The serpentine road flowed like a river of asphalt through the crags of the Ecuadorian mountains.

For hours and hours we sat, the well-appointed bus cradling us in relative comfort as we wound our way down from Quito’s 9,350 feet above sea level to the 1,500ft elevation of Misahualli.

The morning had brought a huge breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, cereal, fresh-baked bread and more. Our gracious hostess and friends in Quito provided everything we needed and sent us on our way with plenty of provisions. The sandwiches, chips, soda and fruit they sent with us came in quite handy later on!

After breakfast we visited Montebello Academy, the school and ministry organization that started it all. Years ago Ron Stiff and his wife Sharon had a vision to make an impact on future generations, and God led them to Ecuador. They have had great success and are now branching out to release their child organization, Jungle Kids for Christ, to be their own self-sustaining ministry.

We saw the school, joined a Sunday morning worship service (all in Spanish, of course) and said goodbyes to the fore-runners of the people we took the bus to go see.

Now, back to the bus.

The roads were remarkably well-maintained, with painted lines, guard rails and few pot holes. We took our time along the mountain highway, only stopping briefly once for gas and once for a bathroom/refreshments break. We left just past noon and arrived shortly after 5:00, and had a wonderful time talking, joking, sightseeing and even sleeping on the bus.

Our arrival at the Jungle Kids for Christ property was a joyous one. Roberto and Charmai Davalos oversee the ministry and welcomed us warmly. We unloaded school supplies, monitors and tools for our work this week, took a brief tour around the facility and began planning for tomorrow’s work. The Davalos team had prepared the site quite well, and tomorrow should go smoothly.

From there we headed in to Misahualli and the place where we’ll be staying for the next week: Hostal Paisano. No air conditioning? No window screens? No problem! Our hosts Hernan & Eunice are gracious and GREAT cooks, and they have free wi-fi, too. (NOTE: The Spanish word “hostal” is spelled “hostel” in English, so expect some variations 🙂

Dinner was superb! The dish was called “chuleta y mote pillo”, and was a pork tenderloin with a salad of thin strips of lettuce, plus some sort of rolled corn side dish. Delicious!

Now as evening has transitioned to the humid jungle night, the team is winding down, bodies tired and bellies full, looking ahead to a brand new day.

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