Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day 16 - Fun Stuff and Pictures

For dinner last night, in case you were wondering, was awesome. I got a smoothie, two huge calzones that were pretty tasty and a salad. Quick note on the adventure of getting to dinner though. We took a cab to Puyo and back because it is about a 15 to 20 minute drive and the cab ride was crazy. We were in a small pick up truck taxi and if you know anything about Ecuadorian driving, you know what is coming. The cab was full so Powell and I, being the gentlemen that we are, let the ladies sit inside while we took the bed. (On the way there, we rode inside and the ladies sat in the bed so we felt guilty on the way home) Anyways, in the bed on the way back, driving on roads that are super windy, curvy, and hilly (not as bad as KY roads but close), our driver was going 100 km/hr. That is crazy. Ecuadorians pass everything by the way whether it is a bus or car and whether it is a blind curve or steep hill, they don't care. This made the ride really fun as we sat in the open air bed going 100km/hr zooming past huge buses over super steep hills that we couldn't see over. We got in saying if it is our time, then it's our time. Praise the Lord, it wasn't.

Here is that Italian restaurant that is so good
in Puyo. It is so good and still really cheap.
They also have real smoothies. The kids
were just there and wouldn't get out of
my picture. haha
Now on to today. Morning routine was same old same old. . . except for an hour and a half of P90X yoga. That was awful. Once work started, I had toddler time and today played with Eddison and Angel. It was a lot of fun and both boys were pretty good. I started out with Antony again but he was so bent out of shape that we had to put him back with the others. Most kids like going outside to play with me but Antony just really wanted to be inside with the rest of the pack. I don’t blame him, it was hot outside. So yeah, me and the boys played for a while and then I went down with all the toddlers and a couple of tias to the basketball court where we played for about 2 hours. It was a lot of fun but really crazy trying to keep 25 kids all in one area. Haha. They kept running off and we had to keep going and getting them. By the time we got one kid to not do something wrong, we had 2 other kids doing 2 things wrong. It was great fun though.

In all my time playing with the kids today, I got to see the tough love side of Ecuadorian child raising. I kinda liked it. If a child got hurt, fell down, or scraped something, we would just stand them back up, say you are fine and then keep going. If the child was crying, once you picked him up, they were fine and kept playing. This is completely different than babies in the States where at one extreme, if a by cries at all, we don’t stop until they get what they want. Babies are so much more tough and self reliant down here which is great. I know too, when the kids get older and are pretty tough young men and women, they will look back on this and be thankful. Kids that get coddled and held and swung and things given too every time they fall down and sniffle, never learn to pick themselves up. These kids know how to pick themselves up and I am sure that will serve them well later in life.

One thing that was a little hard for me was that even when the kids are normal and happy, the tias don’t like me picking them up. It’s not just me, they don’t like any of the kids being held for a few different reasons that are all good. It is just hard sometimes when an affectionate kid like Samuel walks up with hiss arms raised just wanting to be held and you have to say no. But again, these are tough kids so they don’t go cry about it, they just move on and do something else.
                                                                                                                                        (Horrible pic quality! I'm sorry)
After play time and lunch at Alexander’s, Powell and I hiked up to the water tower and took a few pictures of the land. One of them is below. It was beautiful being able to see the city, the river, Casa de Fe, and the Forest all from one location. Following that, I took the young ones out to the walking trails where I got another workout playing freeze tag with all the kids. They cheated a lot but in the end, me, Nicole, and Gilmar got them all tagged. Once work was finally over, I was feeling really tired and didn’t really want to do anything else. At that time, I really felt a tug on my heart to take some boys home with me even though I didn’t want to. I felt that taking kids home and spending personal time with me is the root of what I am supposed to be doing here, so I did. I took Gilmar and Martin this time who are two of the cutest boys here. Martin is 8 and has braces on his legs so I carry him most places. Gilmar is perfectly healthy, quiet around strangers and always happy. He is 6.

I brought the boys back to my house and plopped down to watch Scooby Doo which Gilmar’s older brother Javier said he liked. He was right. We watched the movie, ordered some pizzas, then chowed down. Then, we headed back to the Casa de Fe for the all famous 2nd annual art show. The upstairs of the multi purpose building was covered in all sorts of different kinds of art created by all the kids. The kids were all excited and there were lots of community members that had different connections in attendance. At that time, I hadn’t decided if I would keep the boys for the night so Martin was a little sad because he wanted to spend the night and I kept saying I don’t know yet. I tried to get him to talk to me but he was pretty sad. A little while later, I decided to do it so I told the boys and they were super excited, as was I.

This is the 2nd floor of the multi use building. It is fully
decorated. The next picture is an awesome bug display
the older girls put together. (Sorry for the horrible quality,
it does that when I upload it to the website. I have better
pics on my camera, no worries)
Once the art show was well on its way, the young kids were told to go downstairs. I carried Martin down and he started to cry as I put him down.  I assured him I would come back and get him before I went home but I don’t think he trusted that yet. He just kept crying as I left him and went back the show. A little while later, I came down to his smiling face as he called Gilmar right after he saw me. He was so happy and ready to go. I grabbed the stroller, loaded him up and took the long walk home. It was a good calf workout pushing him up the huge hill. It totally mad up for the 10 pieces of pizza I ate for dinner. (BTW, the pizza is good here but it has nothing on Sims).

After we arrived, I sat the boys down and got to skype with Hannah. They said they wanted to meet mi novia en Estados Unidos as Martin kept saying. We got to skype for about 10 minutes which was really fun. I’m glad they all got to meet each other. Martin was especially happy and talked quite a bit. He was really amazed at technology and the idea of talking to a person on the computer. Gilmor was amazed too but very shy so he didn’t really talk. After skype, I switched on Hook and they intently watched as I cleaned all the dishes, wiped off the counters, took out the trash, sprayed all the bugs, vacuumed the carpets and swept the floors. Then Powell showed up so I was able to take a shower and do some much needed laundry. I was finally able to sit down for the last 30 minutes of the movie. By that time though, Gilmar was so tired that he wanted to go to bed. So after a quick prayer and some tucking in, Gilmar was asleep and Martin and I finished the movie just the two of us.

He really likes to talk during movies. He pretty much gives a play by play of everything that is going on which would be super annoying if he wasn’t 8 and really cute. Also, side note, I had my shirt off so Martin wanted to take his off too. I told him he could since it was just guys. That reminded me of my brother William from back home. So we cuddled up on the couch and finished out the movie. By the time it ended, Martin was pretty tired although he said multiple times he wasn’t. I put him in bed, said a little prayer and now I am writing my blog. Good thing I’m skipping the P90X tomorrow cause it has been a long day and a late night for me. Today was an Ecuadorian holiday so we moved it to tomorrow to get a 3 day weekend.

Two really cute and very smart boys. I had a blast hanging out with them.
(Again, sorry for horrible picture quality)
Powell leaves in the morning so we are all going to go with him to Banos for the morning to hang out and do something fun. Then, he will head from there to Quito and I will return with Melissa for another wonderful Friday only without the work. I will take the boys back after breakfast and I am really hoping that they don’t wake up at 6 like Wilson and Javier did. Who knows though. If they do, it will be more time to hang out which is always a plus. J I said it yesterday but I will say it again today. It is such a blessing to spend time with these kids. One on one time especially makes me see and feel God’s love for his children. There is not much better out there than knowing that you are making a kid happy and seeing him first hand show that. I love it. Tthanks again for reading. I hope the pictures made it a little more enjoyable. Until tomorrow then . . .

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