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Day 6 - First full day in Quito, Ecuador

Plus more bad news

rain 50 °F

It's now Tuesday, January 20th. I'm still very sick but determined not to miss anything. Fanny Sosa ( some of you may know her) and her daughter picked us up and took us to old Quito to walk around. It RAINED HARD most of the day. Strange, the day we arrived, 15th, it was the hottest day in Quito in 10 years and no rain for two months even though this should be the rainy season. Well, it started raining hard on Friday the 16th and has rained every day since.

Some photos of old down Quito:

They also arranged for us to visit the presidential palace:

And beautiful fresh flowers all over the palace:

By the end of the day it was pouring rain and just focused on getting back to car, and then it happened. I got robbed. Yep. I had papers only in my back pocket, front right pocked, and five twenty's in my left front pocket. Mind you these were folded up and at very bottom of my pocked, how anyone would have suspected there was money there and not went for one of the pockets with papers I don't know. But by the time I felt something on my left side he had forced his hand into my pocket, went deep and grabbed everything in it. Before I knew what happened he was gone. I was VERY desanimado. $90 in paintings the night before, and now pick-pocketed for another $100. I was really, really discouraged. We had decided to just write off the loss of the night before, but this was insult to injury.

Posted by dypphelan 18:34 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Day 6 - Part 2 WOW, WOW, WOW


rain 50 °F

After suffering the robbery, we got a quick bite to eat and then met the bus for our first program as delegates. We were taken to the Best Western Hotel and about 300-400 delegates were seated in a large conference room with stage. The program the brothers put on was amazing!!!!!!!!
As you can see by the program below there was a video on the work in Ecuador, lots of music and dance typical of Ecuador.

A few photos of the program and some of the participants. I'll post some small video pieces in a day or two.

These two sisters were interviewed on the program. You can find their experience in the Feb. 15, 2000 WT. "Grandes corazones en cuerpos pequeños" or "Small Bodies, Big Hearts".

Some of you may remember Paula Guerra. Here she is with her husband who is an elder.

Our bus captain for the night. She spoke only Spanish so asked me to help translate, imagine.....

Now the reason why I've related the two bad experiences we suffered and how I had become discouraged. The overall program was excellent!!!!! However, they showed a video about one group of dancers who came from the coast, about 5-6 hours away, to put on a dance. They are of limited means and gave up time working and paid their own travel expenses to come to Quito to practice and now again to put on these programs. It was obviously a real hardship on them financially, however they were joyful at being able to provide hospitality and entertain us.

After that video I realized what we had lost was so little in comparison to what some of these brothers had sacrificed to care for us and show brotherly love. It enabled me to let it all go and once again focus on the spiritual blessings of being here and the rich interchange of encouragement taking place.

After the program they had refreshments and allowed us to mingle with all those who had participated in the program. It was a night beyond words and I know now we will start saving up for the next opportunity to attend an international assembly.

Posted by dypphelan 19:23 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Day 6 - Videos of program

Following are a few brief clips of dancing/music. I will have better videos later.

Posted by dypphelan 19:15 Comments (0)

Day 7 - Wednesday, January 21st

Awoke and still very sick so decided to rest up until noon. At 1 p.m. we met up with a couple from Virginia and their spiritual grandchildren to have lunch. Just sat around for several hours and had a wonderful time. When planning the trip our focus was on meeting local brothers here in Ecuador, but never thought about all the delegates from U.S. and abroad. We've met many brothers and have formed friendships with a few that will endure for a long time. After lunch we visited a local craft market (similar to the one in Otavalo) for those staying in Quito. Had a wonderful day with our new dear friends!!


Posted by dypphelan 19:43 Comments (1)

Day 8 - Preaching with a local congregation

sunny 64 °F

It's Thursday and we're picked up by bus at 8 a.m. and arrive at our assigned KH by 8:30 a.m. The welcome was beyond our wildest dreams, the bus pulled up and there must have been 150 brothers waving, shouting, holding up banners/signs, etc. Patty was overcome with emotion and had to run inside, I just let the tears flow..... Gave hugs to all that I could get to. The brothers were truly excited and emotional to see us. Based on what we've heard plans have been in progress for almost two years so each arrangement is the culmination of much hard work and planning.

