We walked up the beach in drizzly weather to the house hosting the day’s event. They get together every Saturday for potluck, with different people hosting each week. We arrived and saw lots of friends surrounding tables of food and drinks. We have been eating pretty sparse lately and our jaws dropped when we saw the spread – it was like Thanksgiving in Ecuador! I didn’t know so many foods could be found here! Ah, the joys of food prepared by people with cars and easy(er) access to city markets.
The hosts have a son visiting who performs professionally in Branson and top resorts and we were treated to live music along with great food and fellowship! Everyone stayed talking for a few hours, and we were the first to leave around 4 because we had to get to the fundraiser in Olon.
The normally misty, dreary weather had taken a turn for the worst and a chilly, light rain soaked everything as the sun went down. Carried on the wind, it blew in soaking everyone without regard for those under cover or not. People huddled for warmth, soggy Bingo cards in hand, undeterred! This was a classic cultural experience. The event was scheduled to begin at 5 and right on time (at nearly 6), it got started!
They played with our camera (as usual) and had great fun taking pictures of all kinds of things, us included, until the rain required putting it away. They ran around, returning to “check-in” for hugs all night, while a few who were more insecure in town remained by our sides (or in our laps). We scooped up as many as we could hold, did our best to keep them warm and dry, and had a great night loving on them.
Before the games ever started (and in between each of the 6 games) there were dances and songs performed for entertainment. The dancers from Bolivia performed several times, but the kids were my obvious favorite. Several of the kids from the orphanage sang a song for those in attendance to thank them for their support. Nearer the end of the night, a few performed a dance they had been practicing all week – it was great!
Too soon, we had to give up “our” kids, gave them all big hugs and said goodbye as they headed up the hill to the orphanage and we headed the opposite direction, home. We stopped by a bakery for some bread and eggs (okay, and a slice of flan), and caught a bus home. As I fell asleep last night I was overwhelmed by the joy of community and fellowship I had experienced all day. We are truly all created in the image of GOD, and can reflect his love to each other -whether we know Him yet or not - HE is just that GOOD.
Here's a partial video of the kids singing - quality is lacking due to the rain and crowd, but it's a taste!