Come with us as we return to South America this summer to volunteer at La Casa De Fe, a home for abandoned and special needs children in Shell, Ecuador.

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Mathew 19:14

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What you get for the money….. (Sara)

…at the farmer’s market
Every week Patti Sue goes to the farmer’s market to buy food for the kids. This Sunday I got to go with her.

Shopping list and $20

4 pounds of Strawberries $4.00

3 Pounds of Moras (Blackberries) $3.00

Bag of finger potatoes $1.00

Bag of Onions $1.00

6 Apples $1.00

Head of broccoli $0.75

40 oranges $2.00

Stalk of mini bananas $1.00

Bag of Tomatoes $1.00

6 Cucumbers $1.00

2 Bags of Carrots $2.00

Yusa tea leaves $2.00

Total $19.75

Monday, June 28, 2010

Let the Little Children Come (Sara)

On Friday we took a few of the preschoolers and toddlers and had a fun day. The little ones often don’t get to do the fun stuff that the bigger kids do, so we decided it was their turn.

Martin, Fernando, Boris, Rosa and Nayeli came over to our house for some fun. We had popsicles…




Fernando was sooo full of energy and always ready to go on to the next thing

Next we had fun stringing beads....

Nayeli, Jenny and Boris

Rosa with her beads


Martin and Luke, Ready for the walk back

We enjoyed giving the kids some one on one time and doing something special with them. The beading was great for two of the kids who need to be encouraged to use their weaker hands, and with all of the kids we talked about shapes, colors, and numbers.


We’re still here (Sara)

Sorry about not posting for the past few days. We had a scheduled power outage for the region - which we did not know was scheduled until after the lights went out on Saturday morning. The power was supposed to go back on at 6pm…. however it turned out to be more of an estimate.

We decided to take the bus and spend the day in a city about an hour away called Baños. Normally they have good hiking, sightseeing, and outdoor activities to do, but it turned out to be a rainy day so we just spend the day exploring the city and finding dry warm places to stand. (we'll post pictures later)

We got back home in the afternoon and at 6:30 when the electricity had not come back on we went out to the local hamburger restaurant with the other volunteers. The menu was limited because they did not have electricity either, but it was fun to hang out and eat by candle light.

After dinner the other volunteers all came over to our house and we played games and ate popcorn by candle light. (Our stove runs on gas so we were able to do some cooking).

At 9:30 Sunday morning the lights finally came back on.

We are busy preparing for our last full week here in Shell. Time has flown so quickly!! We will be taking a bus up to Quito a week from Monday and then we fly out on Tuesday the 6th.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

...The Beach, part 2 (Erin)

A few more pics from the beach...

The kids loved craft time

Marcia with the "blessings" book she made

Marley swinging her brother on the hammock. Only a few kids went flying when the rope that holds the hammock broke. :0)

Nap time!

Facinated by the fisherman’s boat

What the fisherman caught!

“Family” time, my favorite!!

Three little monkeys checking Miss Allison’s head for lice

The group threw a big birthday party for the kids that have birthdays in June. They all loved the piñata!

Relaxing at the beach


At the Beach With Ivan (Luke)

The time at the beach was a little crazy, but the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. Being one-on–one with them was such a good thing, and it helped us keep our sanity. Before this trip I did not know many of the kid’s names (I have been working at the construction site much of the time while in shell and I will post about that later), but while I was at the beach I got to know Ivan, the boy I was paired with, very well. I also got to know the other boys and volunteers on my floor.


I learned that the boys in my room loved to climb around on the triple-high bunk bed. They also decided that jumping off the bunk beds onto a queen bed in the middle of the room was a lot of fun. At one point Javier jumped all the way from the third bunk! We quickly put an end to that, but it did not stop them from climbing onto each other’s beds, during nap time, playing hang man together, and talking incessantly in Spanish while they were supposed to be sleeping.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Picnic On The Roof (Sara)

On the day before we left for the beach we wanted to have a few kids over to do something fun. Since we also needed to eat some of our food that would otherwise go bad, we decided to have Jessica and Carlos over for lunch. They came over(along with Craig, one of the other volunteers here) and helped us prepare our picnic.

We ate salad, humitas (corn patties), blackberry juice, soup with rice and stir fried veggies to mix in.

When we had everything ready we took it up to our roof/patio. We have a great area up there with an open space to sit or play and a covered area for rainy days. While we were eating some big storm cloud blew in, but thankfully they did not downpour on us.

Jessica loved the hammock

After eating, we went inside for more games...

...and cookies of course!!

Yes, the cookies were green J


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Beach -part 1

We’re Baaaack! -in Shell that is :0) We had a wonderful week at the beach! Although it’s good to be back “home” with hot showers (well sort of hot), sand free, and access to running water throughout the day.

There were 19 children and 19 volunteers that made the trip to the beach. Each volunteer was assigned to one child. This was great for safety in the water as well as wonderful opportunity to give these kids the kind of one-on-one personal attention that they need. It was amazing to see each child thrive as they spent time with their “tia” or “tio” (aunt or uncle). Below are a few photos from the trip. Enjoy!

Breakfast at the guest house in Quito (about a 5 hour drive from Shell- we started the trip at 4:30am).

Having fun with our new friends at the guest house in Quito.

This is the group that made the kids’ dream of a trip to the beach into a reality.

Then back on the bus for another 5 hours to reach the beach house in Same’.

Ivan with “Mr. Luke”

Sara and Marcia

Marley catching some sleep

The view from the top of the beach house.

Erin, Sara, Tandy, Marley, Marcia and Jenny’s room.

Carlos (Marley’s twin brother) –waiting to swim

Jefferson looking for dolphins

Marcia and Marley ready to hit the beach

“Finally” in the water

Boogie board time!


Best Friends!

To Be Continued…..

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Visiting Angela in Guayaquil (Sara)

This is an account of my visit with my Compassion child, Angela, on May 27th. Pictures and stories from the beach trip will be coming soon.

I became the correspondent sponsor of Angela in March, so by the time I arrived we had only been able to exchange one letter (letters take 2-3 months to arrive). Yet of all my kids, she was the most open and talkative from the beginning.

She lives with her parents and older brother in a city four hours away called Portoviejo. So she and her mom and project director spent the night at a hotel in Guayaquil so that we could have our day together.

Angela and I with her mom and project director

This visit was a little different because we could not go to her house and project. Instead we just spent time getting to know each other. The first thing we did was to go to one of the touristy areas in Guayaquil called the Malecon. It is a boardwalk that stretches along the Guayas River and has a lot of different restaurants and attractions. We headed straight for the large playground area.

After playing at the Malecon we took a taxi to the local mall and had lunch in the food court.

As we ate I learned more about her community. Her project has 374 children, and like Iris’ project this one also has the Child Survival Program (CSP).

The children attend project activities Monday-Wednesday and Angela attends in the afternoon session so that she can attend public school in the morning.

We had ice cream for dessert

While we were at the food court I got to give her the gifts. We also played hand games, and had a tickle fight...

Then we went to the play area and she rode some rides.

A rollercoaster simulator

Angela: "If that things moves, I don’t want to go on it.” We finally convinced her to try it, and she liked it.

After playing on some of the rides, we found a spot to sit and play with the gifts that I had given her.

Not too long after that we had to say goodbye. They had a 5 hour trip back home on the bus, and Omar and I had a 4-hour bus ride to get to Riobamba, the city where I would visit my last child.


If you are interested in sponsoring a child like Angela through Compassion International click here to see children who are waiting for a loving sponsor.