Not an apartment! Yet.
We have been spending our free time wondering around Loja looking for and at apartments.
The Greenwood family will be moving into the mission house which we offered to them. We are hoping to find a place that costs us (and therefore you) about 100.00 less a month.
Plus the Greenwoods will be re-taking their ownership of Daisy the mission dog, so they need the yard that the mission house supplies.
So, what is it like looking for an apartment in Loja? Not like looking for an apartment in the states, that is for sure.
For one thing, who needs an appointment? No one! Just ring the doorbell and ask to have a look. Usually the landlord owns and works in a small business on the ground floor, just ask around until you find him/her.
Side note: We can find a few apartments in the newspaper- but most do not list there- they just hang a sign on the window)
For another thing- hot water is optional. In one place we saw electricity was even optional! In fact, that place had optional flooring and roofing. But, that wasn't what knocked the place out of the running. The mold smell and location did that.
We have found a place that we really love, but it is so small. So small we can't figure out if our furniture will fit. It isn't a simple task of measuring because none of the walls are square. But, the price, the location, and the fact that one of Weston's good friends lives in the same building really weighs it towards possible. But- we might have to have one of the kids sleep in the living room :)
We also viewed a haunted house. Supposedly the house used to be a back alley abortion clinic and the owners can't find people to live their for more than three months at a time. The location was perfect, but the kitchen was smaller than my old closet in the states (REALLY). In Loja, kitchens are a non-important factor in a house. They rarely use them. Lunch is the only large meal and it is eaten at local restaurants (2.00 a meal). Breakfast is an egg, and dinner is bread and cheese. You don't need much of a kitchen for that. Apparently you also don't need a stove or fridge, because the haunted house had room for neither.
We also have to make a decision about how important safe, hot water is to us. Most of the apartments we have seen do not have a calaphone (??spelling??) which heats the water through a small gas tank. Instead they have what is called a widow maker (I call them martyr makers). A widow maker is an electric device in the shower that heats the water. As you can shower, you can watch the sparks that heat your water. Basically it is a human electrocution device.
We haven't decided if this is a deal breaker or not. We can't help but think about our missionary friend in the sudan who took baths in the river. Oh, but it is hard to view hot water as a luxury and not a need- isn't it?
Also, unlike the states, we must deal with the weather. Of course you all have weather (good and bad), but we must walk or take a taxi everywhere we go. And the weather changes on a dime. One day I returned home with a sunburn on the back of my neck, and when we set off yesterday it was the most gorgeous day Loja has had in a while. Let's just say we came home sopping soaking wet and very very cold.
So, those are our current adventures. Those who know me well know that I am loving it! I really did try to talk Dustan into living in the house with a dirt floor, plastic roof, and no hot water at all! He changed my mind by reminding me how far we had walked to get there.
And this post comes with a prayer request. Dustan and I have been praying that God already be preparing us a ministry at our new place. He gave us one here (with two street girls) and we know he has something in mind for us at our new home. Be praying we will be open to whatever sacrifices we need to make, but that we are wise in knowing which sacrifices God is asking us to make. Pray that we find a wonderful apartment in our price range. (Wonderful meaning exactly where God wants us).
Also, the main reason we are moving is to save our supporters money. As a reminder, we are facing losing quite a bit of our support next January. This is our way of doing our part to follow God's plan for us to stay here. Those of you who are doing your part- THANK YOU!!!!!!!! iiiiiiiGracias!!!!!!! Les amo, todos. Abrazos a todos.
And those who are feeling called to support us- there is a button over in that side panel on the right that you can use.