We got our week’s holiday in May, where we went to Quito and hung-out with family and got some painting done (walls, not art). Alex voted for the first time and then we had to drive down to Puyo for Alfredo to vote as we were registered in different cities! Mother’s day was celebrated with Alf’s Mum and siblings at a local swimming pool.
Community Development is a slow process, and this month we have seen it in action. We had two new communities from the mountain communities in Salasaka ask for projects, and on paper they seemed perfect communities, yet in the three meetings we have now had with the people it is obvious they are not ready yet. While a few are eager to work with us, there are others that are just looking for ‘what they’ll get’ (‘how much money you got for us?’ Was the first question in one community). We don’t want to just do a quick project that gives each house clean water, we want the community to change because of it, we want them to really see their need and to take ownership of the project, and we want their attitudes towards each other, towards their neighbouring communities and towards God to change through the project, and that takes time! While we are not rushing in to start construction, we are committed to help the communities with hygiene and community development workshops if they want them.
Alfredo’s football team has won some matches! There are just two more matches left and we need to be at least 8th in the table to get through to the next round (we are currently 9th!)
Camila is 6months old and now sits up and is trying to eat. She doesn’t like typical baby food and prefers harder things like broccoli and cheese! Benjamin has learnt some new Spanish words and can now tell Alfredo to slow down when he’s driving too fast! He is still only speaking Spanish, despite understanding everything I tell him in English.
The clothes that were stolen from our line in April have reappeared! They were left in a bag behind a seat in the hospital. We think someone ‘borrowed’ them during the rain storm because they were soaking wet.
A Christmas present has arrived! Luckily the Christmas pud is still in date and the Camila hasn’t yet grown too big so can still wear the dress!
Ecuador has revalidated my degree so I am now officially recognised as Ingeniera Alexandra now!
This month Alfredo is away more than at home, with trips planned to visit 7 jungle communities, accompany the summer missionaries to Chimborazo and dig trenches for a week and take some donors on a tour of our finished projects in the mountains. Pray for safety in travelling and for us three left in Shell.
Pray for us as we say goodbye to many friends in Shell as they leave for ‘home ministry assignment’ or leave because their volunteer time us up.
Pray for us as we both investigate possibilities for further study. Alfredo wants to do a masters in the development field or an MBA and I would like something in sustainable architecture or water.
We are still raising funds for the purchase of a car. We have been offered a nice 7-seater that will be available from January. Join us in praying if this is the correct car for us.
Thank you for your prayers, and notes and email, we appreciate your love and care for us!
Alex and Alfredo, Benjamin and Camila.