Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 3 - Bastion & Malecon

August 8, 2013

Thursday morning saw us enjoying breakfast at the hotel again.  This time I took a picture of the food.

 Herbal tea, watermelon (sandía) & pineapple (piña), fresh juice (jugo), rolls (pan) and scrambled eggs (huevos revueltos).  All included with our stay at the Hotel De Alborada.

I was confused by "Manzanilla", since apple is manzana, I thought perhaps it was an "little apple" infusion, however, manzanilla is chamomile and has nothing to do with apples.
Nikki H., our Hope of Bastion School contact & Tim & Lil's niece, picked us up from the hotel at 10am that morning and drove us to Bastion Popular, the large squatter community where the church and school are located.  She actually had to tell us we were in Bastion, it had changed so much since we were there 10 years ago.  All the streets are paved, there is electricity, running water and a sewage system.  It was just dirt and mud ten years ago and many of the houses were less structurally sound.

This is the front of the little assembly in Bastion.

And the front of Hope of Bastion School (Escuela Esperanza de Bastion).
We delivered our toothbrushes and toothpaste to the school and also a single library book that had been donated to our chapel in Ontario, which was actually in Spanish and of no real use to be sent to Zambia or the Congo, so we brought it along and gave it to Amaryllis, the librarian.  We toured the school and got to meet some of the other missionaries and locals who make up the school staff.

The Gymnasium

Second year students (equivalent to our Grade 1)

One of the older classes.

Becky M and Nikki H
We got to see Jay, Donna's brother in his class, but Donna was home with a bit of a fever.  We went over to Nikki's house to leave our extra luggage there, as we were traveling to Baños the following day and wouldn't need all our baggage.  She treated us to some yummy gluten-free muffins and a little visit and some internet access.

We headed back to Bastion and got to meet Maria & Donna and her family and they had cooked us a lovely lunch of Coca-Cola Chicken (a local special occasion dish, where the chicken is marinated in a sauce including coke and lots of other ingredients, and then cooked down till the sauce is all absorbed by the chicken), rice and a carrot and onion salad in a tangy lemon vinaigrette (think vinegar based coleslaw, only no cabbage).

A surprise to us was that Maria's older sister, Y., was staying at the house.  She is Donna & Jay's mom and isn't usually around.  That same day, Maria's older brother and his wife had a baby boy and Maria needed to take all the supplies to the hospital (including food which the hospital does not supply).  She took a bus there.

Nikki, Brent, and I took Donna & Jay to a new park only to discover that the playstructure was closed for cleaning.
The new park (name forgotten by me...)

 Our plan B was to head back to the Malecon, since it also has a lovely playground for the kids.  The kids had a blast playing on the swings and then the monkey bars and slides.  Donna could win medals for her agility on the monkey bars.  They both had colds but were trying their best to have a good time.

Donna, the monkey bars queen!

We all had to get in the act...

What a cute pair!

Just hanging out!

 We had walked past a "race track" on our way to the playground.  It involved battery powered 4 wheelers for kids and we thought that it looked like lots of fun and not something they probably wouldn't get to do again. 

 We finished up the racing and then walked up to Maria's sister's work. 

Madge works at a gelato shop, so it wasn't too much of a sacrifice to go visit her.   (And we hadn't gotten to meet her yet, so we did really want to go, even if she had worked in a shoe store...)
 And then, sweetheart that she is, she insisted on paying for all of our gelato.  I got Naranjilla, which is a tart citrus-y fruit.  I loved it!  Brent and Donna got pistacio.  Jay got chocolate mint and Nikki got Nutella flavored gelato.  Who knew?  Nutella gelato!!!

We headed back to the car and both kids fell asleep on the way back to Bastion.  We went back to Maria's house as we were to meet up with her to head to prayer meeting and Bible study at the church near the school.  We were running late for prayer meeting at this point, but the family was cooking us food so choosing between the rudeness of being late to church and refusing the food that they made us... we ate some patacones (double fried green plantains) and promised to eat the rest when we got home after meeting.  Unfortunately, Maria wasn't yet home from delivering the supplies to the hospital, so Nikki dropped us off at the church and made arrangements for Felipe to bring us back to the house, if Maria didn't make it in time.

When we arrived at prayer meeting, it was a pretty small group.  But as time went on, more and more people came.  We sang & prayed and they even asked Brent for a song request.  Brent flipped through the book and came across a song that he remembered from our last visit (mind like a steel trap, I tell you!).  So we all sang "Todo Poderoso" and they were impressed that he remembered a song from 10 years ago.  Felipe spoke on Psalm 51 and then we broke in to small groups for more personal prayer.  All of this of course in Spanish, with ours starting to improve by virtue of necessity, but was still pretty brain exhausting, nonetheless.

We walked back with Maria to her home and were fed once again.  This time some breaded white fish and rice.  With Maria's brother and wife having a baby born that day, the 2 year old nephew and his grandmother were also at the house.

Since we expected that the kids would be off to school early in the morning, we decided to do all our gift giving that night.  We didn't actually take too many photos, but I can tell you that everyone was very excited by the clothes, backpacks and Bibles.

I made a quilt for Maria, and while I didn't get to take any photos of it when I gave it to her, I do have some photos of it that I took here at home.

Panchi gave us her room that night and we slept under mosquito netting for the first time.  With the coming of paved roads, running water and sewer systems, the mosquitoes seemed far fewer in this area, but always better to be safe than sorry.