Okay Ecuador is pretty cool, some interesting Ecua- facts:
I´m going to have to kill tarantula´s with a machete. Massive ones.
Ecuador uses scented toilet paper-wanna know why? Because you can´t flush it.
Jam, Ketchup, shampoo all come in bags.
They put glass on top of fences to keep theives out.
You have to use a key to get in and out of your house.
Ecuador is cold and I have to use an umbrella everyday.
You put your bag and backpacks in lockers at the grocery store to decrease theft.
Most people don´t have ovens so everything is fried.
McDonald´s is where the rich people eat.
They consider cough drops candy.
Bottled water is only a quarter.
I am one of 6 white sister missionaries, guess they thought I could tough it out. We get called barbie a lot and everybody and their dog flirts with us. It's kinda sad, they honk if they are alone or flash their lights if a girlfriend or wife and kids are with them. They aren't real big on fidelity.
Alright, so Ecuador is so cool. Sometimes when I can´t flush toilet paper I just remind myself that I wanted an adventure!
The first time I saw my apartment I thought wow- this is a third world country, but then I saw our investigator´s (Monica). She lives in a room, just a room with a queen bed and a bunk bed for her two children ages 14 and 8, and a tiny section seperated by sheets for a make-shift kitchen. NO BATHROOM. I´m just grateful for my blue toilet, blue sink, and blue shower at this point! Monica´s entire room is smaller than my room at home and looks quite a bit like uncle Craig´s storage unit. The richest people here could probably not even be considered middle class in the United States.
We have lunch appointments everyday with members. Wow the food is bad. It´s awesome! I´ve had a fried banana at every meal. I´ll have to make them for you some time. They aren´t that bad if you like banana´s, I almost cried at our Sunday appointment because they give you so much food and you have to finish it or else they are offended. I actually think I did cry... It´s a ton of food. Yesterday it consisted of a chicken wing and a dinner plate (like those massive white ones we have) full of rice, 4 tomato slices, with potatoe and squash soup. I was thrilled when I saw cauliflower. I took a huge heaping fork full and just as I put it in my mouth my companion said : It has lime juice! Turns out that they serve it cold with lime juice squeezed on top. Just about the nastiest thing ever! I´m sure I gagged a few times, but I finished everything but the rice. People feed you everywhere here. It´s ususally an aguita and bread. An aguita is like herbal tea- water, cinnamon, and sugar. Not to brillant but edible. The bread is pretty good. Sometimes they have empanada´s! The milk here is way good too, I don´t know what people are talking about, they even have caramel milk.
Okay so my area or sector as they call it here! I´m in Santa Anna, that is in South of Quito. Quito is massive way bigger than you think! It takes about 3 hours. Massive. We take the bus most of the time but we also take an occasional taxi. Travel takes a lot of time! My companion is Sister Sorensen from Arizona. She is really cool. Her favorite companion was her last companion so I face some tough competition. She has been out for 13 months. We have a lot of fun and success together though. We will have 3 baptisms this month! Cool!
Monica- the one who lives in one room with her two children, Irene, prounounced ear-n-yay and edgar who looks like a latin Harry Potter. Irene has a friend, Nellie, who will also be baptized this month. The last one doesn't really cound because the Bishop just wanted higher numbers so he "forgot" to baptize this kid when he was 8. Now that he is 9 we have to teach him a couple times and he's in. Weird.
Unfortunately for me, it looks like I will either be the Ward Pianist or direct the music. Yikes. I decided to practice since it looked inevitable, and all the sudden I was swarmed by little kids. One woman even asked me to teach her children. Another thing that surprised me is that they cannot sing. The Latin people here are like 80 percent tone deaf. It's so depressing when you sing hymns.
My first week was kinda weird. It's been Quito Days all week long, kinda like the fourth of July but they do it by city here. It's basically one big drinking festival. There are people passed out on the street drunk everywhere! My companion and I have had to be in at 7:30 every night, but our norm is 8:00 or 8:30 so it wasn't too much earlier.
I love it though. Ecuador is awesome. If you come to pick me up you have to stay at the Marriott because that is the only place that will let you flush the toilet paper. Seriously.
Hermana Whitney Tanner