Well, this is only a small glimpse of our life here in Quito, Ecuador.
We love the slow paced life here. We love that our boys still get to be kids without the societal pressure of growing up faster than they should. I regularly get to watch them play hide and seek, tag, pretend play with their friends of ALL ages, it’s precious. We love the majestic volcanoes that surround us and remind us of His glory and beauty. We love the community of friends that we’ve been able to enjoy. We love all the ministry opportunities that we are able to get involved with as a family. Though it’s a big city, we have so many opportunities to explore nature and all it’s splendor.
Our Life in Pictures
Though our life may be different then yours in many ways such as in challenges, opportunities, culture, language and people–it’s not much different. I hope these pictures help you see that we are–the
“same kind of different” as you.
We live and breathe:
We live near a huge park so we get to enjoy it every other day on our weekly 2 mile walk (sometimes run) at the park, with the Pinchincha Volcano in the background.
The park goes for blocks on end. It’s filled with all sorts of activities: skateboarding, walking or running, paddle boats, food vendors, trinket vendors, horseback rides… The first picture above is of our boys running around the bike mounds set up with all sorts of hills and sharp turns for the adventurous bike rider. You can barely see them in the next picture, but all three are there. The big blue slide looking picture is of our boys playing at the skateboard area. That area was recently redone! It attracts lots of skaters and observers on the weekends.
The market is a fun place to go, filled with lots of interesting sights and smells. We used to get all of our produce at this market but eventually the prices were the same or even more than the grocery store so I opted for the less stressful, no haggling venue. There are lots of markets that are a lot cheaper but the one near us is not. Now I just go to get pomegranates and sweet potatoes (the orange ones!).
Flowers here are super cheap, so I like to constantly keep fresh flowers in our home. A dozen roses are about $2 though my favorite is gerber daisies. Ecuador’s many successful exports are roses.
Our Vision and Purpose
These little guys were entertaining themselves while their mom sat on the side of the street selling fruit and vegetables. Streets are filled with vendors of all ages, I’ve had 3 year old kids come to my car window selling gum. Usually, they are not begging, they have something to sell whether it’s fruit, candy, water, knick knacks or their juggling talent. We are able to serve the street children with Operation Brown Bag as we partner with children from the U.S. who help us provide a lunch to them.
This is the school where we work at, I say “we” because though I’m not employed by the school anymore, my ministry is very much a part of those walls and the people inside of it. This wonderful school, Alliance Academy International is what brought us to this beautiful country.
My life mostly consist of pouring into the lives of my littles. Though I’m able to minister in different capacities outside of our home and hosting in our home, these precious smiles are my priority.
Here I am at Mcdonald’s on one of our dates. We are just chatting, enjoying a cool treat on a hot day and playing dominoes. My little guy LOVED every minute of it.
As I was getting up to leave, my son runs over to my chair and holds it. I look at him and he says, “Daddy said to hold your seat.” Oh my precious boy, thank you!
Picnic at the park after church and playing soccer! I took the picture with my cell phone, I still haven’t quite figured out how to take pictures with movement.
Though I don’t get to do this as much as I’d like to, I’m very thankful for the times I do get with friends. Girls night out with friends, a cute cafe and painting–my kind of wonderful!
Ecuador attracts lots of bird watchers. Here we have several hundreds of humming bird species and some that are only found in this area. This was taken in the cloud forest that’s about 1.5 hour away from us. We look forward to our weekends outside of the city.
We want our kids to feel empowered in our work here. Our hope is that they feel very much a part of our ministry not just bystanders. God uses little ones too!
There are so many opportunities to serve and this is one of the places we get to do it! Our family went out to help serve dinner to those in need. I am currently listening to them pretend play and one of there scenarios is his LEGO man helping out a homeless guy. Fills my mama heart with joy to hear them so comfortable with serving that it transfers over to their play.
Here was another simple way we had them serve in our community. We decided to go out and pick up trash at the park. We made it fun of course and turned it into a Recycling Scavenger Hunt.
Serving alongside of us! My husband was teaching a class in the inner-city and my son was his teachers aide. My oldest asked us how he could help, so we put him to work when the 100 kids showed up.
And then there’s homeschool! I have the joy of homeschooling our preschooler, 2nd grader and 4th grader.
Having fun in homeschool–backwards day!
Thankfully, I regularly get to use my counseling degree even though I no longer serve as a counselor at the school. In the picture above, I was able to give a conflict resolution training to former street boys (my boys tagged along). This seriously made my week, the boys were so fun and involved. I was even able to draw out the serious one.
Another bad cell phone photo. Ben is sharing in chapel, he’s such a good teacher.
Life as we know it.
I’ll end with these photos, because they are some of my favorites.
The majestic Cotopaxi volcano in the background which is currently showing some activity.
What’s life like in your neck of the woods? Did you see any similarities to ours from the pictures above?