all speaking to you in a language you don't understand and then using those tools on you at once? I handled the situation by crying, they thought I was weird. Kimley told them I was nervous, but really, I was scared out of my mind.

Finally I was free of the numberless nuns and walked into a room where I was greeted with somewhat broken english "Hello! Where are you from?"  I replied with, " Oh great! you speak english, I am from Utah." he then said  " Wonderful! I lived there for ten years, because I am a mormon. Anyway,I will be your doctor today." My nerves were immediately calmed as I thought back to the prayer I had said before I entered the hospital where I asked for help from the priesthood. I had in mind of a blessing from someone in the ward, but it came in a totally different form. The Lord truly had blessed me with one of his many tender mercies.  What are the chances? It was truly a miracle. 

Turns out they were ant bites, it is nothing terrible, but I do have a very allergic reaction. It was so bad, the doctor thought that I had badly sprained my ankle because it was so swollen. He wanted to give me a shot, which is when I got nervous again. For all of you who don't already know, I am deathly afraid of needles. I can't even get my ears pierced because I am so afraid of poking something sharp through my skin. I usually pass out whenever a needle is within eyesight, even if it's not for me. Strange- I know. The doctor even said " You are 20 years old and you are afraid of a little poke?"  to which a replied proudly, "Yes, Yes I am."  Luckily I weaseled my way out of it and he gave some pills to take. So now, I am not to eat anything sugary or processed for two days, soak all my bites in herbal tea, and take pills for the next 10 days. 

My pledge: I promise I will never sit in grass in Ecuador without bug spray on, or better yet, never leave the house.... HA! Like that is going to happen. Until next time...

Time for a lil' R&R



Carlos, our manager, decided that all day Wednesday should be for celebration after a long month of work. He took us up to this resort/ hotel at the base of Mount Chimborazo and we spent the day playing soccer, basketball, swimming and basking in the beauty of the incredible views. Carlos had arranged an incredible dinner for us, served on china, with crystal and white cloth napkins to add to the ambiance. It was wonderful and so nice to relax.

While we were playing outside in the warm sun, little did I know that I was being attacked by a blood-sucking bug that I am allergic to. I have never had an allergic reaction to a bug bit before and I pray that it never happens again. Huge rashed formed around each of the many many bites, and then after the rash set in, each bite began to swell. Unfortunatly, they are still swollen and won't stop hurting. The day was still wonderful, but now I hope I don't swell up like Byanca in Willey Wonka.

We headed back to Cuenca last night and the Riobamba girls came with us. It is so much fun to be all together. We will have a great few days here and then for weekend, we are off to the sun, sand and surf of Montanita.

Lights, Camera... Action!



The big day has arrived! After months and months of preperation, the hard work was paid off on Tuesday! The day went by slowly as we anxiously awaited that night when we could finally see what we had been working on since our arrival in Ecuador. Our nerves were going crazy, as we hoped that the theater would be full and not empty. We only had sold 200 tickets and the theater seats 600. When it was time to see the show, we shined up our shoes and put our best dresses on, which brought comments from our co-workers such as " Wow, you clean up well." or " This is a change." I had no idea that I looked so bad all of the time.

When we had to delay the show for a half an hour because there were people outside that were still waiting to get in, calmed my nerves. Needless to say, it was a full house. How exciting! It must have been such a boost for kids to see how many people had come to see them. It was sure a boost for me,it gave me hope for a community I had lost faith in. The show was incredible. The costumes, the lights, the music, the coreography was so much fun. The children did so well and you could tell they were loving every minute of it. I cannot describe in words the wonderful spirit that was felt there. It was truly inspiring.

We helped clean up and load things into the car which made the after party not come soon enough.We all went out to eat at 11:00 at night and I had the best sandwhich of my life. It could partly be because I was starving, but I would like to think that it was because it was that good. I was full, comfortable and exhausted so I decided not to go to the kareoke bar after dinner but just went home.

