Monday, May 26, 2014

Ecuador Adventure

Bunch of illegal aliens departing the plane
at the airport in Tumbes, Peru.
So, two weeks ago we were getting ready for a zone conference when my leaders come up and tell me that I'm going to Ecuador. I didn't believe them for about 10 mintues, but then I realized I was actually going to leave the country to get my visa resolved. I was excited, but also really nervous about flying. I almost always feel sick on planes.

Our bus load of illegal aliens heading for the (Peruvian) border
So, on Monday morning we met up to the Mission Office. I went with seven Elders, Hermanas Jones, Morgan, and Hewitt, and two other sisters from Mexico. We were all super excited! We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, so naturally all the Americans decided to buy donuts! (see picture below) There aren't many places here in Peru that sell donuts.

The plane ride went well, and I didn't feel sick becuase Hermana Hyer (who is in my district) was so kind as to give me her motion sickness medicine that she brought with her from the states. I felt great!

We landed in Tumbes, Peru in the early afternoon, and then we boarded a big car that the church had waiting for us, with a really nice man to drive us to the border.

Bienvenido a Ecuador!

The car ride was really short, only about 15 mintues, to get to the border of Peru and Ecuador and arrive at Ecuador immigrations. It was super super super humid! I felt like I was back in Missouri! It was also really green and beautiful! I had forgotten how nice it is to see green everywhere, becuase in Lima it's just dirt everywhere.

Ecuador is green and beautiful!
So, we get to the immigrations in Ecuador, and first, we have to get our visa stamped that we're leaving Peru. Now, I was a little worried because everyone had to pay a fine for being here illegally. Everyone had to pay about $100 or less, but my fine was more than $300!

Well, when I came here, the Church did something really weird to get me my visa. I had some rare-type of visa. I had to stand in front of the lady for about 20 minutes as she was calling people and trying to figure out what kind of visa I had. I was a little worried they wouldn't let me leave! But, she turned me over to someone else and he figured it out after about 10 more minutes and I got through! Whew!
Once our visas were stamped, we turned around
and went right back to Peru, but now we were legal!
We then all left and drove back to Peru immigrations (a car ride of about 5 minutes), and I got my stamp to leave Ecuador and enter Peru. I am now legal for 180 more days! So, pretty much until I finish my mission.

A condor and llama monument in
Jerusalem Walks (Paseo Jerusalem).

A statue in Tumbes, Peru.

A large bas relief in Tumbes, Peru.

La Plaza de Armas (Armas Square)

An amphitheater in Armas Square (Plaza del Armas).
We then spent a few hours in Tumbes, Peru. It's a really old city with some cool history. There were some pretty good photo ops. We ate lunch, bought a few souvenirs, ate ice cream, and then we headed back to the airport.
The Elders were dying of heat and had
to resort to drastic measures.
We got there at about 7:00 PM, but our flight wasn't until 9:30 PM. So, we waited a really long time. I felt fine, but the elders were dying of heat! It was a little uncomfortable....

The coolest thing was that it actually started to rain! REAL RAIN! I haven't seen real rain since NYC. It was so nice! The sisters and I ran outside to feel it for a few minutes, but then it started to rain really hard and we went back inside. Our flight was delayed for about 30 minutes as they got the plane ready in the rain.
We got back safe and sound to Lima around midnight. We got back to the Mission Offices, and I went to Palmeras, an area really close by, to sleep for the night (it was about 2 AM when I finally hit the pillow). In the morning, I met up with Hermana Jaramillo again, and things were back to normal. It was quite an adventure!
Silly Americans -- went straight for the donuts!
Hermanas Morgan, Jones, Hewitt, and me.

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