February 25, 2012

The Shelter

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we traveled to El Refugio.
      "Hacienda El Refugio exists to provide a training and retreat center which facilitates a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through nature and outdoor adventure." 

Because I could not come up with better words to describe this place I let their website do it for me. El Refugio is part of Youth World (which is what my Semester Abroad is part of).

I enjoyed myself at this place. Unfortunately, our main purpose was not be do the normal activities of the retreat center, but rather it was to be in class. We started our Worldview class this week.(Trinity has some work to do with their worldview classes. I am actually enjoying this one- weird I know). But imagine yourself sitting in a cabin like room, the fire place light, students cuddled in blankets, and holding a hot cup of tea. Ok, now imagine yourself looking out the window and seeing green mountains, grass to run around on, and cows. So you can guess what I was doing during class. I was cuddled in a blanket trying to keep warm while wishing I was outside running around in the beautiful creation. What I was suppose to do: listening to the professor speak about creating a third space to learn in while in an intercultural setting.

All jokes aside, God did some serious work while creating this place. El Refugio is set on a beautiful peace of land that reminds me a lot like home. Yes, there were really cows rooming around. I saw cows grazing on the mountains (and for some reason that cow got mistaken for a llama. O those city slickers!). I also was waken up by the familiar sounds of chickens and dogs barking. That reminded me a whole lot of my uncles place. The cows reminded me of my dad, and the horses of my friend. While I was running I got to experience God's creation even more. I went running this morning with an interin. She said to me that she GETS to see the mountains, clouds, and greenery every day. She has been there for almost a year and she said it never gets old, or looks the same. How cool is that? I was able to leave the business and pollution of Quito behind and listen to the quietness of the country. I am thankful I got up at 6 am this morning to run, because I know that I would have missed out on God if I did not. I wish I was good at taking pictures in order to share the beauty with you and I wish I was better at using my words, but just trust me on this- El Refugio is beautiful.

Because I failed at taking pictures last adventure- I tried to make it up this time. I will picture narrate the rest of what we did.
This is a vegetable field. I'm pretty sure someone would be able to make the best salad ever out of this field. Maybe one day I will have half of that size of garden.
Below: Everywhere we have stayed we have eaten outside. What a highlight to everyday. I love eating outside and the best part about it- there are no flys!

This old tractor captured my eye from the second we got there. I like it a lot. It reminded me of my father.  
Between we decided to take a hike to the super cool tree house pictured below. I think hiking is a lot cooler in Ecuador, but I still don't like it very much. Especially because you can't breath very well.

This is super legit!

 Goofing around in the tree house. The bridge made my feet tingle. 

That is a guinea pig. Ecuadorians love them and are served just like that. I don't think I can ever be a tree Ecuadorian. I was not a fan. 

We cooked hot dogs over a fire. I wanted to make sure mine was completely done to avoid sickness, that is why its black.

Bre and I trying to stay warm. 

Our adventure today between class was ziplining. They have one line, and a great hike to it. It was different then the zip line I went on before, and I think I liked this one more.
 I could not pass up taking pictures of these flowers. The top
reminds me of baby shoes. I think it is really cute. And the red
one has some awesome color in it. I wish I could get
these flowers in my garden. 

This is a great picture of the gang playing Ecovolley (probably spelled wrong) but its like volley ball but with a soccer ball and a higher net. The soccer ball hurts your arms so bad. This is an Ecuadorian game for sure. Anything with a soccer ball they are thrilled about. 
I'm probably missing a lot of what we did, but this the best I can do for now. Some day ask about the llama story.


  1. Haha loved your post!!! I can't wait to hear about the llama!!

  2. will you please just tell us about the llama now?!