Well yesterday was my first Birthday and first Mother’s day away from home. Even though I missed my family I had a Happy Birthday here in Ecuador. On Saturday morning my Ecuadorian friend was supposed to come early and we were going to go see the Basilica Church and the Panecillo that I’ve been wanting to do since I came. So finally mid-morning when she hadn’t come, instead of not going I went by myself. The Basilica is a catholic church of Neogothic Ecuadorian architecture that was started in 1884 and is still “unfinished” because local legend is that when the Basilica is finished it will be the end of the world. I wish that my camera could have captured the rich beautiful colors of the stained glass windows that line the entire church. The outside of the church is so interesting; as long as you look at it new things keep catching your eye and the inside of the church is just beautiful.
You can actually walk up to the top of the steeples of the church and see all of Quito, but with my heart issues I’m doing as little walking/climbing as possible; besides I figured I could see the city from the Panecillo.
The Panecillo means little bread and it is a high hill in the middle of Quito where you can stand and see city as far north and as far south as you can see. The history on the hill dates back to the indians in 1553 but the new Madonna statue was created in 1976.
This is the hill from a distance so you get a picture of what it looks like
Not much attractive about this statue
City as far as you can see – what a difference from when we were here in the 60s
A local resident taking in some rays
When my HCJB friends heard that I had spent the day alone at first they were sad and then one of the ladies said “Robbyn is never alone – everyone in Quito is her friend.” That is true ; where ever I am I seem to find people to talk to. Every taxi driver is my friend before I reach my destination and on the Panecillo I made friends with an elderly Ecuadorian couple that hadn’t been up on top of the hill for more than 10 years and were just about as amazed at how the city has grown as I was. But my most exciting new friendship was an Ecuadorian police officer. When we started to talk he wanted to know where I had learned to speak Spanish like I do – so I told him that I was raised in Ecuador because my parents were missionaries with HCJB and now I was here as a missionary. He told me he was baptized catholic and believes there is a God but doesn’t go to church; and wanted to know if I’m catholic. When I said no then we started to talk about the difference – that getting to Heaven is a gift of God, not something that we earn but by trusting in the Son of God, Jesus who came not just to die to cover our sins but rose again, and is coming back. Well that is the abbreviated version of the conversation so the seed was planted; pray that the Lord will send someone else in this police officers life to water this seed or even that I might get another chance. One of my HCJB friends said that police officers are not supposed to take their pictures with people ; I don’t know about that – because here we are.
I got back home a little after 4 oclock and at 5:30 my new friends from HCJB took me back to the Panecillo to a very nice restaurant with a beautiful view of the city. It was delicious food, wonderful company and it was fun to watch the city change as we ate and visited.
When I got home my mom, dad and grandchildren Skyped me to wish me Happy Birthday – that was the perfect end to a wonderful day; it was the icing on the cake.