Thursday, December 29, 2011


We had our Primary Program in October. We had arrived a little early and some of the children were singing to practice for the program. Since it wasn´t during the meeting I took this short video, thought the grandkids would enjoy hearing the children here sing the same songs they are singing there.

We had stopped by the Stake Center in Otavalo and this little girl was with her mother, it was so cute to see the doll strapped on her back just like the mothers do here.

An Otavalian woman in the market. I love the indidgious peoples!

The roses here are so beautiful, I usually have some in the office and at home. I love taking pictures of them, maybe I´ll do a whole post of all the rose pictures I have.

The end of October Ecuador celebrates a holiday that some call the Day of the Dead, however most Ecuadorians prefer Day of the Family. It is a day to visit cemetaries and decorate graves and remember loved ones. In the more rural areas the families actually take a meal to the cemetary and eat together. For about a week before these little breads are sold, they are called Gua Gua (waa waa) babies and I think they are to remember loved ones departed, no one could tell us for sure just that they are a tradition. As I am preparing to post this I realize that this celebration is Nov 2nd, but you are getting it with Octobers posts!

Some of the Sister Missionaries, Hermanas, Sister Norman, Sister Dakay, she is from the Philippines and was an awesome missionary, this picture was actually taken for her as she was leaving and wanted a remembrance, Sister Rogers the nurse, and Sister Nelson.

Just a couple of pictures and items I wanted to share before proclaiming that October has been blogged.


At the end of the night the chickens appear to have been the most productive!

Some of the Sisters looking at the fleese quilts. We invited any who wanted to come and learn how to do them.

Display by the Bishop´s Storehouse. It is located in the back of our office building. The sealer in the front is one we use often for the kits we put together. The people in the storehouse are very kind and helpful. One of the volunteers loves to help us on the quilts.

As you can see the Open House was a success, many people learned more about Welfare Services offered by the Church.

This is Anna Lucia, Fernando´s wife, she did Emergency Preparedness. She is a good friend and we will miss her. She is also a really good cook.

The children loved the medical equipment we had.

This display was a hugh hit at the Open House, they really went all out. There was a display of the square foot garden, with dirt, and live chickens.

Lorenzo and Sandra, they work on the 6th floor and do gardening, nutrition and food storage.

Elder and Sister Pettingill, they are the PEF missionaries and share an office on the 5th floor with us. They are so patient when we have the whole office filled with Humanitarian "stuff" including our quilts.

Close ups of the posters we put together. In between all the other things that we had this month we had do get this project done, but it turned out pretty good.

Our display for Humanitarian Services.

OCTOBER 29, 2011

We flew home from Guayaquil Friday night and on Saturday afternoon we took part in a Welfare Open House held at the Iñaquito Stake Center. We were asked to do a display of the Humanitarian projects we have completed as well as general Humanitarian concepts. Everyone was invited but special invitations were extended to Stake Presidents, Bishops and Relief Society leaders. About 300 attended and very much enjoyed the displays and explinations of Welfare Services provided for members and non-members alike. The sisters really enjoyed seeing and asking about the quilts especially the polor fleese ones we have made. Fernando was in charge of this and was so pleased that it was successful. On Monday he asked me to put together some scrapebook pages of the Fair that he could send to Lima for the Area Presidency.
Side Note: Johnny Morande has now been asked to put one together for Guayaquil, we sent him pictures of the one here and offered our posters.


Mother Gredel, she is from India and worked with Mother Teresa. She was delightful to visit with and is doing so much good. We have met so many that are doing such wonderful service so unselfishly.

Signing the paperwork. The other gentleman in the picture is the Stake President from the area. He and His wife came to help deliver the supplies. Now that they are aware of the Shelter they have promised to continue to help them.

By the truck with the cleaning supplies and the hygiene kits.

One of the Sisters at the Shelter. While we were waiting for our supplies to arrive we noticed several people would come to the gate and visit with one of the Sisters. Then the Sister would leave and return in a few minutes with a sack or two of food for the visitor. This was very humbling as we were aware that the Sisters did not have flour, so it may be safe to assume that food supplies in general were low.

We found this very interesting, several of the men at the shelter had wheelchairs donated by the Church. These people are sleeping on mattresses from the Temple and using wheelchairs donated by the Church.

A view of the Shelter. It was very clean and orderly. There is a possibility that the Stake in the area will start doing some craft projects with the people at the Shelter.

The Bread Oven, they bake for the Shelter and for a Day Care Center operated to care for children in the area. They had not used the oven yet because they didn´t have any flour but were hoping to get some soon. Wish we had known this.

The sign outside the shelter.

