fast pass

nothing makes me want to share ecuador pictures like packing a suitcase. at this moment we have suitcases scattered all over our house.

 bennett is stuffing suitcases, shopping bags, clothes baskets... anything that can hold something. that bog of ours could not care less about appearances. he is returning to clemson after a long break. my heart hurts to see him leave. jeff is returning from a business trip. i always, always miss that guy when he is away.  mary claire is packing for a church ski trip. this lady tries to pack her entire room (and her sister's) into a duffle bag.  

my suitcases are almost ready for the scale. fifty pounds max.  my packing list is simple and easy. one of the best things about being in a third world country, you realize how much stuff you can live without. you develop a dislike for stuff.

i have mentioned our "tour day"  before. the team selects a place to tour for one of the ten days. on our last trip we choose mindo, "the place where the Chocoan lowlands meet the Tropical Andes."

and the place where i almost met  Jesus ;)

one trip to mindo will last me a lifetime.

quick restroom break on the outskirts of quito

the treacherous van ride is burned in my mind like the skid marks along that road. thank goodness i did not have access to the internet. because when i got to the airport and googled this road... man oh man alive! this is a very dangerous road. (like so many in south america)

the narrow road running between a mountain and a cliff. reckless, speeding drivers all around us. the rain, the fog, the visibility.  the smashed guard rails...

a recipe for a Jesus fast pass!

we arrived wild eyed, wobbly kneed, but in one piece.  we were there for extreme four-wheeling. half of the team was born and bred in the south. when we hear extreme four wheeling, we think monster trucks and at an eighty degree incline.

the motorcycle rides were great, not extreme at all. our dose of extreme was the van ride there.

once i realized i may not meet jesus "today"  and the fear of lice in my helmet . the view was amazing! seriously take your breath away splendor

 i trailed in the back, pausing to take a few pictures.
God's masterpieces all around us. 

that's some seriously good sleep!

jeff is in the pool business...

we ended our tour day drenched to the bone, laughing at the word extreme and so grateful for this las day as a team. i think the fog made the motorcycle ride more enchanting. 
we ended our tour day (and our trip) with a steak dinner dinner and fresh fruit juice ~ 5.50 each. our driver jose is the best! he handles those roads like an experienced  race car driver. 

and do you know our ride from mindo to the airport.... was even worse! the fog, plus the rain, plus the narrow roads, plus the maniac drivers...  the darkness added another level of "Jesus take the wheel." jose handled it like a champ.  he didn't even mind when we screamed a few times.  i imagined our pastor standing in front of our congregation breaking the sad news to them... our mission team is now in heaven :)

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