Mark, Ben, Raph and Luke got back to work at church, welding the steel to the wall. The rest of us went food shopping for the week, and bought some presents to give to people on Thursday night at our leaving do, as a way of saying thank you. We also gained another team member for a couple of days – Callum, a Strider who has been based in Quito for the past 6 months, came to help us out at the building project for a while.
In the morning the boys continued helping with the metalwork and Chloe and Rachel painted some bible verses to go in photo frames, to give as gifts. Mark cut his hand really badly on the building site while moving one of the beams and had to get 9 stitches, but thankfully the wound is healing well!
In the afternoon we went to see an orphanage which Katy visits once a week, which houses children affected by HIV. We had such a lovely afternoon with the kids, helping them with homework and playing football and other games with them.
More work was done at the building site including cutting and welding more beams to the wall. We also made a Victoria sponge and a trifle for our leaving do which is happening tomorrow.
Spent the day working on the building site and planning for the leaving do. The metalwork has really come on and we’ve made a lot of progress in the past couple days.
The leaving do was a really lovely night, the church organised the majority of it and they gave a really lovely speech about how much we have helped and blessed them in our time there, which was very humbling because we really feel that we have got so much out of this experience too. We were able to give our gifts to everyone and we received some very thoughtful presents too. Saying goodbye to everyone was so difficult – it’s crazy how much we have connected with them in such a short space of time despite the language barrier.
Said our goodbyes to Sharon’s group and they made us a traditional Ecuadorian dish called “ceviche” made of tomato, onion and beans for our last ‘elevenses’. We also bought some of the lovely crafts that the kids and adults had made to sell.
Went for a 10km cycle and river swim in the afternoon which was a lot of fun! Said our goodbyes to Jackie, Laura and Jordan in the afternoon which was very emotional – we don’t want to leave them. They had got us all presents and handwritten letters. Went to a birthday party in the evening which involved piñata-type things and lots of dancing.
Travelled to Quito and had a team day off visiting the equator at Mitad del Mundo, then went on a trip on a cable car to a viewpoint.
Flew back to London, which included a (shorter) 9 hour layover in Mexico City this time…! Very emotional goodbyes but we are thankful to have got home safely. We are also very thankful for the incredibly blessed time we’ve had in this amazing country, and for the relationships we’ve formed with team members and people in Ecuador alike.
A big thanks to everyone for their prayers and support – the trip was challenging in a lot of ways, but it was such an amazing experience and we really hope that we impacted the lives of those who we went out to serve as much as they impacted ours. We really valued the fact that people back home were reading these reports and supporting us through prayer – so thank you 🙂