We Are Growing!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson 

So trying to write blog posts, on an IPad app, with a little human has been getting the best of me. It’s like she can zero in on the tiny little button at the top that says “post” and hit it, perfectly. So, yeah, sorry about all the mis published posts.

Anyway, as I was saying…
Holy Moly Caroline turned one last weekend!  This year has flown by, seems like Gus’ first year lasted an eternity.  But I guess time flies when you’re having fun, or so exhausted, busy, and frantic you don’t notice. Same difference.

No party for her, again so different than Gus.  We had a big shin dig for him, with about 40 people in attendance.  Gus cared more about the balloons.  What I thought would be a great big celebration, was kinda a great big pain in the ass.  So we decided to go low key with birthdays from here on out, until they will remember them. Very multiple children of us.  

For Caroline we had our neighbors over for cupcakes and ice cream, and a fish fry with the volunteers for dinner. It was a good day.

A cupcake of her very own.

Caroline is walking and climbing on everything.  Nothing will stop this girl.  She loves to eat, and “play” with her brother. Which essentially means she harasses him a lot (this is going to drive me crazy). She points and indicates things she wants, and has no problem getting down and dirty. Her favorite foods are broccoli, cheese, and noodles (she prefers spaghetti over short noodles). 


Caroline had her one year photo shoot with our dear friend Wendy. Here’s some highlights…

Gus has started “school.” A place called a guarderia, which is like the state run preschool/daycare.  He loved it at first, but recently the novelty has waned a tad.  He’s resistant to getting dressed and going in the mornings (not that that really means much, he would prefer to run around naked all day if we let him) but once we get there he loves it, and it has brought about really positive changes.

He’s talking more and is more independent.  We love the teachers, and the fact that he spends time with other kids and adults, hears Spanish on a consistent basis, and has exposure to a new environment. It’s a great anchor to our community as well. He’s even started using his pleases, one of my proudest mommy moments to date. 

Though, like I think happens often when children start spending time amongst a lot of other children, he’s been sick since the very first day. It came to a head last weekend and both kids ended up in the doctors office with ear infections. We will be keeping him home this week, hoping he will get really healthy and strong and reevaluate the plan.

As for me, well I’ve had a few breakthroughs myself. I’ve driven to Ibarra to run a few errands by myself in the last couple months.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal at all, but for me it was life and perspective changing. 

Ibarra is our “big city” to the North about 30 mins.  It has a mall, a big grocery store, and is where the clinic is where the kids were born. You have to drive on the PanAmericana highway to get there, the closest thing to an interstate we have (except speeds top out at about 50 mph). You can find many things there, many things we need for the business especially, that you can’t find in our little Cotacachi.  But boy was it overwhelming to me.

From my old perspective it was a scary drive, a confusing place to drive, and debilitating if I should get into trouble as I had no confidence in my Spanish.  So up until a couple months ago Shawn had to run all the errands there, even having to go to all of my doctor appointments with me. 

It wasn’t the first trip, but the second when I realized that I was comfortable.  This wasn’t a foreign place anymore, this was home.  I know this place.  I’m comfortable here, and I’m not overwhelmed by running errands or trying to communicate any longer. I can navigate this world like I could navigate my world when I lived in the U.S. It’s a liberating feeling, I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was until I just wasn’t anymore. 


Photo Credit Phillip D’Aflisio. Mt. Cotacachi from the pigs perspective

Farm life has been rolling along nicely.  12 new piglets, and their momma, Dulce, have rejoined us at the farm.  Dulce was sold to our vet Danny when she was piglet. She is a fantastic momma and we recently purchased her and her recent litter of piglets back from Danny. Dulce has quickly become the 600lb boss of the farm, and her piglets are characters for sure. 

Photo credit Phillip D’Aflisio, volunteer extroidinaire

We’ve started a new project this week as well. We are turning all of our unused space into good quality pasture to support the two new litters we are expecting in a little over two months. The hope is that the new piglets will be raised entirely on pasture. We’ve had happy, healthy pigs and although business has been great for us, we’ve had a hard time getting ahead with the feeding program we’ve been using.  This will be an exciting opportunity that will be great for the farm and the pigs. Like everything in farming though, it’s a bit of a gamble for us. Keep us in your thoughts that everything grows well, and works out as planned.

Photo Credit Phillip D’Aflisio. Mt. Imbabura behind the volunteer loft

Here’s some things I’ve been reading.

This Vice article made me so incredibly home sick.  It’s been over a year since I’ve been home.

Here is a quick glimpse into some of the amazing fruits we have here in Ecuador.

This Article boosted my confidence in the way we’ve been raising our children. 


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