I'm digging Guayaquil so far, all except for the torrential downpours. We had lunch at Burger King, and then came back to the room for a great nap this afternoon that hopefully put my sleep back on schedule. (JFK is not real sleep conducive.) Tonight we've been watching David and Rafael work on a new sketchboard message for married couples, and I've been revisiting my old Spanish books and working on imperfect subjunctive...emphasis there on 'imperfect'. Had some killer chinese food for dinner, and the sopa pad pou rocked my world.
It's been great to be back here, and so good to be around David again. It's like we've never stopped hanging out. The time with Mark has been great too. He and I have talked much music and have been very comfy just coexisting so far.
Man it's muggy here.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Ok, that's better. Now we're in Manta. Pretty cool. Not quite the luxury beach town I'd pictured, but still nice, and the Proanos house is very nice, nice community, and a 15 minute walk from the beach.
Yesterday, after saying bye to David and Mark, Rafa and I stayed in Guayaquil to wait on my bags. We walked el Malecon and thoroughly enjoyed our time there in spite of the rain at first and then the oppressive sun and heat that followed. In the mall there I treated him to his first frappuccino at a cafe. It was a religious experience for him. After that we climbed the Cerro de Santa Ana where we saw a terrific view of all Guayaquil. Tremendous city...hope to get back there at some point. Of course, I forgot my camera.
After ceviche mixto and seco de chivo for lunch, we rocked a taxi to the airport, where thankfully my bags came in. The bus ride from Guayaquil to Manta was a breeze. I never knew seats on buses could lean back that far! Slept the first half, listened to metal the second half. And Rafa is the man. Loved spending time with him. He has such a tremendous heart for God, great love for people, and a shared humour over some of David's quirks...such as his lack of speed on the road...
When we got back, it was meeting time. They had a planned presentation to do at Micaela's school...it's a Christian school where only 5 percent of the people are actually Christians. David created a new sketchboard message called 'El Hogar' (the home) for couples which he presented. It was a strong message, and was received well. He was very forceful, which he explained that he needed to be later because of the weak family structures that the community here along the coast has.
Today was a laid back day where we just followed them around as they paid electric bills, scouted new places to do meetings along the Ruta del Sol (Route of the Sun - an amazing drive along the coast of Ecuador that makes you want a motorcycle almost as much as Motorcycle Diaries does), ate lunch at the mall, discussed what function prophecy in today's church has, among other things. The family went out to visit some friends tonight, so Mark and I chilled at the house and had a nice college style dinner of cereal and mac and cheese. (Mac and soy sauce for me.) We also watched Motorcycle Diaries which only seemed appropriate given where we are.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Geez I slept late today! It was certainly a lazy Saturday to start. I'm starting to get my days back...they all got screwed up with the overnight layover. We had an afternoon meeting here in the neighborhood with the young uns. About 15 came, and David preached Cielo, and Mark and I made stabs at playing guitar to 'Dios es tan fuerte' and other favorites. It was our first time...hopefully it gets a lot better from here. The kids were very attentive and responsive. We played soccer for a bit afterwards, and no shock, I looked horrendous. As if I wasn't bad enough at sports in general, I come to a continent where all that's played is soccer. God's little chuckle at competitive me.
Tonight was a lot of fun. We had a lax dinner and Rafa hung out over here afterwards, and we fought with Micaela, who finally had the evening to herself since Cynthia went to bed early. She was a riot...she was fighting me and Mark and Rafa with straws for swords and pillows for shields. We also played Pictionary, which revealed both her artistic and competitive side bigtime...
Now, Mark and I are trying to sleep over Ecuadorian Idol going on outside our window...the most horrendous singing of karaoke in the history of mankind. And it's so stinking loud.
This still feels like I'm detoxing from the States. It feels like I've still got so much more to learn and experience, but it's gonna be a few before that happens. Maybe. Who ever planned trips like these out anyway...
I got the first shreds of Marissa down on GarageBand today. Rafa didn't seem overly taken with it after hearing the distorted guitar. Hehe. Guess I won't be sharing my iPod with him.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
This morning started not at David's church, but one that he was guest teaching at. The church was really great, had a lot of quality stuff during the service like a choir that sang old hymns, a great baptism and testimony, and the dude who was leading the music (named Angel) was super talented...he did all the arranging and he even programmed the music in his Korg keyboard. We exchanged e-mails and hopefully can hang out one day this week and play. He's much more into classical stuff than rock or pop, but still misses playing in his band that just dis-banded.
We got served lunch there and ended up hanging out a bit as David and Monica socialized. We're doing a VBS at that church in February, so we'll get to see those folks again. This afternoon we just napped, chilled with the girls and had a big water-balloon war out back (about flooded their bathroom in the process). Lots of fun. Tonight, just to see what would happen, we went to Parque de las Mamas to see if there would be a bunch of folks there since it's vacations for the kids now til April. Man were there ever!! It was quite a crowd. Mark and I brought our guitars, thinking we might do a kids meeting. Turns out, as David and Rafa finished setting up, he and I started screwing around, and ended up drawing a nice crowd with our unrehearsed, out of tune worship songs...was way more effective than what I would've thought. By the time David was ready to start, there were around 70 people of all ages ready to hear the message. Most stuck around too, and a good number even stayed through the Bible study that Rafa gave after David presented the gospel. It's awesome how when the hearts are ready, it doesn't matter how long the meeting is, where the location is, or how bad the gringoes are at playing guitar. (Sorry Mark...you sounded way better than me...)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Today we went to the beach. It's funny...today was allegedly their day of rest, and they ended up talking about Christ to 2 people, one of whom prayed to receive Him! "If one of you has a donkey that falls in a pit on the Sabbath..."
Anyhoo...beach was cool. Good waves, and nobody else was there...I mean nobody at all. We went to a beach down from Manta where it's more secluded, and it was good. I still shouldn't put sunscreen on by myself though. I have some very creative and artistic patterns consisting mainly of red and white on my back and arms.
We got back and were all pretty zonked. All except for the girls, who were in the neighborhood pool as soon as we got back in the driveway. I made huge headway with GarageBand and wasted a solid 5 hours this afternoon and tonight on the song I wrote in Guat...mucho fun. I see many more hours being spent with it. The 2nd person that they witnessed to who accepted Christ was Anita, a girl who lives down the street and always comes to hang out with Monica and the girls. We had a devotional in the living room, played music, read from John 14, and talked at length about salvation. It is just amazing to me how ripe and ready people are to respond to the gospel here, as well as David and Monica's uncanny ability to communicate what needs to be communicated at whatever time and it whatever way it needs to be heard.