Sponsoring a volunteer for OSSO in Ecuador

In 2004 Kelsey went to Ecuador to participate in the OSSO program. She did
volunteer work at orphanages and made many new friends there, both Ecuadorian and among the other volunteers.

When I came back from Fiji, she took me to Ecuador with her to see the place & people she loved so much. In 2007, shortly after getting married, we moved to Cuenca, Ecuador together for 6 months, frequently visiting the orphanages and OSSO house. We returned to the USA after Kelsey got pregnant. 4 years and 2 children later, we’re moving back again.

It’s safe to say Ecuador has a permanent place in our hearts, and that Kelsey’s experience with OSSO has had a major part in shaping our lives.

We want others to have that experience. If you want to volunteer, if you’d like to experience the wonderful Ecuadorian culture, make lifelong friends, and have your heart touched by children who need your love, please consider volunteering for OSSO. If money is a concern, don’t let that be an obstacle.

We can help 1 person with up to 50% of the cost of your OSSO program fees. This doesn’t include the application fee or spending money. Once you’ve been accepted, send us a sponsor letter. Our only stipulation is that you work with all your heart for at least 8 weeks. If you happen to be in Cuenca when we’re there, you can buy us dinner if you’d like to say thanks.

Send us a note if you’re seriously interested or have any questions about our experience. Check out http://orphanagesupport.org for more information.

Moving to Ecuador

I’m moving to Ecuador in January.

My wife Kelsey volunteered for OSSO (http://orphanagesupport.org) in 2004 before we were married. When I came back from Fiji, she took me there for Christmas to play Santa Claus. After we were married we moved to Ecuador for 6 months in 2007. She got pregnant, we came back to Seattle and had two kids. Now we’re going back.

Besides getting rid of all my stuff (wanna buy a surf board or guitar?) I need to buy more hardware – a new laptop, Android phone & tablet for development (just got an iPhone & iMac.) I’m going to try to get monitors there.

I’m going to be looking for telecommute work & test consulting through my company, One Shore. I’m also going to be working on my test management tool, QA Site, and perhaps some other projects. Kelsey will be watching the kids, and we will try to do what we can to help OSSO & the orphanages in Cuenca, Ecuador.

I’m going home

Today is (probably) the last day I’ll have internet in Ecuador. TV Cable should be coming to get the antenna and modem any time now. So I’ll be incommunicado until Wednesday, when I’ll be back in Seattle.

I don’t know if I’d really call it home, but it’s home for Kelsey. She’s been pretty sick the past month with her pregnancy and has hardly left the house. So she’s bored too. She’ll be glad to see her mom and friends and eat at Chipotle and a dozen other places she’s been craving.

I’m really going to miss Ecuador. We haven’t done as much as we thought, and due to circumstances, CuencaTravel.com has been put on hold, but I learned some good planning and design techniques from it. It’s been a great place to work and think and learn, though I haven’t learned Spanish yet. But I’ve got a pretty good idea for how to develop One Shore and the consulting business.

But going home probably means getting a job. I’ll be available for consulting, including on-site work. So if you’re looking for a tester, web developer, project manager I’m looking for something in the Seattle area, or maybe elsewhere for the right position. I’m open to relocate, since we don’t have anything tying us down besides Kelsey’s family.

Anyway, I think it’s time to go back. We’ll have 7 months till the baby comes. Maybe I’ll find the right boat, too.

Carnival in Ecuador

This week is Carnival.  And here that means water ballons.  Actually, they’ve been celebrating practically since New Years.  Kelsey got hit by a water balloon from a fast moving car walking home the first week of January.  Today she “paid it forward” when she pegged a guy who was climbing on the back of his car for some unknown reason, with a water balloon from a fast moving car.  He flipped her off.

A couple weeks ago, my dad also got hit while we were taking a walk on Sunday afternoon.  Okay, we were coming back from Canibales with some rotisserie chicken. Oh yeah, my parents came to visit us in Ecuador.  We were going to go to Machu Picchu, but didn’t bother.  It was good.  Kelsey mentioned it.  Anyway, while he was in Tia, the same car came around again, actually a pickup with little girls 10-12 in the back.  They threw one at me and missed.  They threw another and I caught it.  I returned fire and avenged my dad.

Today is the first real day of Carnival, though all weekend was a bit of a warm up.  It rained yesterday evening and all night and was cold and cloudy this morning.  We went over to Roseros at 10, and proceeded to fill bags of water balloons.  Roseros had prepared a barbecue, and we went over to a park by the river.  After stopping at Abuelita’s and picking her up (and Roderigo lobbing a few) we caravanned to the park — with Kelsey pegging the guy on the way.

