Monday, September 1, 2008
Ecuador provided us with a good variety of experiences. We met a really cool bike shop guy that lent us bikes and took us on a mountain bike ride through the incredible lush green rolling mountains of Cuenca. Wow, was it beautiful. The only down fall (no pun intended) was that as I was dodging a bigger than life, ferocious snarling dog...I crashed! My foot swelled up and it is still swollen 12 days later. I'm not sure what I did to it but I'm milking Ward for all the sympathy I can get.
We also met up with our friend, Bryan (Pastor from the Decorah Lutheran Church). He taught in Cuenca in the past so he was our tour guide and knew all the great places to eat. It was fun to see a familiar face and speak English again.
Then it was time to remove all of our jewelry (soap and twisting works great for wedding rings) and prepare for our risky bus ride to the Colombian border.
(Photos: handing out pencils at the school; the founding Father and Sister.)
My dad (Elroy Spreen) has been telling me about a boys' school in Ecuador that he contributed to in the past...but he didn't know where. Details, details. Well, we tracked it down. It is located in Quito, Ecuador. Now, I didn't see a corner stone with my father's name on it. But, I believe him.
Originally, the school took shoe shine boys off the street and taught them the principles of life. Now, it not only works with the boys but with the whole families. They learn skills and trades and are able to work and support their own. They have changed their name to "A Family of Families". The school has been thriving for the past forty-four years and appears to still be going strong. We met the 20 volunteer teachers for this next school year. We had a great time staying with them for a few days and being inspired by their stories and endeavors. Good job dad!