Thursday, May 23, 2013

Looking for a rainbow

  I went outside today looking for a rainbow - today I needed a rainbow.

Yesterday a 6 month old boy died of meningitis. This 6 month old was the son of a co-worker of mine. My co-worker lost her mother 3 months ago when her uncles used a machete to stab her to death over a land dispute. Her father was brutally attacked as well and lost both hands.  Last week my co-workers husband left her. Today was the funeral. My co-worker held the little coffin and begged for her son to "wake up"!   

This morning began with an email that held some pretty depressing news. I needed a rainbow. Work consisted of trying to provide some/any therapy to a group of little ones with diarrhea, runny noses and fever. Little ones that need to be held and rocked by their parents who for the most part don't have the resources to take care of them. I needed a rainbow. Mid morning I received a phone call that one of my kids was sick and needed to be picked up from school . Rainbow anywhere? 

 10 minutes later we received an email that I had to sit down in order to read.  I needed a rainbow!  Dear friends of ours, serving in Zambia as missionaries, had sent out a message that their 10 year old daughter, Cristianna, had collapsed and died.  I really needed a rainbow.

This afternoon we had a light drizzle while the sun was out - a perfect opportunity for a rainbow. I was in the middle of the menial tasks of daily living, while trying to organize and process my thoughts-  I ran outside to look for that rainbow.  I wanted that rainbow to be there- I searched for that rainbow, I longed for that rainbow to appear.  There was no rainbow.

We can talk about looking on the "bright side of things" or giving thanks that Cristianna and my co-workers son are now with the Lord. But sometimes life just hurts and it's painful. Sometimes we need to feel that pain and work through it before we can move on to see the "bright side of things".  Somedays there are no rainbows.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Workin' for a'livin...

Over the past year we have been talking about, debating, discussing this question,  " How do we instill the value of work and a dollar into our children, (they actually WANT to work) when they are not allowed to secure paying jobs here in Ecuador?"

Last year our boys wanted to build a fort (which is now completed - see previous post). This, of course, cost money and in order for them to appreciate how much money we told them they would need to work for it.  OK- now to come up with paying jobs.  Hmmmmmm........  Our kids do not receive an allowance per se but in the states if they wanted to buy something non essential we found extra tasks to pay them for OR they asked relatives or neighbors for paying jobs. Here that task is much harder.  No relatives to hand out jobs and the neighbors are either fellow missionaries or lower income locals. The amount of upkeep on our rental house is less than our house in the states required, plus a local worker is hired to take care of the lawn so even the number of "made up jobs" has decreased considerably.

Well- the boys were pretty determined and focused, so they asked several other missionaries for jobs and were given a few, mostly washing and vacuuming out cars. This earned a small amount and they bought enough wood to put in the floor. We as a family came up with a couple more jobs that earned them enough to buy the nails and spikes- then they decided after scouring for work and not finding anymore that they would write a blog about their "dream fort".  That blog secured the remainder needed to complete the roof.  Their goal was accomplished-after cutting and dragging bamboo a 1/2 mile for the posts! No cost for that!

Great experience for them, however now they have other, bigger goals - like eventually buying a car or saving for college.  How does one tackle that?  Eons ago when "we", the parents were 13, 14, 15 years old, we picked blueberries, babysat and ran little businesses so that money could be saved, bank accounts opened and expenses related to owning a car or college paid with our own hard earned cash. That was a different era AND our home country where we were legally allowed to work.  So the question still remains.......... for long term savings/goals and steady income for teenagers, what to do?

We are open to input!  :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kevin's hike

Today I was up at 5:30 am to go on a mountain hike with  my dad, my friend Dane, and his dad. The hike was up to the radio and radar stations at about 4,150 ft. We then drove to the beginning of the trail, and started hiking at around 5:45. The trail up to the station was about 3 miles and it took 45 minutes to walk up. On the way we saw the sunrise, a volcano, and a blanket of fog covering the city of Puyo. We arrived at the top at 6:30 and took lots of pictures of the landscape. We stayed up at the top for about 15 minutes, then started down because my friends dad had to get to work at the Hospital. We got to the bottom at 7:30 and went home for some breakfast. That is how I spent my Saturday morning.

 Sunrise over the Amazon jungle
 The city of Puyo blanketed with a layer of fog.
 El Altar - the snow-capped volcano to the southwest.
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