This past Saturday we went to Chuquipata (chew-key-pah-tuh) to witness in “El Campo” or the countryside, aka the rurals. We left at 8 a.m from Cuenca in car groups and it was only 20 minutes or so outside the city of Cuenca but it felt a world away! About 30 from our congregation and 30 or so from the Chuquipata congregation for a total of 63. They needed help completing their territory for the tract work. What a great way to finish the month! (For those of you who don’t know you can click on one picture in the grouping of pics and it will open up a slideshow of larger pictures.)
We worked with a couple ( Maria and Tero-pronounced like zero) from Finland who arrived here 5 weeks ago with their 3 boys ages 11, 9 & 7. Nicolas, Sebastian and Tomas. They are serving in the Chuquipata congregation and are working hard to learn Spanish like us. They will be here at least for a year. Their boys are terrific and walked (or should I say hiked, lol.) all morning with no complaints! It was cold and rainy most of the morning too! Both parents are pioneering and the oldest son put in 70 hours for August also. They sold most of their possessions in Finland including their two cars and hope to be here a year at least if not longer. The neat thing for them is the coordinator and his wife who have been in the congregation about a year and a half are also from Finland so they have someone to talk to and explain things in their mother tongue.
We had the pleasure of working with the missionary couple in our hall, Jennifer & Eric, for the afternoon. They have been an invaluable source of encouragement, comfort and friendship for us. We walked and walked…and walked. One lane took us to a home that looked like an Austrian Chalet. Complete with mountain views. Most of the “nicer” homes had high fences or gates around their property. The owner of the Chalet was receptive of our message but cautious. Our day ended at 4p.m with a drive back home. We were completely exhausted but happy with the experience. It was interesting to do all rural territory on foot, and see the beautiful vistas that unfolded around virtually every corner. At times it felt like you could reach out and touch the clouds. My photos really don’t do the scenery justice. Although we didn’t talk to lots of people in our car group those we did meet were for the most part receptive…and very curious! Every day is a new day here in Ecuador and we are thankful to Jehovah for this great opportunity!
Side note: Some of you ask us about living expenses, etc., etc., and I forget I had downloaded a great book on my Kindle that I purchased on Amazon before we moved here, cost is $2.99. Living and Retiring in Cuenca: 101 Questions Answered , by Connie Pombo is a great read and packed with information re: housing expenses, buying furniture, restaurants, general living in Cuenca, visa info, etc. Her and her husband moved here in 2010 retiring at 55 years of age and with a monthly income of $1,300. Some of the info may be a little outdated as prices continue to increase and taxis are now metered (supposedly, lol.) however overall I think you would get your money’s worth if you decide to purchase it.