ecuador (per my phone)

one day. one day i will blog all of my pictures from ecuador.  i believe i have mentioned have a few thousand from all of my trips. i would love to blog about every picture, because the stories these pictures hold will be in my heart forever. one day! :) 

the picture below is how we start every single day in machachi. we take turns doing a devotional, reading scripture, praying for our day, and asking the Lord to work through us in mighty ways. depending on our day's schedule, our devotionals can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. 

we use the cameras on our cell phones a lot. ecuadorians enjoy taking cell phone pictures as much, if not more than north americans. 

this series is proof that, "you never know what might happen in a given day!" it was after breakfast on our first day, when antonio (one of the owners of the hostel) wanted his "friends" to meet us. 

this happens often, but it's not all that often when the friends show up with a film crew. a full out crew including hair, wardrobe and makeup! 

the crew especially wanted to interview a "real life north american soldier." (yes, josh's military experience is a big deal wherever he goes!)

 the make up process was so entertaining, i had to FaceTime his wife and boys so they could see this once in a life time experience!

 a few nights later the crew showed up again. it was late, it had been a very long day, and the crew wanted another interview... this time with all of us on Facebook live. 
 we talked about why we come to machachi, what we do, our faith, a little about ourselves... the entire time i was hoping this video wouldn't be shared back home. it was. i haven't watched, don't plan to ;) i can only imagine how our southern accents sounded this late at night, with little to no warning.

 an author of a book gave us a signed copy and asked that i come back to teach a photography class ;) 
 we walk a lot! on this day, we walked to a village a few miles away to another village.

 the visits we make in people's home are some of ur most treasured moments. the pictures are often grainy, with poor white balance, but they are so very special and tell a lot about what our surroundings look like. 

 a cross made by the girls at djj hanging in a family's home.
 why did i take a picture of this bathroom? toilet paper, hand soap, a locking door... this is a fancy bathroom!
 dinner with friends!

 we love face timing our family when visiting friends.

 these guys loves a silly picture... north americans... we're always so awakard!
 this sweet baby spends the day on her mother's back! her mother is a house maid and her brother joins them after school. the family she works for drives her home in the evening. she lives in a (tiny) one bedroom house in the country. 
 sweet girls before a home bible study.

 just as i said, ecuadorians love a group picture. it often feels like we have a paparatzi!

this is the baby that seeds the ay working with her mother. once i got my hands on her she wouldn't let me put her down! (score!)

 i struggle eating while away. once someone asked me if all we ate was mexican food. i smiled. mexico is a continent away, but i once saw a mexican restaurant in quito. the fruits and vegetables in ecuador look AMAZING! however, we are limited to what we can eat because of the water. salads of any kind are off limits. they may have been washed in water or even cut with a knife that had been washed in water. i once ate a small sliver of a strawberry before realizing i wasn't supposed to. that was the one time i got really, really sick. maybe it was something else, but i blame it on that strawberry sliver. 

we are limited to pre packaged food or food that has been cooked at high temperatures (fried) or breads. i used to eat a lot of the soup. until on several occasions i dipped out animals pieces that i thought  were inedible... and that forever eliminated soup.  

the pizzas are amazing. i have to decide which is more important .. hunger or the effects of gluten. one day we passed a mcdonald's on the way to the airport. i rarely eat mcdonald's in the states, but in ecuador this is my comfort food!

 every trip, every team, every experience is life changing! one member said it best, "what a privilege it is to travel 'to the ends of the earth' doing what God commanded us all to do." in fact i am packing my bags again and leaving this sunday! a small team of two. 

happy birthday birdie

moving right along with family birthdays. this one happened in november :) better late than ever. 

anna katherine ~ this girl is our heart! we cannot begin to express how proud her kind soul makes us!

bennett stopped by. not for cake, but because his momma was in town ;) see that mustache? it's not really a mustache. it's a "ruttstache." when it is (deer) rutt season, bennett and all his buddies grow them.  (as long as it is off by thanksgiving.) but i sure do love this young man!
the timing of her birthday was perfect. papa gene had just passed away and honey needed a little road trip to take her mind off things. jeff kindly made reservations for us to stay a few days in clemson visiting our girl. 

her birthday party :) was at the new clemson training facility. she received a special vip tour! spending an hour looking at all things clemson football may sound like something a girl would not be interested in... not this girl. anna katherine loves football more than any of us!

we were not allowed to take very many pictures. clemson football is guarded like the pentagon.  if we accidentally found out football secrets, i am guessing they would have to kill us. 

at the end of her four years, i feel certain that her blood will be orange.
we missed celebrating with daddy and mary claire. we sure do adore this young lady!

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