The pictures didn't post last time! They should show up now!! :)
Hello again! The rainy season here is coming to a close and the weather here is beautiful. Josh and I have been very busy over the past month and I can't wait to update everyone!
First of all, we finally were able to get our Ecuadorian driver's licenses! After finishing the ANETA driving course and passing their exams, we had to wait 14 business days to get our documents from them that we had to take to Ecuador's equivalent of the DMV. I thought the DMV in NC was rough - we waited an hour and 45 minutes just to get in the door at the Comision de transito! Luckily we both brought a book to read :). Once we got inside, we turned in all of our paperwork, were entered into the system, took their computerized test, got our picture taken, and finally left 3 and a half hours later with our very own licenses! It is such a relief to have those.
Aside from getting our licenses in Quito, we were able to spend a lot of time in a town about 45 minutes away called Sangolqui. We have been working with the "jefe parrochial" (basically the leader of the county) to see if it is a city that would need medical services like the one that our clinic would provide. He and the members of the county board of directors took us on a tour of the area and helped us get to know some of the poorer areas around the city. They even took us to eat cuy (Guinea Pig) and it was actually really delicious! There is currently a hospital in Sangolqui, but many of the people from the small villages outside of Sangolqui don't get the medical attention that they need. We are definitely keeping it in mind as a possibility.
Yesterday, Josh and I arrive in a city called Riobamba in the province of Chimborazo. It was about a 3 hour drive from Quito and was suggested to us as a possible site for the clinic. We spent all this morning driving around to see a few clinics in the area to try to learn as much as possible. We arrived at Riobamba's public hospital and decided to ask if there was anyway we could meet with an administrator to learn about the available healthcare in Riobamba, and we just happened to arrive at the perfect time to have a meeting with the former head of public health for Chimborazo. God definitely made the meeting possible! This doctor currently works in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the public hospital, and he was a wealth of information for us. One thing we learned this morning was that we have a lot more investigating to do here before we draw any conclusions. This afternoon we have a meeting with the pastor of a local Baptist church. He has cooperated with MMI in the past on short-term mission trips and he knows a lot about the type of need that exists in the area. We plan on staying here at least another week and maybe more before moving on to our next city.
Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement! We miss home, but we are so blessed and happy to be here and pray that we can be used by the Lord in his work in Ecuador.
Here are some pictures of the tour that we got of Sangolqui. Enjoy!
We all met at the town square to start the tour
The church in the town square
Josh and I enjoying some Cuy!
We stopped to enjoy the beauty of a local ecological reserve
The Jefe Parrochial telling us about the healthcare needs of the local population
The whole group
Local transportation :)
A beautiful sunset at the end of the day
Love and God Bless,
Stephanie and Joshua