Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Jenny really wanted to ride a donkey while visiting Ecuador, as we were driving Yolanda spoted this donkey and its owner, we stopped and she asked if Jenny could have a ride.

On Wednesday we visited Montecristi. We spend time at a mausoleum in honor of Eloy Alfaro.

Yolanda and Magdalena wanted to learn some yoga when they found out Jenny was an instructor, so we had a yoga class Tuesday evening before dinner.

We had lunch at a beautiful farm/resturant, after eating we visited the animals, I thought Taylyn would like the picture of the pig.

Traveling through a small town we saw these cocoa beans drying and stopped to take a look.

On the second day Yolanda gave us Oswaldo Loor T-shirts so we would fit in!

This is the reservoir in the hills outside of Portoviejo that supplies water for the city. They were working on the dam in preparation for the rainy season. This area is close to the coast but is really dry most of the year then when the rains come everything turns a beautiful green.

While we were in Portoviejo in addition to visiting many schools and blind or low vision community members we were able to see some other sites as well. We visited a shrimp farm, the beach, the reservoir that is the water supply for the city, rode donkeys, and visited Montecristi. It was a very full, busy week. We returned to Quito on Friday evening and on Saturday we spent some time at Mitad del Mundo and around Quito until Jenny became ill, then we returned to our apartment and just rested. I made some soup for dinner and the Jacobs prepared to fly out. They left on the late flight Saturday night. This was a very enjoyable week. What a difference this training will make to the people of Portoviejo. Thank you Dr. and Sister Jacobs, and thank you Foundation Dr. Oswaldo Loor.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Needed to inculde a couple of pictures of us so we can prove we were there.

Dr. Jacobs and his wife Jenny were delightful to work with. Jenny was so fun to travel around with. At the closing ceremony there was press coverage and some good publicity for the Church. We feel we have made some awesome friends with this project.

Dr. Jacobs would have classes with the Drs. then they would see and screen patients. In the afternoon they did the procedures. Three Drs. were trained so that this treatment can be provided in Portoviejo, otherwise people would have to travel to Quito or Guayaquil which they can not afford.

These are a few of the people we visited during the week. The Foundation is doing a wonderful work in helping these people integrate into the community. The children in the schools were so helpful and kind to classmates with vision challenges, it was wonderful to witness.

Yolanda Loor de Ávila the director of the Foundation Dr. Oswaldo Loor. The Foundations was started by the family to honor their father Dr. Loor. Yolanda is dynamite, entusiastic and very organized, it has been so fun to get to know her.

Our first evening there we had a very nice dinner to met everyone and get acquinted.

NOVEMBER 12-19, 2011

I don´t really know how to do a post on this project. I feel that this one project has been totally worth our 18 months in Ecuador. It started as a request by a woman we met on the USNS Comfort for some wheelchairs for a vision clinic in her home town of Portoviejo. As we found out more about this Foundation and Clinic we were very impressed. We contacted them and asked if there was something they needed that we might be able to help with. They requested a surgical microscope to help with cataract surgeries. Our short term specialiest asked if they had need or desire for any type of training. They were so excited when we offered this option and requested to have training in laser treatment for Diabetic Retenopothy. Dr. and Sister Jacobs accepted the call to come for a week and do the training. While Dr. Jacobs was teaching the three Drs. from the clinic we were taken out into the countryside to visit schools and persons in the community that the foundation helps. These are blind or low vision persons that are given training, low interest loans to start small businesses, equipment for use in school and volunteers to help them in their school work. We were so impressed with the work this Foundation is doing and were so blessed to have found them and worked with them. This training will enable the Drs to help thousands of people in this area with treatment to help slow or halt blindness.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


The Zone Leaders had been in meetings with Elder Uceda all afternoon so Sister Ghent brought some bread for them.

He had pictures taken with each Zone so all the missionaries would have a picture to remember. This is our "Zone" we call it the Antiqua Zone!

Elder and Sister Uceda

November 12, 2011

We had a special mission conference with Elder Uceda today. All the missionaries came into Quito to attend. Elder Uceda is in the Area Presidency and is very fun. Of course his talk was in Spanish so I didn´t understand much, but everyone told me how wonderful it was. He told the missionaries to learn English while on their missions as this will serve them well in the future.

Street Juggler

Whenever we stop at larger intersections there are often performers. Some of them are pretty good. I got some pictures of this one juggling with fire. Many are very young and should be in school.

11-11-11-11:11 NOV 11, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.

We did not stay up for the 11:11 p.m. one, although that might have been fun. This doesn´t happen very often and we thought it would be fun to take some pictures of the event. We went through the office getting pictures of several people. Hope you all did the same! This is also the anniversary of our 13th month on the mission.


We had received a large sack of handmade hats that we decided to give to the children here. They loved them! These will help against the Quito cold.

She just wanted to be held! I could bring her home with me.

As we left the office I grabbed one of the quilts. This Orphange is usually for older boys but as you can see from the pictures there are several girls and younger children. When we arrived they told us that they had just gotten a baby so the quilt was needed and appreciated. Heavenly Father watches over His children especially orphanes.

Just look at the size of that spoon. The Orphange is old but clean and in fair repair. Elder and Sister Geldmacher went with us, I think they were touched by the experience.

New cooking equipment, a cooks dream!

The boys were so excited to help unload the items.

Preparing the items for donation, we had a little extra so bought some rice, this will give them something to cook in the big pots!

October 11, 2011

We had made contact with this orphanage through OSO. OSO is a foundation that was founded by Dr. Head in Rexburg, and helps several orphanages in Ecuador. They also send volunteers here, usually young women, to help care for the children. The couple that is in Ecuador directing the volunteers is in our ward and told us about this orphanage that needed some help. The orphanage requested sheets and cooking utensils. They had no sheets for the beds that the children sleep in. Some of the younger children sleep 2, 3 or even 4 to a bed. The children are so happy and fun to be with. They love to hold hands, be held or perform for us. If any of you follow Travis Gugelman, a photographer also from Rexburg, this is one of the orphanages that he helps with. We received word that Travis has gotten them a new van. The old van was very scary, bad brakes, doors didn´t close etc. We are so excited for them. Thanks to any of you who give to humanitarian causes, you are making a difference.

Good bye Elder Parrish

Everyone brought something and we had a great lunch, invited many that help us here in the building.

Elder Parrish cooking outside the Mission Office.

October 21, 2011

This seems so old now but I ran across the pictures when I did the post on our tour and wanted to include a small note to remember this. Elder Parris is from Pocatello and went home in October. We had a going away Bar-B-Q in his honor, actually any excuse to eat is acted upon here in the mission. Hope he is doing well!