Borscht in Ecuador!

My daily diet has consisted of chicken and rice. It is very nice, but a few weeks ago I was ready for a change. I was blessed to have my parents come and visit me in the beginning of November, and they stayed at a guest house of a large mission in Quito. My mom seems to find connections in every nook and cranny of the world, and she somehow made contact with a German Mennonite family living in Quito. Herman Schirmacher, the head of the household, was actually born and raised in Paraguay but then moved to Germany, got married and had five children, moved a few more times, and eventually ended up in Quito with his wife and three kids. He works for HCJB, a large Christian Radio Ministry that stands for Hands of Christ Jesus Blessing. It’s a large operation that also has a hospital, hydropower plant and high school.While my parents were here, we ate dinner at this Mennonite family’s house. They served Borscht and krullers (rull kuchen?). It was absolutely delightful. The three children still living at home attend a German school near my university in Cumbaya, which is on the outskirts of Quito. The kids are so blessed to already know three languages (German, English, and Spanish). I would say they are set for life, and they could probably speak to almost any Mennonite. The family was wonderful and it reminded me of the tight community Mennonites are able to share around the world. Also, borscht was the last thing I was expecting to eat while in Ecuador.My parents had an eye-opening experience traveling around Ecuador. Victoria Janzen, the best organized planner, travel agent, Spanish speaking friend helped my parents and I and a small group of friends get to the beach. It was a long 7-hour bus ride, but the beach was beautiful. The seafood was excellent, and both my parents managed to escape eating any stomach-upsetting foods. However, I had to watch them like a hawk to make sure they didn’t drink any juices or put any unsafe substances in their mouths. During the week my parents explored the big city of Quito, then the next weekend we went to Baños, one of my favorite cities in Ecuador. We had to eat dinner by candle light because the power went out, but it was a wonderful experience. My parents are now back in Kansas enjoying the crisp winter air. I will admit I’m kind of excited to go back to cold weather. However, I know about three days after I return I will be ready for warmth again. Ecuador has allowed me to appreciate the great state of Kansas increasingly.