Well, these last two days have been nothing like I was anticipating them to be. I need to first confess that if I was better at having my camara and taking pictures you would be much more interested, but because I am terrible at having my camara at the right time, I have no pictures for you. Anyway, on Saturday morning I went with my family into the Country, which here is actually the mountains, where they have a vacation home that they bought and are fixing up. They eventually want to be able to rent it out to people visiting Ecuador. It is really an awesome home even though it is still unfinished. They have this huge back deck that looks out over the whole mountain, and even though we are about a 45 minute drive from Cuenca, you can see almost the whole city. The view is breathtaking, and it is really rural so you feel like no one else is around. We took a little walk around their property and I could feel the presence of God surrounding me in this untouched beautiful land. We spent only a little time at the house, but you could see in my family's eyes that they love this place and have poured alot of their time and energy into making it theirs. After we left the country, the adventure began. We were going into another small city that my dad had only been to once, and although he thought he knew where he was going, we got really lost. Not only did we get lost, but we were on these small dirt roads going up and down this huge mountain with no one around. After about two hours of driving these windy and rough roads, if you get car sick you would have died, we finally found the place that we were looking for. Apparently they have the best chancho (pig) around. So we ate fresh roasted pig at a picnic table with tons of people playing Carnival all around! One of their favorite parts of the pig is the skin, they torch it until it is hard like a potato chip, and then they just break it off and eat it. It is actually really gross, but they all love it. At this stop we also bought some pig blood and karoake. Karoake is like this huge bottle of shaving cream with confetti mixed in, and for Carnival they spray anyone that they pass. It is actually really funny, because even my parents think it is the funniest thing ever. So we were going to drive around and throw the blood and karoake at people, but before we could even get a block away we got a flat tire. Luckily we had a spare and the tools to change it, because there was not really any place around that could have helped us. After we got that changed and set, we did some shopping, threw some carnival love, and then came home to relax. My sister needed to work on this project for her friend's birthday, so I sat down at the kitchen table and we talked, listened to music and had craft time together. I felt like I was back at school, that is a regular occurance for me at Taylor.
Now Sunday, what an insane and wonderful day. We woke up really early because we were going to go to the vacation house with my dad and his sisters. At least that is what they told me, so we got up around 6:30 and left by 8:00, it was supposed to be 7:00 but I think we all knew that was not going to happen. On our way to pick up the sisters they were talking about how many people there were going to be and I thought, ok he has three sister so there will be eight of us. Wrong, there were 27 of us, his sisters and all of their extended family. It was loud and crazy but so much fun! We were all in this fairly small house talking and making food and playing cards and taking walks and making taffy and building large bond fires. It was really fun to get to know some more of the Fajardo's family and get to practice more Spanish. I am fairly confident that not one person in their family spoke English, except for this four year old boy that knew his colors and numbers in English. We had alot of fun together because we would talk and then he would always ask me how to say things in English. It was really precious, he is a really bright boy. Anyway, at night when the bon fire was going, the whole city of Cuenca was lit up and it was incredible. The lights and the houses on the mountains and the carnival music playing, it was all really surreal. We were at the house until almost 10p.m. and we still had a long drive home. Once we got home we were all beat and ready for bed when we got a phone call. One of my dad's sisters, that was at the house with us, came home to find that her apartment had been robbed. She was a wreck so we all went over to her house to help her talk to the police and try to help calm her down. It was a terrible ending to a beautiful day. We spent two more hours at her house talking to her and praying with her and helping her figure out what to do next. My heart was breaking for her and her two girls. The only thing that was great about the situation, was the way that all of the men in her family and most of the girls too came to her home to support her and love on her. I think that it is pretty incredible the bond of family here and the protective spirit that they have for each other.
We have two more days of Carnival left and I think my brother and I are going to go for a bike ride today. As we enter into these next few days, please pray for...
1. My dad's family, especially his sister and the trauma that she has just been through. Please pray that she will feel God's protection and the love that He has.
2. Rest, I think every one in the family is beat after the long day and even longer night.
3. God to be apparent to me everywhere that I go, that He would be eminating everything that I do.
and 4. that everyone would be safe and have fun in these last two days of Carnival!