Microbusiness/Microempresa #1: Francisco

 

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This is Francisco (a Colombian) and he is one of the friendliest people on the way to work. He gets up at 3:15 a.m. to prepare tamales and sells them from his pickup on the street in front of where Jody and I (Scott) work.  People sit down at his tailgate or at a small table and chairs that he sets up.  If it rains, he adds a tarp and umbrella to keep his customers dry.

Este es Francisco (un colombiano) – él es uno de las personas más amigables en mi (Scott’s) ruta a trabajo.  Se levanta a las tres y cuarto en la madrugada para preparar tamales y los vende desde su camioneta en la calle frente del lugar donde Jody y yo trabajamos.  Sus consumidores se sientan en la tapa trasera or en una mesa y sillas que él pone en la calle.  En caso de lluvia, añade una carpa y paraguas para mantener a sus consumidores secos.

 

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Living at high altitude

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Here is my (Scott) translation of this alert from the Ministry of Public Health.  Note that the scale below the house says that no protection is needed at levels 1 or 2, protection is needed at levels 3 through 7, and extra protection or no exposure is recommended at levels 8 through 11:

The current atmospheric conditions of low relative humidity (few clouds) in Quito and in various provinces of the Sierra (high Andes) have resulted in readings of EXTREMELY HIGH ultraviolet radiation.  This situation is caused by episodes of photochemical smog, resulting in the ozone being at the lowest level of the atmosphere.

For today, Thursday the 21st of September, it is predicted in the city of Quito that the index of ultraviolet radiation (UV) will vary between 11 and 14, levels that are considered to be in the category Extremely High.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends that citizens in the entire Sierra region receive ZERO EXPOSURE.  Contrariwise, use sun protection, cover your head (hats or umbrellas), clothes that cover the whole body (not shirts with uncovered necks), preferably not black.  For your health, take precautions, especially if you have sensitive skin.

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Formality in the Workplace

Estimados Directores, Jefes y Coordinadores,

La presente tiene la finalidad de recordarles que el Departamento de Contabilidad de HCJB – OM, receptará las facturas para pago a los diferentes proveedores hasta el día martes 25 del presente mes, caso contrario se solicita muy comedidamente la emisión de una nueva factura para el pago correspondiente a los diferentes proveedores con fecha del siguiente mes.

De existir inquietudes estamos a las órdenes para aclararlas.  De antemano anticipamos su atención y colaboración al presente comunicado.

Saludos cordiales

My (Scott’s) co-workers are Ecuadorian and I am still not accustomed to the formality that they show in communications.  Every letter or email must have a salutation and also a comment or blessing at the end.

The above routine announcement, was sent internally to staff in our office.  It is a good example of the flowery writing that they prefer.  Here is my translation:

 Esteemed Directors, Bosses, and Coordinators,

The present [document] has the purpose of reminding you that the Department of Accounting of HCJB – OM, will receive invoices for payment to the different providers until Tuesday, the 25th day of the present month, otherwise it will be necessary to courteously solicit the emission of a new invoice for the corresponding payment to the different providers with a date in the following month.

If there exists any uneasiness we are at your service to clarify this.  In advance we anticipate your attention and collaboration with the present communication.

Cordial regards,

(Full name)

And here is how I would have written it:

Everyone,

Heads up.  We will only pay invoices through Tuesday the 25th, otherwise you will have to ask vendors to submit a new invoice for payment next month.

Scott

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July 2017 Newsletter

Want to read the print (pdf) version? Click here.

Why Unicycle?

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Scott heading off to work. Our apartment is on the top floor.

Scott’s work commute is by unicycle, certainly an unusual sight here. Why does he unicycle? First, because he enjoys it. But, second, it helps him connect with people and is a conversation starter. It’s a way for us to “move into the neighborhood,” as Christ did when he came to earth.

Scott has introduced himself to many of the people he sees every day on his two-kilometer route: neighborhood guards, parking lot guards, people who watch over cars parked on the street. In addition, when people from the neighborhood talk to us, the first comment is usually about his unicycle.

Recently he introduced himself to a new guard at a government building. He told the guard where he worked, and because HCJB/Reach Beyond has such a long history here, the man knew he was a Christian. A few days later, the guard waved him down and said, “I’m a Christian too and I want to learn more about living like a Christian. Can you help me?”  What an opening!

A good friend who is a Ecuadorian pastor and a former Reach Beyond missionary told Scott, “Give him my contact information; I can meet with him,” then added, “You’re an evangelist!” Well, yes, sort of, in his own quiet (unicycling) way.

