15 mayo 2007

Subiendo Mojanda

Two weeks ago, the school that I teach at had a holiday. But instead of using this Friday to sleep in late and watch movies all day, everyone decided to climb a mountain. It was a good choice. We all live on the side of the mountain called Mojanda. Every clear day since February I have looked up at the craggy peak of this mountain and had the urge to climb it. Also, one day I was looking at a topographical map of Ecuador and saw that there were lakes on the other side of the peak. This was a trip that I knew I had to take before I went back to the states. So on Friday morning 9 children, 4 adults, and one baby packed snacks, water, coats, hats, and gloves for the hike up the mountain. I was a little skeptical about hiking with kids, especially since the climb was not going to be easy. But honestly during the 4 1/2 hour hike, those children were great. They persevered, didn't complain and genuinly had fun. It was great walking with them.
We only took a couple standing breaks and one sit-down break for snacks. I was really impressed with everyone.
This is Andres eating "chifles" (plantain chips) during the break. He's a fun kid and has an amazing memory for English vocabulary. One time when he was writing a Bible verse in his notebook he wrote: "In Jesus, you have peach." He meant to write "peace", and when I explained what he had written he thought it was hilarious. So now that's a favorite English saying of my 8 and 9 year old class.


This is Cristian, Jhon and Patricia during break. The kids all have trouble saying the word "bird" in class, they pronounce it more like "beard". One day Jhon was reading and said, "the beards have wings to help them fly." I told them what a beard was and why it was important to say "birds have wings..." Jhon continues to point out the "beards flying" and the "birds with beards"--he always gets a big laugh from that one.


Here is Leonela and Jorge. As you can see, Jorge is a Titans fan...well, not really. Leo is really quiet, but every once in awhile she'll get in these really silly moods...it's fun. Jorge is in a continual silly mood--he's so great. He loves Spiderman and always tries to spider bite me with two fingers. He also tries to tickle me a lot and he doesn't believe me when I say I'm not ticklish...he knows better.

So after four hours of walking up...we finally arrived at our destination. And what a prize it was. I think it was one of the most beautiful sights I've seen. It was well worth the struggle.

Martin deserves a gold star for his trek up the mountain. He walked the entire way with his 20lb son, Santiago, strapped to his back. And Martin is not a big guy...I think he comes up to my shoulder (like most average Ecuadorians).

And here we are at Lago Mojanda. The pictures don't capture the tranquility and beauty...it was amazing.

The rest of the clan--those too old and young to hike up--came by car (there is a bumpy road that winds up one side of the mountain to the lake). They also brought all of our food, tents, and wood for fires. Above is Isabella, Maria, and Gladys.

There were little huts that we were able to put all of our stuff in and we even set up a couple tents inside to keep out of the wind. It was helpful, but I still experienced one of the coldest nights of my life. I didn't sleep very much.

Here is Pamela. She's a fiesty one. It's really not that unusual for me to see children carrying machetes anymore. Abigail and Sydney have a birthday coming up!

More views of the lake. Amazing. What more can I say?

We couldn't have picked a better day (it was perfect, except for the cold night). When we woke up there were blue skies and a bright sun to greet us.




Finally this is me with Lorena. She is the wife of Martin and mother to the baby Sanitago, not to mention all of the little girls. She and her husband have dedicated their lives to this orphanage and have taken in all of the girls as their own daughters. They are great people.
So there's another adventure for you. I really though I'd be sore after this one, but thankfully I have no pain or scars left over...only pictures. Enjoy!

2 Comments:

Anonymous mama and papa said...

What a beautiful hiking experience and what precious children you are working with. I know God is using you to encourage them on their spiritual journey. We especially liked all the pictures and stories about the children and we look forward to hearing more about your time with the children.

10:05 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Miranda, que experiencia tan linda. Que bueno que lo tienes en fotografias para recordarlo para siempre. Ojala yo hubiera guardado todas mis fotos de todas mis experiencias de los diferentes lugares donde he vivido, pero eso fue en tiempos muy atras cuando no existian blogs, ni internet!

5:35 p. m.  

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