11JAN

We said goodbye to the beach and new friends in Montanita on Tuesday and boarded a bus for Guayaquil (3 hours).  Upon arriving in Guayaquil, we expected to catch the bus for Lima, Peru an hour later.   The bus we intended to take had left early…just because time means nothing down here. We checked our other option for a bus and they were booked until Friday. Hmmmm…we stopped to pray and see what our other options were.
A guy recommended a bus company that was not direct to Lima, but that would still be a better option than waiting 4 days in Guayaquil.
The bus was a bit cheaper than the other we had planned on, left that night from Guayaquil, had a layover the next day in a beach town for a few hours and had 5 seats left on it…sold!  Well, that plan worked out better than we had hoped…thank-you Jesus.
Next up was figuring how we would spend the next 8 hours in Guayaquil. The girls and I went to use the bathroom (a whole different blog post on that experience!) and left Don and Isaiah to figure out a plan. As we came out, I said that we should just pray we find someone to ask that lives in Guayaquil to tell us what to see with our few hours there. Lille saw a woman that had talked to her in the bathroom and said to ask her.  As she walked by and smiled, we asked her if she was from Guayaquil. The next thing we know, we are getting in a taxi with our new friend and our tour guide for the day.
Enma Lorena, our new friend, also had a few hours in Guayaquil before a doctors appointment and was thrilled at the opportunity to show us around Guayaquil. We had simply asked where to go, never expecting that someone would actually want to take us!
Enma Lorena took us downtown to show off some of the architecture and then to the port of Guayaguil and gardens to see “the best of the town”. We enjoyed lunch together and were then planning to go back to the bus station.
Enma Lorena insisted on allowing us to rest at her sisters before our overnight bus trip.  We went back with her and had coffee and sat by a pool. It was lovely!
She then made dinner for us and sent us off with her email address and a promise that the next time we are in Ecuador we would come and visit her home. Enma Lorena showed us true hospitality.  Amazing!
As we sat waiting for our bus, the kids all said that even trying to explain the events of the day would never do justice to our prayers being answered. We prayed, God directed clearly and we were blessed beyond measure.
We are glad we took Enma Lorena up on her insistence to rest at the pool because the bus trip was less than restful!  We had 14 hours (9 pm-11 am) with a border crossing (where everyone is required to get off the bus and walk over the border), a bag check for drugs and a stop in a town. We ended up stopping every 3 hours, not the most conducive to sleeping!
We arrived in Chiclayo, Peru at 11 am and had the day to explore. Isaiah asked that we just find the beach on our own and NOT ask anyone (or God) for someone to show us around.  We enjoyed the beach and Isaiah rented a surfboard to try the waves in Peru.
That night we boarded the bus again for another 12 hours to Lima. This time we asked if any seats were available on the first floor, which is the “first class” of bus travel. They had 5 seats available but they were $10 a piece more. We got them and I think that may have been the best $50 we have spent the whole trip!  A great nights sleep does wonders.  :)
We are now in Lima, Peru with a friend of Don’s from soccer in college. We are enjoying getting to know their family and ministry.  More on that soon…