Thank you for sharing in our adventures—we are blessed and thankful to be here.

News Flash

Two days after we wrote the above, Scott took a minor tumble on his unicycle and managed to break his collarbone. He’s in a sling for at least three weeks but is continuing to work (one-handed). We’re thankful he didn’t do this three months ago when Jody was wearing a sling after shoulder surgery.

In Case You Were Wondering

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A friend recently wrote us, “I would not be honest if I said I was happy you have denounced your USA citizenship.” And we thought, “Wow, we didn’t explain our resident visas very clearly, did we?”

To clarify, we are still U.S. citizens.  In our US passports we have Ecuadorian visas which will not expire, allowing us to come and go with almost no restrictions.

Some Recent Photos

 

Jody’s sister came to help after surgery.

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Day Two: On the way to Chugchilan

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Day Three: On the way to Quilotoa

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Day Four – Quilotoa Lake!

How to Pray for Us?

  • Thank God for Jody’s successful surgery
  • Pray for increasing ability in Spanish; we’re studying and practicing but it’s a very slow process.

Recent Blog Posts (click to read)

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A Fourth of July Party (in June?)

A few weeks ago an email was forwarded at work inviting U.S. citizens to a Fourth of July party sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. After we RSVP’d we realized it wasn’t the first Saturday in July but rather the 24th of June. (Who gives a Fourth of July party in June?)

The location was where U.S. ambassadors lived in the past, but it is vacant now. The grounds, however, are spacious and beautiful. And it’s right on a cliff so the view is fantastic. Breathtakingly beautiful. We met the ambassador and his wife, but we didn’t realize who they were. “Hello, my name is Todd and this is my wife Jeannetta.” How were we to know Todd & Jeannetta weren’t just friendly people? (We can do “Clueless in Quito” in English as well as in Spanish.)

We bought some very expensive (and unusually flavored) ice cream, listened to live music, saw a puppet show by Ecuadorean firemen and a canine demonstration by Ecuadorean police. And we visited with other Reach Beyond people there. Scott even tossed a frisbee around for a while on the huge lawn (or maybe it’s a soccer field?). Thankfully the weather cooperated and we had sunshine rather than rain.

It was a fun and unique experience.

 

 

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Quilotoa

After the Guayaquil getaway, we had one day back in Quito before we left for four days trekking in mountains even higher than Quito. That is, Scott and our friend Tyler from Eugene hiked the Quilotoa Trek, about eight miles each day with lots of ups and downs. Jody bused or taxied from village to village; her shoulder wasn’t up to carrying a backpack. We stayed in hostels in mountain villages (Isinlivi, Chugchilán, and Quilotoa) amidst Andean beauty.

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Guayaquil & the Christian Hospitality Network

The end of May we went to a wonderful missionary getaway in Guayaquil sponsored by the Christian Hospitality Network (CHN). A mission team from Tennessee pampered us (and 160 other missionaries) in a five-star hotel for four days—what a treat!

CHN promotes hospitality in the U.S. and also sponsors getaways outside the U.S. for missionaries close to their field of service.

CNH was started around 2002 by Paul & Jean Cowell. Jean was at our getaway (Paul is now deceased) and she told us of the beginnings of CHN. She and Paul had opened the Whitestone Country Inn in 1997, and they welcomed missionaries to stay at their inn at no cost. One night they hosted a missionary couple from Russia and showed them to their room, the best in the inn. The wife sat down in a chair and started crying, saying, “You don’t understand; we’re missionaries, we don’t get to stay in the best room.”

Jean and Paul started dreaming of taking the Whitestone Inn experience to the mission field and giving missionaries four days of first class rest and relaxation. Since 2002 CHN has hosted 22 getaways around the world, and we were blessed to have one this year in Ecuador. Our only costs were transportation and our lunches. The team included  medical staff, a hair stylist, a photographer, counselors, a worship team, and a group to run kids’ activities, all who came at their own expense.

On our application they had asked for names of two or three people who could provide some special information about us. They then secretly contacted these people and asked them to organize cards and letters from family and friends which would be given to us during the retreat.

So the second night as Jody was getting ready for bed, she saw a stack of over 30 cards and letters on the spare bed in their room. “What are THESE?”  Instead of going to bed, we spent the next hour reading the cards to each other. What a sweet surprise of blessing and encouragement.

Guayaquil is a seaport and Ecuador’s most populous city. Sights include an iguana park, a waterfront walk, and a lighthouse on a hill across from our hotel. The views of Guayaquil were taken from the lighthouse.

 

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