Our flights (all three of them) went great and, praise God all of our luggage made it! (We were especially concerned about the one hour layover with an airline change in Panama.) We arrived in Quito around 10:30pm on June 2nd.
However, after clearing customs and going out to the pickup area we couldn’t find our contact anywhere. He was supposed to meet us at the airport and take us to his guest house, but he was nowhere to be found.
Thankfully, an Ecuadorian couple who were waiting for other travelers offered to let us use their cell phone (I had the strange sense that I knew the couple from somewhere, but I know I had never met them). The contact, who had had forgotten he was supposed to come to the airport that night, was able to pick us up right away.
Once we got to the guest house we flopped into bed exhausted. The next morning we were up bright and early to make the 5 hour trip down to Shell. The drive from Quito to Shell is probably my all-time favorite… jungle, rivers, waterfalls, winding mountain roads, Ecuadorians in traditional dress –just beautiful.
After a few delays we arrived in Shell that afternoon. Sara met us and after dropping our bags off at the house we went to the orphanage. It was so good to see all of the kids again!! They have grown so much! A new little one was brought to the orphanage the day we arrived. It turns out that his father was trying to sell him and someone connected with the orphanage was able to convince the father to bring the little boy to Casa de Fe.
Today we have spent time getting settled into the house, showing Luke around the town, playing with and tutoring the kids, and in the afternoon, we went up to see the property where the new orphanage is being constructed. The property is amazing! Located on the edge of the jungle just outside of Shell, there is a lot of space to run and play, a creek for the kids to swim in, and a big beautiful building in the works. Luke will be helping with the construction this summer and Sara and I will go out occasionally as well. The goal is to have the building finished before the start of school this summer.