Image of Step team quad bikingToday was our last day at Villa de Leyva. We woke up quite early & we had to pack all of our stuff & leave the hostel. Before we left Villa de Leyva Josh, Jordan, Mel & Zack went quad biking! It was so fun! Going round the dessert track for about an hour. Even though Jordan had quite a bad accident as she came of the quad bike as her brakes weren’t working properly, so she went into a ditch that had a barbed wired fence & she cut her leg & arm. The others Beth, Alice P, Alice W went horse riding around Villa de Leyva, which they said they enjoyed. After this, we had a little time to buy some souvenirs for family & friends. Then we got the bus back to Bogota to Abi & Pipe’s house and had a lovely meal with them and then went to bed.

The next day, Friday, was our last morning in Bogota/Colombia!! We had a quick breakfast and then finished doing all of our packing. Then we went on the transmilenio (bus) to the shops to buy some more souvenirs. We had to rush back to Abi and Pipe’s to get all of our luggage and then we got the taxi to the airport. We said our final goodbyes to Abi and Pipe, which was very upsetting as we didn’t want to leave them! 🙁

Image of Steppers with Colombia flagsWe got on the plane and in about an hour we arrived at Quito! Goodbye Colombia, Hello Ecuador!! At the airport we were welcomed by Katy, who is the Latin Link Ecuador team leader, and also Jimena who is the Short-term Coordinator in Ecuador. She and her husband Andrés are also directors of Propósito Global (Global Purpose), which is a ministry that supports local churches and help by providing training in leadership and missions.

Then we got a taxi to the Propósito Global building, which was a big place where we were going to stay for our orientation. There were a lot of people there – they all welcomed us and we had a lovely night talking to them, having dinner and a worship session. The next day we got up and had breakfast, had another worship session and then did a group devotional. Afterwards we had about four different sessions about the culture of Pedernales, the coastal town we were going to live and work in, and about what we would be doing there with the construction of the pastor’s house. After this, we had some free time to go to the shops to buy some clothes. When we came back, we had another chat about the people in Pedernales and we time to share about our time in Colombia. After this, we had a big worship session all together with a few young adults.

The next day Sunday, we had to leave the house at 9 as we were going out to explore Quito. We went to lots of different churches and buildings. We went to a really big church, which was made out of gold – it was really spectacular and beautiful! We had lots of fun exploring and getting to know the Proposito Global lot a bit more. Then we went back home and had another worship session then played this fun game called Ligretto.

The next day we had to get up really early as we had to leave to go to the terminal at 6.30am as the bus to Pedernales was at 9am. Ina & Saulo, who are members of Propósito Global, came with us. Saulo is an architect so he was going to help us with the construction. The bus journey was really long – just under 6 hours. We watched three different films on the bus. Then we finally got to our destination at about 3 o’clock, it was so hot when we got off the bus. Ina went in a moto taxi with most of the luggage to the Pastor’s restaurant, the rest of us had to walk with the other rest of the luggage that didn’t fit in the taxi.

Image of Step team in rain in QuitoWe arrived at the restaurant & pastor Carlos & his wife Luz welcomed us and made us some lunch. After this, we went to the beach! It was so beautiful!! Then we went back to the restaurant to have some dinner, and on to the place we were going to stay. It’s a massive compound where pastor Carlos’ friends from the church live. They own a large supermarket which is next to the house. We were welcomed by the family nad then we made our beds inside as it was too late to make the tents that we thought we were going to be sleeping in.

The next day we went to the restaurant for breakfast and then we went straight to the area we were going to be building the house for the pastor. The area looked like it was in the middle of nowhere – it was full of grass and there was a mini river that you had to cross. We thought we were going to start the work on it but we couldn’t because the area hadn’t been cleared. We went back to the pastors restaurant to have some lunch and then we went to go and buy some sombreros. After that we went to the pastors house to sand some doors down which were for the house. We went to the beach afterwards.

Image of Step team standing outside Quito basilicaThe next day we had to put a gigantic tent up for our luggage to go in. Then we went to the pastor’s church, which is called ‘La iglesia alianza’ – we had to clean and organise all the storage and equipment, which were in a room behind the church. This area was going to be a new house for someone who lost their house in the earthquake and are now living in a 2m by 2m room.

Thanks :

  • For Abi and Pipe, for the time we shared with them and the love they gave us
  • For the people at Propósito Global, the welcome they gave us and all the stuff they taught us & to be prepared for Pedernales.