OCTOBER 28, 2011

Following the wheelchair presentation we went to a shelter for homeless people that is operated by the Sisters of the Order of Mother Teresa of Calcuta. The Church donated several mattresses when the apartments at the Temple were renovated and the sisters asked if we could help them with other needs. We donated a bread oven, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits. This shelter was so very interesting to visit. Mother Gredel, the director of the home, is from India and worked with Mother Teresa. The Sisters are very kind and do a wonderful work with these people who would otherwise be homeless and living on the streets.


As we were walking through a plaza in Guayaguil I noticed this angel statue, it reminded me of Angel Moroni for some reason.

The Hospice/Nursing Care Center, the patients were having lunch but gave us a warm welcome.

The young girl with one of the wheelchairs. This chair was from a previous donation but it is so good to see the chairs in use, her family was most grateful.

Part of the presentation ceremony.

Some of the 50 wheelchairs donated to the Childrens Hospital.

OCTOBER 28, 2011

On Wednesday we had traveled to Otavalo and then on Friday we flew to Guayaquil. We had been working on getting 250 wheelchairs for this group. These wheelchairs were donated to a childrens hospital, a hospice/nursing home, the general hospital and a maternity hospital. We were able to tour the Children´s Hospital and the Hospice/ Nursing Home Center. While we were there we saw a young girl in a church wheelchair. It is so awesome when we can see the wheelchairs in use. This was a good group to work with, very organized and on the ball.


THE MAKING OF BISCOCHOS, Ecuador from Brenda Yost on Vimeo.

Making biscochos, look at that hugh ball of dough!

This is the oven at another shop across the highway.

The owner of the shop stranding by the brick oven.

These are biscochos!

Anytime we travel to Otavalo we stop and get biscochos. They are kind of hard to describe, kind of a biscuit, but very light and crumbly. As far as I know this area, kind of a fork in the road before turning to go into Otavalo, is the biscocho capital of the country, maybe even the world. There are several shops here that sell biscochos. They prepare them on site and bake them in large brick ovens. We usually eat them with a carmel dip or a special cheese that is also made in this area, they are very good dipped into hot chocolate. On one of these trips I happened to wander into the back room and found young people making them, so I took a video and thought everyone might enjoy seeing the process.


Here are a few views of the area, it was raining that day and needless to say when Elder Kartchner returned he was covered in mud, tired and hungry. Dad lent him a pair of levis so he could change. The Kartchner´s travel very light, as in no suitcase, so he didn´t have a change of cloths.

School and Community leaders meeting to discuss the project.

JANUARY 19, 2012

I guess one advantage to being so far behind is I can now tell the rest of the story. In January Elder and Sister Kartchner came and we revisited the school to determine if this was a project we could do. We met with the school officials and with the community leaders. After our initial visit Elder Kartchner spent the rest of the day hiking up to the source and beyond. We had been told this was a spring so he was looking for the source of the spring. Apparently there is not a spring, and after hiking over many hills no true source was found. It was determined that the system needed to be moved to avoid mud slides destroying holding tanks etc. again and that for the water to be truly clean chlorination would need to be used. The school does not want chlorination and the community seemed reluctant to commit to improving the system at this time, so we will not be doing this project.


This is a beautiful area. You can see the tops of the mountains and view the beautiful valley below. On a clear day they said you could see Quito, we haven´t been there on a clear day.

The pipe is not buried. A repair job, and the pipe running through the vegatation along the side of the road. The pipe is about 25 years old and does need to be replaced.

This is the holding tank for the schools water.

Looking up at the upper holding tank you can see where the pipe has disconnected. One pipe runs to the community and one runs to the school.

The source of water! The cement looking thing on the right is where the water tank for the community used to be, it was destroyed by a mud slide.

Across the valley and up the other mountain is the water source. This is looking up the mountain toward where the water is captured.

After leaving the area where the reservoir is we visited the school briefly. These are students working on a project. Seems like clay volcanos and animals are school projects all over the world.

Workers on the new buildings, love the ladder! I thought some of the men would enjoy seeing it.

The reservoir for storage of the water used by the school and a troth for the cattle.

From where the new buildings are further up is the reservoir for water storage.

There are two new buildings being constructed on the hill above the school. One will be administration offices and the other a cafeteria.

This is the school in the valley. There is an elementary school in the village but once the students reach 8th grade they have to go into Otavalo to school so many of the students drop out. Children of the Andes Foundation built and operates this school. There are 64 students that attend.

October 26, 2011

We received a request from a school 23 Km outside of Otavalo to help with a clean water project for the school and community. Today we traveled to take a look at the situation so we could send a report to Salt Lake. Clean water projects are huge and take a lot of time to start and complete. A specialist will need to be sent here to determine if this is a feasible project. Our visit was wonderful. The school is awesome and the area is so beautiful. The hike up to the water source was a bit of a challenge as the mountain is pretty much straight up. When we got there the pipe that brings water to the school had dislodged. The pipes are old and mended with tape in several places. The water is brought across the valley and stored in a reservoir above the school. We had to walk through the cow pasture to reach the reservoir.