Time has flown by since we arrived in Shell and between the busyness and some trouble with the internet we have not been able to post for a while. So we decided to do a long recap .
On Saturday we traveled by bus from the capital city of Quito to Shell, a small town on the edge of the Jungle. We shared the ride with a few other volunteers who were coming to work at Casa de Fe and at the local Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) base. The 5-hour trip was full of beautiful mountain roads, waterfalls, and sheer cliffs.
When we arrived it was raining, of course, but after a few calls we were able to meet our contacts and get to our new house.
We spent the first day settling into our house, unpacking our hopelessly scrambled bags, eating a late lunch, and visiting with the kids. (More about our house later). When we got to the orphanage we were amazed by how different everything was. In the new property the kids have a safe place to run and play. They seem so different with all that space. Instead of just having a small cement patio to play on, the kids have a backyard with toys, play equipment, a bike path, a stream that can be dammed up into a pond, and just a ton of space to use however they want.
Our first view of the new property
On Sunday we got up early to go to the market in the next town over and ended up catching a ride with the Patti Sue (CDF director). The market was huge and we had fun wandering through the aisles, and buying a bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables. We had been eating kind of random meals for the first few days of our trip, but now we are excited about really being able to cook.
Our produce from the market
When we got back to Shell we spent a few hours helping with Sunday School at the orphanage, and playing with the kids in their back yard and on the bikes. My favorite part was seeing Tatiana and Martin playing together with a tricycle. They both have some mobility challenges but they were having so much fun together.
Monday was training day and we spent time with Tandy, the volunteer coordinator, going over plans and expectations and getting ready for the summer. We ate a yummy lunch and enjoyed getting to know the other volunteers with whom we would be working.
On Tuesday morning we got to play with the kids and do one-on-one time with the babies. We also helped move furniture and clean out houses so that everything would be ready for the summer. The rain slowed our progress, but we will finish the moving later.
Today, Wednesday we were at the orphanage spending time with the babies, setting up the rooms for summer activities/tutoring, and playing games outside with the bigger kids. When it got really hot we took the kids to the creek to swim. They had so much fun, and did not want to get out when it was time for dinner.
Here are some photos from the last few days:
Burgers and tea at Johnny’s
Erin and Martin watching the carpenter ants “!mira, grandote! – look, a huge one!”
Rosa walking on water
Rubi has such a big smile
Rosa had fun playing with the clay that the kids found by the pool
Josue was off to work
“Mister Luke” with Alejo
Angel thinks dirt tastes yummy
David decided the swing would be a good place to nap