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October 2020: In memory of Angelita

October 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

Fabulous Fall is here . . . and that was an effort at being positive in such challenging times when many are shaking their heads and wondering, “When will this end?”  But I think I am ready to turn the page on those conversations. . . eight months is enough!  So, onward!!  In a few minutes I will leave for the airport  to pick up Richard who has been in Floron diligently making repairs not only on the water purification system but he also brought down new headlights to be installed on our 1820 Chevy Blazer made in Venezuela (as it didn’t pass the safety inspection). . . well, it’s really a1997, but it seems that old. However, it ‘gets us there’ most of the time.  “Give thanks in all things.” I am trying. 

Our initial trip down to Quito was definitely a ‘reality check’ (‘Positive’ just went out the window.) . . . All three airports (DIA, Houston and Quito) were a somber experience. . . no crowds of people – actually, very few people at all - and the majority of shops/restaurants closed.  Upon our arrival at the Quito Airport we were escorted down to a well organized waiting area where we were seated every other seat and three fully gowned and masked + full face plastic visored ladies took our temperature and oxygen level; we gave them our Covid test results that we had completed four days before along with medical forms filled out during the flight. 

Packed with fundraiser items purchased last January, I journeyed back to Denver and re-took another Covid test before returning home.  Richard continued to the clinic . . . Unfortunately, Avianca Airlines again delayed another month to resume flights so the 30 minutes by air was replaced by a 7-8-hour car ride each way.

The president had given a country wide executive order that everyone had to wear a mask once they leave their home or apartment – on the streets, buildings and even while driving one’s car or truck. A large fine would be levied if caught by the police. In Quito it looked as if there was 100% compliance but in Floron, not so. I guess they felt safe there as there usually were no mask police to be found.

As with our church (CCPC) holding Saturday night services outside, our Floron church did likewise on Sunday morning. The sun was out so as the service filled up some sought refuge under the trees. With no Sunday School for the children the service only lasted 2 hours instead of the usual 2 ½.

Church compound used for playing soccer, etc.

No organ but a keyboard Pastor Gruezo preaching

While the trip was necessary for Richard and to deliver necessary supplies to Dra. Silvia it had to be cut short to minimized exposure to the virus that still plagues the country. He did have time however to have a short visit with a couple of families dear to our hearts.

Magy, Nathan, Emily, Meggy, Yandry

Yandry is teaching Emily the keyboard – that he plays at church services.

Meggy is a young singer who was highlighted many times in a musical video that Compassion International produced that also highlighted all the pastors working with Compassion children in Ecuador.

Elizabeth, Jose, Merly, Carlos (husband Daniel not available)

Daniel was the young 14 year-old boy that launched our mission starting in the fall of 1997 when Elizabeth traveled with a team from CCPC (our church).

Masks were a priority but face shields in short supply. Below our medical staff proudly displays their everyday costumes.

Dra. Silvia, Medical Director

Angelita, Medical Assistant

Eliana, Accountant subbing for Delores

Dra. Karolina, dentist

Delores, Administrative specialist

She was removed from working with patients as she found out that she was pregnant. Her recent marriage to Carlos (previously on the water staff until he joined the police force) is the wedding we missed by not being able to travel back to Ecuador last March.

Lastly, a day before Richard’s departure for Quito our beloved medical assistant Angelita (that we fondly call our ‘nurse’) passed away during the night. Autopsies are never performed among the poor unless requested but they were very sure that she did not have the virus. Services and burials for the poor last 1 to 2 days as the bodies are not cremated or embalmed. Richard was able to attend both before leaving. Angelita was 68.

If you remember from our March update, Angelita fulfilled her lifelong dream of graduating from High School. She always had a smile. She was not just a staff member who performed many tasks outside of her job description but she was a friend and part of our clinic family. She will be dearly missed by all.

Dios los bendiga,

Richard, Elizabeth and the FYTA board

PS: We have only two Ecuador goods sales this year to help with fundraising for the clinic. The first is this coming Saturday Oct 10th at the Broadmoor Community Church, 315 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs from 9-3. Because of the virus, the event is held outdoors. If you can not attend, items can be purchased on-line and be picked up at our home – but if you’re not able to pick up we will deliver but only locally as we do not ship. This is the web site for Ecuador goods:

The only other sales this year is Evergreen – normally held at the Evergreen Lutheran Church but this year it is all virtual with pick up at the church. If purchasing from us, use the site listed above. Except for the throws, items are limited.

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