NOTE: It's hard to put into words the love and hospitality the brothers here have shown us, it goes beyond anything that could have been expected. Our new dear friends from Virginia (earlier post) have been to nine international assembly's and say they have never experienced anything that compares!! We've spoken to many others who have also attended other international assembly's and all are blown away by the love, hospitality and planning that has obviously went into this assembly. One example, on one of the tours delegates were taken to the old part of Quito to walk around. HOWEVER, at almost every corner there were a group of brothers waving, handing out gifts and holding up signs. What they thought was going to be a simple tour turned out to be an expression of love and hospitality none will soon forget.

Anyway, back to service day. To get an idea of the organization involved, each of us were given a badge with a number/letter (mine was 19b). When we got to the KH someone with 19a found me and he was my assigned partner. This same process took place for all 40 delegates. Arrived at KH and power went off, but within 10 minutes they had a generator up and running and meeting for service started. They even had brief spanish presentations printed up for those only speaking english. Finally, they had made up service folders for each of us and were fully stocked. Just another example of going far beyond what was required. Due to the great organization we were on our way to preach by 10 a.m. and preached for 1.5 hours. I preached with a brother who had only been baptized for four months.

Back to KH by 11:30 a.m. and on bus o place for lunch. Before we knew it we pulled up to a military base; yes a military base. After checking our paperwork they let us in and we were taken to a large banquet hall. Turns out a sister knew someone at the base and was able to obtain use for the gathering. A real banquet was prepared and it was obvious the brothers had not spared any expense or work to make everything perfect. We had a wonderful time and left about 3:30 p.m. Home to rest up a bit and then a bite to eat.

Welcome at Kingdom Hall.

Service folder each delegate was provided, each was different.

Patty and I preaching.

Banquet hall.

Gift based provided to each delegate at lunch.

Lunch. The fruit decorations were all done by a single sister, not a professional just wanted to do something special for us.

I'll post a few videos of the day tomorrow if I have a chance.

Posted by dypphelan 20:52 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Day 11 - Assembly is over, so very sad

sunny 72 °F

Yes, I know I've skipped days nine and ten. However, I was staying up until the wee hours posting to blog and uploading photos/videos to share and it caught up with me with the cold and all. Had to focus on assembly the last few days and even slept 11 hours last night to catch up on sleep. Tomorrow we leave Quito for Tena and hope to have time to catch up on blog. I enjoy writing down my thoughts and hope those reading get some sense of what it's been like here!!!!

What I will say is that the assembly here in Ecuador has been life changing. No one we've spoken to here has ever experienced anything like it, a true manifestation of the brotherhood in action.

I am jealous of one thing for those of you in NYC right now. BIG SNOWSTORM. As Patty knows, I love extreme weather and I would be VERY excited about this potentially EPIC snowstorm. But, oh well..... I hope it does not affect visit of CO visit at home too much!!!!!

Posted by dypphelan 20:24 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Day 9 - 1st Day of Assembly in Quito, Ecuador

rain 54 °F

Walked out to board the bus at 7:30 a.m. and saw the following. We joked "Look, we're getting a police escort to the assembly".


It was not a joke, we DID get a police escort. Each of the 15 hotels had police escorts front and back. Eventually we all merged into a convoy for the 30 minute ride to the stadium. Police were all along the route holding up traffic. Imagine going through Quito, a capital city, at rush hour on a Thursday morning and the buses never stopped NOT EVEN ONCE. It was like Moses parting the Red Sea, very cool!!!!!




