A picture of me with some strange, unknown fruit........ hmmm
So far our trip has been virtually hassel free, and has been throughly enjoyable. Somtimes the long bus rides can induce serious boughts of nauseousness, and once and awhile our stomaches feel a little off, but overall we are enjoying our adventure. Our trouble free adevture ended three days ago when our backpack containing all our identification (passports, care cards, drivers lisences, SIN numbers.... you name it), credit cards, bank cards, all of our cash.. which was like 500.00$, our trevllers checks, all our flight tickets, my ipod, a beautiful turquoise necklace I had bought in Guatemala, our Bible and so many other important things.. were stolen on our buse ride from Loha to Cuenca in Ecuador. The most painful part was discovering that the backpack was missing about an hour into a 6 hour bus ride and not being able to do anyting about it. We only had 10$ on us and didn´t know how we would be able to get a place to sleep and food to eat. We took a few moments to pray and ask Jesus to give us wisdom and to help us. Then we started asking everyone in our broken spanish if anyone had seen somone leave the bus with our bag. Fortunatly there was an american couple on the bus that spoke better Spanish than us and helped us try and talk to people. They were also kind enough to invite us to their home for the night as we had no place to go. They shared a taxi with us, took us out for dinner and then took us to a place where we could make some international phone calls. The next day they gave us some money to make some more calls and to get some lunch. Thankfully we were able to contact my parents and they wired us some money from our account. Wow, I had no idea how much security money can provide. We tried to go to the police station to file a report but after waiting over an hour in a lineup we were told that the police could do nothing for us. In the meantime we had met a great christain Ecuadorian man who offered to drive us to a place that could help us. He brought us to some department of justice and helped translate our story into spanish so the officials could write a letter. If that wasn´t enough he invited us to come visit his family. We ended up taking him up on his offer a day later after we had gotten a few things sorted out with the Canadian embassy and our insurance company. We have been so blessed by complete strangers generosity and hospitality. We wanted to thank the american couple that had helped us so much so we offered to take them out for a fancy meal or buy ingrediants and cook togther. They took us up on the second option and we cooked an incredibly delicous meal togther. After dinner some friends of theirs came over.. some canadians they worked with at the English school in Ecuador. It turns out one of them grew up in Victoria and the other grew up on Sointula and knows Nathaniel´s best friend Allan Dodds. Wow, what a small world. Apparently they even met once before through friends. So to make a long storey longer... we are okay and we have really enjoyed meeting some cool people that we would not have met if this whole disaster hadn´t happened. If you could pray that by some miracle someone turns in our backpack that would be awesome... replacing everything is going to be very costly and time consuming.
P.S. We are at a fairly high altitude, this city is 2500 meters above sea level. We constantly feel out of breath... you should hear us when we climb some stairs... it is pathetic.