Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Daily Grind

Heeelllllo Everyone! Sorry its been so long since the last update, but im still alive!! We've done a couple exciting things recently, but i also want to describe what a normal day is like here in Tena for us. But FIRST, the exciting things! A few days ago we got a boat to take us up and down the mishualli river with stops at an animal rehabilitation center, a museum dedicated to the native people, and a local Quechuan tribe. That was a lot of fun! some animals at the rehabilitation center

This is a spider monkey! biggest species in ecuador, and.. in the world?(i think dont quote me on it)

This monkeu tried to fight me.. a couple times

and this monkey threw dirt at us through his cage.. lots of monkeys in Ecuador..
3 meter Boa!

Got back on the boat, pretty cool ride

The Museum was pretty cool also. He showed us a bunch of trees in the jungle and their medicinal purposes, then examples of all the traps the natives used to use to catch food. Then there was this guy 

Thats Franco, the monkey running around the museum. he was really dirty. And really itchy. And really wanted to be friends. Franco is our favorite monkey so far. He followed us around the entire tour, trying to break everything. He had such a funny personality, as do a lot of monkeys we're finding, but this guy especially. Eventually he found a doll to be his friend, as pictured. But he just ripped its clothes off and swung it around him on the ground the rest of the time. He was the best.

We also went and explored a cave!!!! That was so fun!!

 Thats our guide. He fit just fine through the tiny passage ways...

We went swimming right under this waterfall, there were small holes of water, the deepest was about 13 feet, but theyre only about as wide as a garbage can. That was pretty awesome in a cave. The whole tour was $2. We agreed it was worth it. Yesterday we went rafting. That is a little over $2 but everyone told us it is a must do while in Ecuador, and they were right! A group of 5 of us and two guides that were both brothers (in both senses of the word) brought us down a completley remote Clas IV jungle canyon. We didnt see another raft all day, only a native from a tribe every once in a while toward the end as we got near civilization. That was a lot of fun, I'm glad we went for it.

I think that sums up the exciting things! But most days are a bit more subdued than that. Heres what a normal day in Tena has been like for us. Get up around 730 for service. Group is at 830 and we need about 20 to 30 min to get to the group depending on how long we have to wait for a bus. We walk up our road, about a quarter mile walk

To the luxurious bus stop!

 Hop on the bus for 25 cents into town (I realize this is the worst picture ever, but you'd be surprised how awkward it is trying to take a picture of a crowded bus.. actually maybe you wouldnt be surprised, it sounds pretty awkward. Anyway the day i remember to bring my camera the only seat is right in the front of the bus. I tried to be sly and turn my flash off and take the picture from under my backpack, but what i forgot about was the orange light that still flashes before every picture, that landed on all those peoples faces and gave them time to track it to the source in my lap.. the rest of that bus ride was a bit awkward. SO! Although a terrible picture, im still putting it on because of the effort it took to get it!)

A walk through town brings us to the service group at the hall.

Service is till about 12 here (if you're fortunate). Then all the pioneers go on studies if they have them, and everyone else goes home. This makes it super tough to make our time, but we're doing our best! I have one study, and one return visit that im gooing to start studying with on the next visit! Then we get lunch at a small place in town for $1.75, which is a bowl of soup, juice, and a main course (rice, beans, small portion of salad, and steak or chicken) I like that part of the day! We usually make it back to the house around 2, and have the reast of the day to study, find a place to use computers, go the gym (closet packed with ecuadorians using old rusty wieghts), or whatever else we want to do, although there aren't really any activities in Tena itself, besides eating cheap meals. There are a few pool halls. We tried to visit one of them, but when we told the woman we wanted to play she mummbled a few spanish words and just stared at us.. needless to say we haven't played pool yet! Meetings are thursday at 7 pm and Sunday at 830 am. Every Sunday night we play soccer with the brothers, and Monday nights is Watchtower study at the Pratts house! (brother from New Zealand) In a week we head to Salinas on the coast, about an 8 hour bus ride. My love for buses is growing by the day!! Thats all for now i think, although i always remeber things afterwards I wanted to include. Oh well, hope everyone is dealing ok with all the snow! Sounds pretty crazy!! I'll write again soon!

Giant Ecuador Adventure(r)


  1. Everyone has been wondering when you were going to give us an update! Looks like your having a good time! Awesome!!! Keep on truckin' or bus'in in your case!

  2. I think this may be my favorite post yet !! :) Monkeys monkeys everywhere !! Sounds like your having such an awesome experience.. we miss you very much and hope we get to talk to you soon !!

  3. Sounds like my kind of place-dark creepy caves filled with who knows what --and itchy but friendly monkeys--and don't forget the heat and humidity!!! Maybe our next vacation spot??? .....Maybe NOT!!!! LOL!
    Love seeing your adventures....after your out safe and sound!!
    Enjoying the blog....keep the pics coming!
    Say hi to Aaron and the rest of the friends!
    Love and miss you lots!!

  4. How wonderful to hear of all of your adventures. Have so many questions for you. You are truly making the most of your time in Ecuador. Fabulous!! Thinking of you all the time. So happy for you. Miss you and love you lots!!

  5. Thanks for keeping us posted on your adventures and love the pics!
    One small thing...martha & sam are a little jealous of all the monkeys. so... maybe you can tone it down a bit with that? just saying....
    Make sure you take in every moment. my guess is you're going to start getting homesick soon, but hang in there! you'll be back before you know it. and there are no lunches here for $1.75 (yummy ones anyway)
    MIke says hola.

  6. WOW!!! What a way to "suffer" through your days.LOL Loving the Monkeys, but could definately have done w/o the scarry boa shot.
    What a Giant Adventurer you are. Love the updates. You and Aaron may never want to come back here. You can't even go to coffee break for a buck 75.
    Love to the brothers & sisters for us.

  7. Hey Danny!
    Hope you are enjoying your daily grind! Hope the coast isn't too sweltering for you. Como va el español? Espero que la predicaion vaya bien. ciao friend! Thanks for sharing your life updates! Remember to tell yourself, "Wow, I'm really in Ecuador!" from time to time, just so you don't get too used to it! :)