Waterfights, barbecue, and Uno in a tent with a light rain ensued.  Oh yeah, and there was an awesome zip line, about 75′ long.  It was a great gauntlet to run while balloons or spray foam was launched at you.   It took some work to get the charcoal working and tent set up.  We refilled a bunch of balloons from the dirty river with a squirt bottle and returned to Rosero’s house and proceeded to ambush the volunteers who came out to greet them.  I believe Jenna and Sara were the first targets.

Me and Kelsey took to the sidelines to fill balloons and egg them on.  I armed the maid, and anyone else who passed by.  Sammy refused to take a bomba. Eventually I had to go out join the fray.  Roderigo had the hose.  Lindsey had a pitcher and balloons from Kelsey from the balcony.  Ishi had spray foam.  I lured as many people into the battle as possible, getting Tanya and Whitney and Sarah soaked.  I took the hose and got Sammy, who actually seemed a good sport.  When Lorena or Abuela leaned too far out over the balcony I threatened them with a light spray.

Eventually everyone but Kelsey was soaked.  Two girls dragged Lorena out to be hosed down. I went inside to give Kelsey a wet hug and then created a diversion so she could slip out the back door unscathed.  The walk home was nervous for her, (I was looking for more trouble), but thanks to her menacing demeaner, nobody got us.  We armed some men in the street however.

Tomorrow will be the real deal, but I don’t know if we’ll go out.  I didn’t get any work done today.

And Josh is having a girl. Which means I can still have the first Evans boy.

I’m going to be a dad

Yesterday Lois sent an instant message to Kelsey saying “Are you pregnant?” Kelsey replied “maybe” and promptly went to take a home pregnancy test that she’d brought with her to Ecuador from a $1 store in Auburn. It gave what Kelsey said was “a faint line” which she said means “yes.” Since the illustration on the box was anything but faint, I had my doubts.

Every month or so Kelsey convinces herself that she’s pregnant. I get hopeful but try not to lead her on too much. This month, same thing, and I figured, we’ll know for sure (or pretty likely) in a week or so. Kelsey doesn’t like waiting. If you have a secret, even if it’s a gift for her, she’d rather spoil it than wait for Christmas.

So today we went to a medical clinic, the same one that gave me diarrhea pills last year when we spent Christmas in Cuenca, and she took a blood test. It cost $7 and took twenty minutes. They stuck a needle in her and drew her blood. We went to the English bookstore. I bought Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Kelsey had hot flashes. We walked the streets in trepidation; Carnival starts next week and there were water balloons about. We came back and the doctor lady handed Kelsey an envelope. Inside was a sealed home pregnancy test and a slip of paper that read:

LABORATORIO CLINICO
MICROBIOLOGIA – INMUNOLOGIA – HOROMONAS
Dra. Catalina Vera de Chacón

Cuenca, 2 de Febrero de 2008
NOMBRE DEL PACIENTE: Sra. Kelsey Evans
MEDICO SOLICITANTE:


INMUNOLOGIA

Prueba de Embarazo

BHCG: POSITIVO

 

Cuenca, Ecuador

On October 14th, we boarded the plane to Ecuador. We actually made it there that night. Four weeks, minus two days later, we’ve settled in to an apartment. Actually, we’ve been here two weeks, but decided yesterday to stay, since the house we wanted isn’t done yet, and we hope to save on furniture. This place is $500/month, that one only $300. It was nicer and larger and closer to Kelsey’s friends, but unfurnished. And here, we have a really great view. The image at the top of the page is out of our sala ventana at night.

That’s all I’ve got so far. Kelsey has kept a more faithful log of our adventures at http://kelseyandaaron.blogspot.com

We’re just settling in now, and all we really need is a vaccum cleaner (and to get rid of the mysterious smell wafting up from somewhere below our front baño. I’ve been working website updates for DonLeeArt.com and trying to transfer his domain. Also, I’ve been working on plans for my business, One Shore.

We have passable free wifi internet access from the park two blocks away. The radio tower para la izquierda del Cathedral is Etapa, the phone company, which provides the gratis connection. It’s frustrating sometimes, so I might end up paying for some. Downloads and Skype are still dicey, but using my hacked Linksys WRT54G as a client (it has better antennas then our crappy Gateway computers) helps.