After four incredible days in the jungle of Ecuador, we have finally made it back to Quito. I'm sorry there have not been more updates as the internet has been very hard to find where we are staying.
There are way too many stories from our time in the jungle, but here are a few highlights...
On Wednesday, we left Quito early for our 5 hour bus ride to Shell where we hopped on several bush planes that took us on a short 25 minute plane ride to the jungle village of Kutsuka. It was incredible to see the vast beauty of the jungle and hundreds of rivers from above.
Once we got unpacked and situated in our very basic guest hut, the guys found themselves playing soccer and throwing wild grapefruit with the village kids.
Of course, after a long day of travel and a few sweaty games of jungle soccer, it was time to clean up in the river. Who thought it would be so fun to bathe in the river!
On our first full day in the jungle, we made a 3 hour hike through the jungle to the village of Timias with our packs full of medicine and new boots for the kids there. To say that it was an average hike would be an understatement. We found out very quickly how challenging it is to travel through the jungle. With our packs on, we hiked our way through pouring rain, lots of mud, across several rivers and streams, up several steep climbs, and even over a cable car. Not to mention our 3 hour hike back.
It was a long hard day for all of us, but our time in Timias was very special. We had to chance to wash all of the village kids feet and put new boots on them. It will be a moment that we or they will never forget.
Our second day in the jungle was spent doing some service projects. Half of the group went to another village nearby to help build a platform and repair their church while the other half of the group stayed in Kutsuka to help with a landscaping project. It was a hot day full of hard work, but really fun to see our projects come to completion.
With this being our last full day in the jungle, we got some really fun playtime with the kids before we left.
The next morning (Saturday), we were up and packed at 5:00pm to start our 8 hour hike out of the jungle. Words will not be able to describe what a feat this was as we walked through tons of muddy swamps, flowing rivers, up cliffs, and over bridges to reach the nearest bus. All of this in rubber boots. Once we reached our bus...we were exhausted, dirty, and ready for a good meal. Fortunately, several of the native Shwar indians in the village carried our packs out of the jungle for us. It was such a blessing. I'm not sure what we would have done without them.
We are back in Quito now and recovering from our time in the jungle. There are so many memories and friendships that we will never forget. There was not alot of comfort in the jungle, but it was so fun to see the Gospel going forth even in the most remote parts of the world. We will never be the same after experiencing life with the Kutsuka people!