When we arrived at the stadium there were brothers linked up all along the way with banners, yelling and telling us how much they loved us. And that was while we were still on the bus. Departing the buses and walking to the assigned section for delegates was like walking a gauntlet. Thousands of brothers lined up to greet us, give us small gifts, share hugs. It was very emotional, tearing up now just thinking about it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so:20150123_132026.jpglarge_IMG_7429.jpgIMG_7432.jpgIMG_7434.jpgIMG_7435.jpgIMG_7436.jpgIMG_7437.jpgIMG_7438.jpgIMG_7439.jpgIMG_7440.jpgIMG_7441.jpgIMG_7443.jpgIMG_7445.jpgIMG_7446.jpgIMG_7447.jpgIMG_7448.jpgIMG_7452.jpgIMG_7455.jpgIMG_7456.jpgIMG_7459.jpgIMG_7469.jpgIMG_7473.jpgIMG_7474.jpgIMG_7475.jpgIMG_7476.jpglarge_IMG_7477.jpgIMG_7479.jpgIMG_7480.jpgIMG_7481.jpgIMG_7483.jpgIMG_7489.jpgIMG_7491.jpgIMG_7492.jpgIMG_7499.jpgIMG_7500.jpgIMG_7502.jpgIMG_7503.jpg

It rained hard in the afternoon, but everyone just pulled out their ponchos and umbrellas. No one left!!!




They even provided each delegate with a brand new seat cushion branded for this assembly. Even the lunch box was branded. Unbelievable!!!!


The sister on the monitor arrived in 1948 from Gilead when less than 100 publishers in the country. She's now been served for 67 years as a missionary. The brothers were thrilled to have a member of the Governing Body here also, Brother Morris.


Posted by dypphelan 05:56 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Day 10 - A difficult decision to make

Stay in Quito or head to Ibarra

overcast 72 °F

There were still several old friends in Ibarra/San Gabriel we had not seen, so we asked permission to attend the assembly in Ibarra. It was a 6 hour r/t from Quito but it enabled us to see many new friends and say a sad farewell to those we had seen last week.


Sister on the right, Maria Belen, was only 10 years old when we arrived in Ecuador. I recognized her right away though in Ibarra at the assembly. A good lesson on how small gestures can mean a lot to children. She commented to that she still remembers Pascale buying cookies for her one day while in service....


Ines, Patricia and the children. Tenemos mucho carino a este familia y estan trabajando muy duro por la congregacion.


More scenery of Imbabura on our trip up.


Posted by dypphelan 07:13 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Day 11 - Final day of assembly

sunny 70 °F

Not much new to add except to say the hospitality and love expressed by the brothers here in Ecuador was more than anyone could have anticipated!!!!!! Every single detail was covered and they had even made practice runs to ensure everything was running like clockwork. The brothers have been preparing for two years and it was evident they had not left anything to chance.

A few items I forgot from Day 1 of the assembly. Gift bags each delegate received.


The first day someone even showed up with a welcoming committee, yes they are colors of the assembly.


This was our bus captain, she is from Columbia and her husband is from Mexico.


Another delegate couple we enjoyed spending time with from New Mexico.


I used to work with this brother in Bethel, now he and his wife are serving as missionaries in Honduras for the last 12 years.


This little girl, Christina, was super carinosa. She came up and gave me the biggest hug, so I have her a big hug back. She then would not let go, her mother said he had found a kindred spirit. She would walk away about five steps and come back for another big hug. She was such a sweetie!!!


So with no more to say, I'll let the photos tell the story and try to add videos tomorrow which is where the real show is.


Posted by dypphelan 16:50 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Day 12 - Start of phase 3, the JUNGLE


Phase 1 - Imbabura/Carchi - Visiting old stomping grounds and old friends
Phase 2 - Special activities in Quito with Assembly
Phase 3 - Oriente/Jungle

Slept in today until 7:30 a.m. (sigh) and packed up. I'm sad about the BIG snowstorm in NYC. 1. It will certainly affect visit of CO 2. I LOVE big snowstorms and am sad I'm missing this one. However, knowing that I'll be whitewater rafting in the jungle tomorrow instead of digging out a car does have it's consolation.... ha, ha.

Headed to bus terminal and got the 12 noon bus and arrived at our destination at 6 p.m. Yes, a very long bus ride, but beautiful also. Below you will see the transition from Quito at 9,300 feel to pass at 13,123 feet crossing the Andes into the oriente/jungle. Tena is at about 1,640 feet so though in jungle it's high enough to avoid mosquitoes and gets cool at night.


Tomorrow we head out about 7:30 a.m. for the river. It's also nice to finally be caught up on the blog, hope to start uploading videos tomorrow.

Posted by dypphelan 18:56 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

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