Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saddle Up the Horses--Off to Ecuador

Watching the sunrise up against Lookout Mountain its hard to believe this is our last day before leaving for Ecuador. A little background on this crazy adventure

We've been itching to travel since we got back from Slovakia 6 years ago. Our oldest turned one, learned to walk and said his first words in Eastern Europe. Since then we have had 2 more children and realized travelling when the short people outnumber the tall people was not an adventure we were up for. We said when the baby was potty-trained we would take another trip. When Jessie announced this summer that she was "all done" with diapers we started looking at flights to Ecuador. Six months later, Simeon (6), Eli (4) , Jessie (3) along with their mama and dad are as ready as we're going to be for our big adventure!

We chose Ecuador for a few reasons: its relative cheap (compared say, to Indonesia), its in the same time zone (going to Texas would be a bigger time adjustment), we have friends down there (being together is always more fun) and the largest artisan market in Latin America is in Otovalo, just north of the capital. Plus, we speak a tiny bit of Spanish (emphasis on tiny).

So we've been working on a little Spanish with the children. I (Kim) spent a bit of time on Rosetta Stone language program. Its fantastic and is available at our local library even on-line from your home computer. Our language goals are for all of us to be polite and be able to try to make friends. So far, even Jessie (3, who's English is still a little tricky) can say basic greetings and introduce herself. We got a bunch of Spanish CD's from the library and have been playing them for a month or so. When we land, they will at least have heard the sound of these words that they don't understand. We'll see how we progress! Key Question: Donde es el bano?

We're going for 2 main reasons, one professional and one personal. We're hoping to meet artisans whose goods we can sell at the store. We're looking for fair trade cooperatives and communities who need a fair, equitable link to the US market. In the bigger picture, we think that the world is a beautiful place full of interesting, creative people and wonders of God and man. To see people living differently opens us up for inspiration, appreciation and a new perspective. As I sit here at my computer, in my warm house, after making tea with clean water from the faucet, wondering which thing to make for breakfast, I'm hoping that our trip will help us be really thankful for things we normally take for granted.

Pancakes and sausage. Off to enjoy our last day at home for a while.


lyndsayslaten said...

HOORAY! a blog!! i shall add you to my links. :)

praying for ecuador!!

sarah said...

Love your Blog!

Jeni, Joe, and Tilson said...

Thanks for doing this. I'll add you to my list and look forward to hearing more about your trip to Ecuador!