This is when the after show started... at 1 AM there was a knock on the door, then another, then a pounding, more pounding, louder and louder. It scared me so badly. Come to find out, it was the lady from downstairs saying that we were too loud. It was insane how scary she was, we didn't open the door because we honestly would have put our lives at risk. She kept pounding the door as she was yelling through it and I guarantee she woke everyone in the apartment complex with how loud she was. She was way out of line and control. Come to find out later, that she hates Americans and her sister used to work for Ascend but got fired so now she is extremely bitter and will use anything to get us kicked out of the apartment and out of the country. It is so discouraging sometimes, when there are so many people that don't want us here, yet we are here to serve them and better their communities. Well, hopefully the girls in Riobamba won't get kicked out, but then again, it may be a move in the right direction.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Malabar

The American way of sweet ticket selling tactics in Ecuador...

Hanging gigantic posters throughout the city...
Speaking a language that no one understands on the morning and evening news...
We tried to hire this man, but he said his work was strictly solo, however, he did give us some good advice.Thats right, we took advice from an old man, dressed as a bug. (He even had wings!) What can I say, desperate needs call for desperate measures....

The only success we had- Face painting, all thanks to Ashlie's artistic skills...
We even learned new talents to try and sell tickets-Juggling. It drew a large crowd around our colorful tent, but only because we looked liked idots. 

As incredible and innovative our attempts at selling tickets have been, they are still not good enough. Well... it looks like Emily will have to start her kissing booth and I will be in charge of the bikini car wash- if that does not work then, goodness, what else will? 100 tickets down, 700 more to go by Tuesday.



Friday, June 6, 2008

15 Minutes of Fame

Thats right everyone, I am now famous in Riobamba. I am basically the Ecuadorian version of Barbara Walters. They have engraved my name in the hall of fame and tomorrow they are pouring the wet cement to have a ceremony while I leave my handprints, surrounded by a star, permanently in their sidewalk. The plaque underneath the handprints will read.." Christyn Costley- The only girl who came from America that was featured on the news and spoke no spanish and had no clue what was going on."

Ok well, maybe it is not that grand, but it was a big deal to me. I was on the evening news with Carlos, my manager. We went on the news to promote the play that the children with disabilities are performing in. I had a whole two speaking parts!
Speaking part #1:
Anchor:Christine, what made you want to come all the way from America to help these children with disabilities?
Me: Los Siento, Me habla espanol muy muy pocquito. ( I'm sorry, I speak spanish very very little)
Then I switched to english with a very very red face and said-
I have been blessed with opportunities in the United States that I feel the need to share with others and hopefully give them the same opportunities granted to me. bla bla bla

Speaking part #2:
Anchor: Christine, Would you like to say anything else and invite people to come to the show?
What I should have said:
This play will not only be incredibly fun and enrich your life, but it will help to enrich the lives of the children in the school, as well as help to build a new kitchen in the community in need. The 5 dollars may seem like a lot of money but think of how much it will effect the community that surrounds you.
What I actually said with an even brighter red face: Yes, Everyone please come!

So maybe I was not quite as smooth as Barbara, and it was not really my ideal first taste of fame, but hey, you have to start somewhere right? Hollywood here I come!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

To my OLD big bro

Happy 40th.... no uh.... 32nd.... um wait.... 25th?.... Birthday! Whatever birthday it is does not matter because as hard as the years are to count, the countless amazing memories I have shared with you mean much more to me. 
Thank you for:
- always being there for me even through my "bratty little sister" stage (I know, I know- I'm still in that stage).
-letting me come DJ with you because I always felt cool doing that
-not letting me be a girly girl
-taking me for rides on the Express
-raking the leaves into a big pile for my friends and I to jump into
-locking me in my room ( I would never have learned how to pick a lock)
-giving me rides everywhere
-showing me what Tiger Esteem  is really supposed to be.
-teaching me about cars
-saving me when the electricity went out and taking me up to Will's house
-making all of the movies and slideshows for me throughout the years
-hangin' with me in Europe
-letting me borrow your car all of the time
-being there when I need to vent
-sitting around with me when I had a bum leg
-being active in the church and always choosing the right path
-having good friends 
-going on a mission
-getting married in the temple
-always showing strength through your testimony and devotion to the Savior
- loving me through and through
Well hold on tight bro, because we have eternity together and in that time, there are plenty more memories to be made! I love you! 

