Thursday, February 24, 2011

G- Force meets Ecuador


In Ecuador protein sources are difficult for many people to obtain. Many families raise guinea pigs as a source of protein. I had wondered why they didn´t raise rabbits instead and was told that rabbits are much more difficult, they are more prone to death from cold weather or wet conditions. It seems that guinea pigs are the way to go here. Part of the agricultural initiative is teaching people to pen the animals, give them clean water and clean food, then they grow much larger and are not so rodent like. They are also taught to do this with the chickens they raise, and guess what now they can find the eggs, another source of protein. Anyway as we were driving Fernando stopped at this roadside café, he is always joking about us trying cui (guinea pig). There is also pork at many roadside stands, whole pigs roasted and ready for lunch, the head is apparently a delicacy. We have had the pork but not the cui.

Lunch anyone!

Cui on the barbie!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cultural Museum

One of the "snake tables" there were several of these some with 2 heads others with up to 7 heads.

We were told that the important people used to set in these stone chairs.
Probably just before they were sacrificed.

Dad by the snake skin, how would like to meet that snake in the jungle.

One of the feather "crowns".

One of the musical instruments it appears to be an armadillo hide.

Some of the costumes used in festivals and a picture of the Shaman Room. I was glad the picture in the dark room turned out.

The Crystal Skull very Indiana Jones.

Pre Columbian statues I think they are Incan

Saturday February 20, 2011

We had a Saturday that was free. So we decided to visit a small museum that is only about 2 blocks from our apartment. It is so close that many of the other missionaries who have been here have never gone to see it. It was very interesting to visit. They have displays of different ethnic groups in Ecuador and how they have used the natural resources to make items for use in daily life. There were areas of weaving, pottery, displays of various costumes, several groupings of pre Columbian art mostly statues. One room had items that the healers and religious leaders used. We saw a crystal skull here. Lots of items displayed from the tribes in the Amazon regions. Dad especially liked the snake skin. We will probably go again as the other missionaries didn´t go with us.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Edward Scissorhands Gardens

February 2, 2011

We returned to Ambato to deliver the NRT equipment to the hospital. We had a delightful visit with those we had taught, and then they took us to a very nice lunch. As we were leaving Ambato Fernando took us to a beautiful Topiary Park. The missionaries call it the Edward Scissorhands Garden. It isn´t a huge garden but the topiaries are very large. The trees must be very old. It was so beautiful, gardens are so nice and peaceful, everyone needs a garden. I was searching the internet to find the name of this garden as it is not listed in my guide book. I found a site that calls it the Valentine Park. Wish I had known that before I did the Valentine Day post.

Delivering the NRT equipment.

It seemed that every bush and tree was made into something.

There were several different areas, one of a band, an area of animals, then some that looked like they were out of Alice in Wonderland.

There are so many beautiful topiaries it was hard to pick just a few to show.

One of the archways.

All aboard the "green" train. Notice the size of these topiaries.

Hermanas Capacitación - Sisters Conference

Hermanas (sisters) of the Ecuador Quito Mission
with President and Sister Sloan.

Preparing to serve lunch.

The Sisters like to eat as much as the Elders.

Senior Sisters: Sister Naylor, Sister Geldmacher, Sister Yost, Sister Pettingill, Sister Sloan, and Sister Dreson in front.

A few of the Sister Missionaries with Sister Sloan

February 8, 2011

President and Sister Sloan held a special conference for the Sisters in the Mission. It was a very nice day. It was wonderful to be with the Sister Missionaries. I am so impressed with the Sisters who serve; we have young women from all over, Guatemala, Peru, Philippines, Nicaragua, Honduras and the United States. They are so spiritually strong, and so cute. The wife’s of the Second Councilor and the wife of the secretary of the Mission Presidency spoke first, of course it was all in Spanish, but the jest was set goals and give service. We served lunch, enchiladas al la Ecuador, taco soup, garlic bread and fruit. After lunch Sister Sloan spoke, she gave each sister a scarf and told them when they wear it to remember that the Savior is putting His arms around them with love and protection. Then President Sloan spoke about being faithful, listening to the spirit and being the best we can be. We served chocolate cake and carrot cake before the sisters left to return to their areas. It was a wonderful day!

More Adventures in Baking at 9,600 ft.

Frosting hides a multitude of flaws, except the sides look pretty funny.

sad looking cakes!

February 7, 2011

I guess I was getting a bit lifted up in my pride, because most of the things I´ve baked lately have turned out pretty good with only minor adjustments. I was asked to bring a carrot cake to the Hermanas Capacitación so I got a recipe off the internet that seemed similar to the one I used at home. Everything looked good, we grated lots of carrots so I could make one for the conference and one smaller one for us to eat (dad is getting tired of never getting any of the goodies). The cake looked so good and smelled wonderful, but it rose really high then ran over the pan and got all over the oven, the spilled parts burned and some that got on the bottom element caught fire and filled the apartment with smoke, then the cake fell very flat. Oh, the joys of high altitude cooking. I took the two rather flat cakes and pieced them together to make one pretty good looking cake then I put lots of cream cheese icing on to hide it. It actually tasted pretty good. I´ll have to try again with some more and hopefully better adjustments. I also have to clean the oven, yuk!

