Wednesday, December 7, 2011

O Come, O Come Emmanuel!

The month of November was filled with many celebrations keeping all of us at Casa de Fe very busy! I got to celebrate my 23rd birthday with my new Ecuadorian and missionary friends. They threw me a surprise birthday party where we ate my favorite Ecuadorian food, Volqueteros, and played fun Ecuadorian games! My brother Powell came to visit me for my birthday, so we spent a week showing him life in Shell, including a trip to the tourist town of Baños and spending a weekend in Quito showing what the city has to offer. Powell got to spend a lot of time at the Foundation also and all the kids loved Mr. Pablo (his Ecuadorian name) and just thought he was the coolest. The month of November also included celebrating Thanksgiving with fellow missionaries, we all made our favorite Thanksgiving Day food and spent the evening talking about all the things we are thankful for and playing Apples to Apples. Starting at the end of November was “Shell Days” ,which was the town’s celebration of its existence. Part of “Shell Days” includes the yearly parade, which we got to take part in. Since October we have been practicing a traditional Ecuadorian dance and we got dressed in traditional Otavaleño dresses and danced around town for everyone to see. It was a total blast! We are also staying busy getting ready for our upcoming Christmas program. We decided to do the Christmas story but from the point of view of the animals in the story. It is so fun to watch the kids, especially as all of it comes together as we draw closer!

I go home for Christmas in 10 DAYS and I am oh sooooo excited! As it draws closer and closer I find myself more and more homesick because I know that I will be seeing my family soon. I am going to miss the kids here a ton but my excitement to be with family for Christmas overwhelms me! I already have a lot of plans to take advantage of the snow while I am home including sledding, skiing, ice fishing and making snowmen. But I am most excited of being able to spend quality time with my family and friends and be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior together.. I am so blessed. 
Dwight and I dancing during the parade.

Powell reading to my class during his visit!

The gang in action at the "Shell Days" parade!

Us "gringas" showing just how excited we were to be Otavaleñas!

Powell and I on my birthday!
Surprise! You're 23!

All my Ecuadorian guy friends came out to celebrate my birthday. 

Anthony and Martin right before the parade! 
O Come, O Come Emmanuel!