Reflexiones de Moises: Blog 3; Others Have Come Before Us
We arrived in Colta Monjas Alto at 9:00 am for Palm Sunday church services at Promesa Divina. Colta Monjas is located about 50 feet from the Pan-Am Transcontinental highway in a very small indigenous community at 12,000 feet elevation overlooking Lake Colta.
It was cold that morning and there is no heating in the church. No one has ever even dreamed of air conditioning. But, they did have restrooms. That was surprising. They did have an education center. Pastor Fernandez explained that Compassion International had assisted them with the construction of these facilities. It is quite humbling to see that “others have come before us”. They have provided important services to this community already. Our team had heard of Compassion International before. They are an organization dedicated to the long term development of children living in poverty around the world, much like Rotary and Agua Viva. Compassion International is headquartered in Colorado Springs and functions in more than 26 countries including Ecuador providing services to 1,350,000 children. No, we did not invent humanitarianism. We are just doing our part.
The church-goers slowly started trickling in. Speaking Quechua and all anxious to shake our hands. Their hands were tortured, cold, and calloused indicative of the hard existence in the mountains. Their smiles revealed what remained of their teeth ground to the “nubbins” from years of stone ground wheat and corn.
It was a wonderful church service (albeit two hours in total) full of smiles, hope, and spirit. Following the church service, it is time to break bread with our guests: Cuy, Las Papas, and Chiquile. (Guinea Pig, Potatoes, and Ecuadorian version of tamales). And, what is this? Apple Pie.