Thursday, February 10, 2011



February 14, 2011

Wow the days seem to pass rapidely. We have been in Ecuador almost 4 months now. It is still not home but becoming more familiar. We visited a garden in Ambato recently and Fernando took this picture. I thought it fit the day. So here is a very special happy valintine´s day to everyone!

note: I´ll do a post on this garden soon, it is really cool.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Compañia de Jesus Church

The exterior of the church, click here to see more detail.

This is the inner door, after here no pictures are allowed. Again, click on this a few times to see the detail.

February 5, 2011

Today we took Sister Dreason to Old Town, "Centro Historico", to purchase some fabric. She will be leaving in May and wants to have a suit made before she leaves. There are many shops that sell fabric and the selection is awesome. While we were there we visited the Compañia de Jesus Church. This church does not look like much from the outside but is very beautiful inside. They do not allow pictures to be taken inside so you will have to look at the internet to see some pictures. There is 7 tons of gold used to decorated it. The pictures of hell I found quite interesting. It was built by Jesuits in the 17th century and took 160 years to complete. There are 10 side alters, all decorated very lavishly. The remains of Ecuadors patron saint Mariana de Jesús are entombed in the main gold alter.
The site, is pretty good but on this site you have to watch the slide show at the top of the page, it will show you some of the interior this one was the best I found. You can google Friends of Jesus Church Ecuador or Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus Ecuador. None of the sites give a good show of the interior or the art work. If any one finds a good site let me know I've been surfing for several days to find a really good one to refer you too. Trust me it is an awesome church.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Basilica del Voto Nacional

This is a hugh Gothic church the largest in the New World, it is very beautiful.

As we were leaving we passed the entrance to the catacombs under the Basilica. We were allowed to walk through them, this is where many people are buried, it was very interesting.

In front of the Basilica.

On the boardwalk above the ceiling of the church, from here you can climb into the tower. Click to enlarge you can see the ladder, then you go out and climb 2 or 3 more ladders into the tower.

The clock tower, I climed up to the clock but I didn´t go up to the towers.

Interior from the second floor.

Up close view of one of the large windows.

There are beautiful stained glass windows.

This church uses statues of animals found in Ecuador instead of the usual gargoyles. They are called grotesques, they are unique to this church.

A view of the Basilica from a hill by the school where we delivered the desks a few weeks ago,then a side view of the church.

January 30, 2011

The senior missionaries all got together today and went sightseeing. We went to the Basilica, a very, very large church in Quito. It was approved to build in 1884, and started in 1892. Mary´s Immaculate Heart Chapel was built from 1892 to 1909. By decree of July 3, 1885, the Fourth Quitense Provincial Council turned the construction of the basilica into a religious compromise in the name of the country as an external symbol of the Consecration of Ecuador to Jesus Sacred Heart realized on March 25, 1874. The basilica was blessed by Pope John Paul II on January 30, 1985. The basilica remains technically "unfinished". Local legend says that when the Basílica is completed, the end of the world will come. It is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas. There are 24 smaller chapels off the main chapel, one for each providance in Ecuador.

Newspaper Article

February 2, 2011

Fernando brought several newspaper articles to us to put into the project file. We are now celebrities if only for a few minutes. This was the one from our Colta Training.

Announcing the Arrival of Julia Nanette Yost

Our beautiful new grand-daughter.

January 28, 2011

We have a beautiful new grand-daughter. Julia Nanette Yost was born at 12:01 a.m. January 28th. She was 7 lbs 13 oz. and 21 inches long. How we wish we could be heading to Sacramento to see her, but skype will have to do for now. This is our 20th grandchild, 14 girls and 6 boys. We love and miss them all.

Ibarra, Otavalo and a CPU doll

Otavalan Market.

One shop in the Market.

A mask we bought at the market, doesn´t he look good. We sent this to Thayne to wear skiing.

By the falls.

Peguche Falls

The path to the falls.

Delivering our last CPU doll, now we can close this project.

Fun picture, only a small charge.

On the way we stopped at a small roadside shop. They had all kinds of things and charged for each one of them. Here is Dad with the Lama

January 26, 2011

Tuesday we did reports on the NRT project and got the pictures and files all in order. Wednesday we hired a car and went to Ibarra with Elder and Sister Flake. We had one last CPU doll to deliver to the hospital there. The hospital was very grateful for the equipment and we spoke with them about a future NRT project. Then we had some personal time to see some sites and go to the Otavalo Market. We first stopped in San Antonio and visited some of the wood carving shops. Then we went to Peguche Falls near Otavalo. This was so beautiful. I realized how much I miss the mountains and being in nature. It was a short hike and the falls were enjoyable. We had lunch, and then spent an hour at the market. You need to Google this market it is very famous, the largest market in South America. I got a few more souvenirs, much to Dad´s dismay. It was an enjoyable day. Elder and Sister Flake were very tired, and so were we, we have had a very busy 2 weeks. Sister Naylor fixed a nice dinner for us then we hung out until time for them to leave for the airport. We received word that they arrived home safe and sound. We look forward to working with them again in August.