Met the members of our team at an Australia Day Bob-e-Q. Many of the missionaries here are Australian.
Gone through an extensive orientation (we aren't through yet).
Learned to buy things without having a translator. I am still not very good. One time someone told me it would cost thirty cents and I tried to pay them three dollars! Fortunately the people here are honest, kind, and eager to help out a gringo idiot.
Adjusted to the altitude. We followed everyone's advice, and drank lots of water. We seem to have passed through the danger of altitude sickness.
Began to set up house. This is the most time consuming task. Unlike in the US, we can't research online to know what to buy, and then just hop in a car to go get it, and use a credit card to pay for it. We have to walk down several blocks asking and talking to shopkeepers, finally decide what we want (nothing is ever in the same store- each store will sell it own thing. One store ONLY sold plastic housegoods), and then walk MANY blocks to the bank where we can only take out a specifies amount each day. At first we could only take out 500 a day- which does not go very far when you have to buy a fridge, stove, washing machine, dishes, beds, couch, and every other little things we use every day to take care of us. We finally figured out that both Dustan and I could take out money and things sped up a little.
We took a hike. The kids did great and loved it. Dustan and I loved the view, but weren't so keen on the fact that we could hardly breathe.
We went to an Ecuadorian church. Primary Baptista Iglesia de Loja. We were surprised at how much we were able to understand. We will be visiting several churches in the next couple of months. Please pray that God directs us us where He can use us best.
We ate at El Sendero! We will start our work there very soon, but it was nice to make a little visit. We haven't even had time to go back for another meal, but now that our home is almost set up we will be back soon.
We have eaten several new kinds of foods. The kids are brave and have tried everything. They LOVE the rice, and go on and on about how much better it is than mine. I found out the other day the rice is made in pig fat. No wonder they love it.
Visited the central market. I avoided buying any meat on hooks (it was too late in the day and the meat was stinky), but I was amazed at all the gorgeous fruits and veggies. I bought some beautiful plums and a couple of bags of peanut butter. There are peanut butter cookies in our future!
Signed the kids up for school. I will talk more about their school later, but after visiting it, I know that they will thrive there.
Keep praying for us. We start Spanish on Monday and it will take up about 4 hours a day. The kids also start school Monday and are anxious about it.