Two Friday afternoons ago Jennifer asked me to accompany her to Terminal Terrestre (the large main bus station) in Cuenca for public witnessing as Eric was not going to arrive until 6pm. Yay! I had wanted to have a share in that work but the C.O here likes to approve all the applications. It took us about 30 minutes to walk to the bus station, not really that far from us but we also witnessed on the way.
The bus station is quite large, with buses going to various locales throughout Ecuador. There are numerous tiendas (little shops) throughout selling lots of goodies and snacks to make your journey a pleasant one. There are even tiendas selling DVD’s and stuffed animals. Whatever you want it seems you can get it here. We relieved a special pioneer couple who have been serving full-time for 40 years. She was a classically trained opera singer and dancer. Very neat couple. The picture is of Jennifer and another special pioneer couple (Mario and Jennifer Vitores) from Guayaquil who stopped by to say hello to us. They have been serving for the past couple of years in the Amazon jungle. The need in their congregation is really great with only a couple of brothers in the congregation. So if you like the jungle you may want to consider….anyway, we had a couple of very nice experiences including one with a young woman who asked why we did this work and called ourselves Jehovah’s Witnesses. She stood with us for about 15 minutes or so while Jennifer shared a couple of nice scriptures with her and reasoned with her on them. I am looking forward to the C.O coming in November so I can submit my application.
This past weekend we celebrated our 9th anniversary by going to the Valley of Longevity or more commonly known as Vilcabamba. Vilcabamba is south of Cuenca and very close to the border of Peru. Some people have compared it to the north shore of Hawaii, and although it did remind me of that, minus the ocean of course, it was extraordinarily peaceful, lush and breathtaking in it’s own right. There are numerous gringos in Vilcabamba, (some have been here for 40+ years after following a spiritual guru called Johnny Lovewisdom), including hip young backpackers making their way through South America and lots of retirees seeking their eternal Fountain of Youth. I swear some of them were at Woodstock back in the day! We stayed at Hosteria Izhcayluma (Oh-steer-ee-uh Ish-kay-loom-uh). A unique inn run by a German couple with accomodations for backpackers and those who don’t! Restaurant on site that overlooks an amazing mountain vista and the green valley below. We stayed in one of the cabins, complete with hammock on the veranda again overlooking mountainous terrain. $49 a night and very cozy.
The first day we arrived I was sick from the 4.5 hour van ride over very curvy roads. The views off the side of the road as our driver passed on double lines were to die for, literally! I tried to catch up on some of my reading but made the fatal mistake of sitting in the very back of the van. Who me? yeah, I don’t ever get car sick. No bueno! Ugh, I was so sick all I could do was lay my poor head down for the rest of the afternoon and evening when we arrived. I awakened refreshed at about 2 a.m, timidly made my way thru the inky darkness to the veranda and was greeted by a vast array of stars as far as I could see. I couldn’t help but grin, and then laugh into the night. Have you ever done that? Have you ever seen something, even the tiniest thing of Jehovah’s creation that is so beautiful it makes you gasp and fills you with such joy!?