Catch up

 There is school in Riobamba that is just for children with disabilities.  The school decided to they wanted to put on a circus/play for the community, therefore, while they are busy practicing away, we are taking care of all of the advertising, sponsorship, ticket selling, etc.  We have no debt yet, all of the donations we have received have been able to cover the cost of all of the supplies, printing, costumes, stage equipment and location costs. Everything that we make from ticket sales and the raffle will be straight profit.  Half of the money earned will go towards the school and half will go towards a project of building a new community kitchen, that we are undertaking in the villages. Hopefully it will be a full house so that we are able to earn all of the money we need.

This week we have been waking at dawn and working til dark,  hanging over 500 posters in store-front windows, going on radio talk shows and TV morning shows, we have been going to schools and university advertising, we have been selling tickets and all the while trying to land more donations. As much as I don't like waking up early,  it is nice to really have projects to do each day- it's never boring around here. I can't wait to see the play, we have been out to the school to watch the practices and the children are so incredibly amazing.  I am so humbled by them and their happy energy that they exude after long days of practicing.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Room with a view


Today the bus ride to Riobamba was breathtaking. It was stinky and long, but the views made the whole ride worth it.

You would think that after a 6 hour bus ride we would be anxiously awaiting the stop for Riobamba, which we were, we just were not sure where it was. Well... we missed it. Once we realized we were heading the wrong direction and were far past Riobamba we asked the driver to let us off. Here we are, three blondes with backpacks, in pajama-type clothes, walking along the highway in the middle of nowhere. There were no stores around, no streets, no cities, just cars passing by. It would be like three elephants walking along that stretch of I-15 between Nephi and Fillmore. Random. Thats right, we are just about as weird looking to them as an elephant would be to us.We were able to hail a cab but when we got inside we forgot the address of the apartment. We had to have him take us to the nearby Ford dealership because that was the only thing we could remember that was close. Whatever works- right? 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pancakes

Nothing is better then watching a classic american sit-com, talking in English and eating pancakes with peanut butter and homemade syrup. We met a couple from Salt Lake that came to Ecuador to live and they were so kind to share their Americano meal with us.

I met the Guayaquil Temple president (President Marriot) and found out that he went to Weber College and was the Student body president in '57. He said he knew my Grandpa Lofgreen- small world. 

I'm off to Riobamba for the next week and a half.

Thank you

Thank you:
-To the people outside my window right now who decided to play their music so loud that I can hear it through earplugs and headphones, with the volume turned up. Otherwise, I probably would not write this list at 5 AM. ( I promise the time on the bottom of this is wrong)

-To my house mates who decided to follow my example and sleep until noon today.

- To the person who invented the washing machine.

- To the sunshine for actually gracing us with your presence because you warmed me while I walked today.

- To the people who overprice trips to the Galapagos, which gives me motivation to find the best deal ever.

- To the little boy who decided to bargain with me and give me a poncho for 3/4 off of his asking price.

- To the people who created the Cocoa y Canella Cafe. 

- To the person who worked in the Cocoa y Canella Cafe and made the best chocolate fondue and Cinnamon Chocolate milkshake I have ever tasted.

- To the American couple we met at stake conference who have black-market editions of The Office and will let us watch them tomorrow while eating pancakes.

-To the people at Cafecito for letting us eat and talk there for hours.

-The man who invented the cheap electric shower head that died a sudden death of smoke and purple lightning bolts. It was shocking to all. This will be the third shower head we have broken in three weeks. The freezing cold shower seemed to make everything warmer tonight. 

- And finally, to the city of Cuenca for not having noise ordinances, or a police force that cares, because I will probably get a lot more done tonight.