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4th of July Nate had to work, since after all it's not a holiday here at all! The kids and I picked up EBB and headed out to Calacali, jamming to music and having conversation in code since Canaan is just as curious as his mom was at that age. Christine, Aaron, EBB and I ate too much bean dip before the grill was even going. We had grilled zucchini and too many sides as dusk settled and the kids ran around and underfoot. The kids watched some 4th of July movie on blankets outdoors while I stood ...

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The kids completed the school year and what a welcome day it was to have them end! It's a relief to have a season of less schedules, less rushed mornings, less spelling words. We picked them up at noon, when school let out, and told them we were going for a celebratory treat. Nate kept asking about lunch, concerned people would be hungry with just a "milkshake" as I had suggested. I kept assuring him no one would be hungry and when he saw the size of these things he had to agree! Of course our k...

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14 years of marriage!  Those 14 years have included a lot of hardwork, a lot of pushing through selfishness to find the other person, looking past our own interests to enjoy the other person but we're happy to keep on celebrating the hardwork and the fun! Our anniversary came in the middle of a work team here that Nate was hosting so it was super nice in the midst of 9 days of barely seeing him to carve out a one day oasis of time to celebrate. In the morning we went to Skull Donuts, Quito'...

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Nate started off our Easter season by taking the kids to Quito's version of Jesus' triumphal entry on a donkey while I was away for a night. I appreciate that he is willing to take them downtown which involves tiny streets, lots of hills, non-stop traffic and me lost. But these are cultural experiences that they enjoy and that they learn from. They ask so many questions after these types of days! I want them to be kids who feel apart of this culture and who aren't intimidated to be a part of the...

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Quilotoa is this crater lake that I've been hearing about for years but never quite made it to. It's 3 hours from the city so just far enough to have kept us away so far. But when the RCs started talking about wanting to go, that was enough motivation to finally experience since they needed a car and driver. We set out early and made our way through the whole city to the south side and then just kept going. Views from the top were gorgeous, with the water glistening jade in some parts and turquo...

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We stayed in town this year for Carnaval but I still wanted to try to find a way to experience the holiday since it is typically done on a much larger scale in towns other than Quito. Nate poked around online and found that on the far northwest end of Quito there was a neighborhood having a celebration so we headed out with the Passmores having no idea what to expect. We were delighted to find just exactly what we were looking for with people spraying each other in the streets, lots of foam for ...

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My family was here for my actual birthday. Kim, my parents, and I spent the morning in Santa Clara doing some last minute shopping for baskets before they left. I had been complaining about needing more storage space for my dishware (probably because my mom, sis and I had all just snagged some handmade pottery for pennies) and when I saw this cabinet my mom urged me to get it, offering it as a birthday gift for me. It was originally brown but by afternoon they had stripped it, painted it this tu...

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New Years Eve Day was my family's last day here so a bit of packing was done, my sis and her daughter got manicures and then we headed out to Amazonas street, where some of the action happens. Well, actually I should first let you know what the streets are like. Picture loads of colorful masks and stuffed dummies on every corner being sold. And then picture clumps of young adult men dressed as scantily clad women holding ropes across the street to make every car stop. They stop you and you have ...

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One of my dad's Christmas gifts to my mom was a surprise trip to Shell. (I'm also calling it a gift from me because it required me driving there and back, something I have previously refused to consider doing because I hate windy, one-lane roads and thoroughly appreciate Nate's willingness to navigate them but with 10 people we needed two cars.) My mom is the perfect person to surprise because she rarely notices clues ... even when one of my friends asks her directly about the trip not realizing...

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The whole Jordan family came to Quito for Christmas, which was our first time being together here since Eden was born 5 years ago. Because we've grown in number since then, they all stayed at my friend Elisa's house a neighborhood over. The first day everyone was in town we hosted Eden's birthday party at Mr. Joy followed by cake at home. Lunches consisted of things such as ocro de papa and empanadas were consumed whereever we went. We spent time at the local park, time in the pool and in the ba...

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