A lot of people have predisposed ideas of what missionaries do. We sleep on cots, live in the jungle, commute in canoes and overall everything is different than a first world country.
Since the only time I have taken a canoe down a river (instead of a taxi, car or bus) was on a tour led by a tour guide, I thought it would be better if I gave you a clearer look into my day to day routine here in Ecuador. We wake up around 6 am to get ready for the day and do some devotions (I will be honest and say sometimes it maybe a little later for me). We walk about fifteen minutes to work. Instead of using machetes or a canoe through the jungle, it is actually more like dodging cars and traffic while keeping my laptop dry when I run across the street with it in my backpack. On our later mornings, we stop by a bakery and buy breakfast on our way to work.
I usually start working a little after eight am. My current tasks have included insurance claims (which there have been a lot of lately), answering emails concerning small health problems, making doctor’s appointments for people here in Quito and making sure that everyone has the correct immunizations. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I take two different buses (about 45 minutes to an hour commute) to a local orphanage where I spend a couple of hours playing with children. In the future, I hope to blog more about this, because it has really been a blessing to be a part of these children’s lives and to spend time with them. There are two different houses for kids there so I split my time between them. On Tuesdays, I play with and feed the babies who are all under two. On Thursdays I wrestle with the kids between two and five.
Afterwards, myself and my pepper spray walk down to the main street to find a taxi that is willing to take me across town for a decent price. I pick up my Spanish teacher on the way to class and together we go to another missionary’s house where two of us try to further our Spanish. I get back to my apartment usually between eight and nine, get some rest and then wake up to do it again. Of course, being the nurse/medical coordinator that I am here sometimes my schedule can vary. I can be awakened in the middle of the night or called while in the middle of work at the office and then everything is put aside. This may mean making a house call for someone who is not feeling very good or meeting someone to take them to the hospital.
I hope that gives you all a better look into what I do each day. Justin would type his, but though it is valuable work, it is a little less exciting to hear about him working on a website or computer problems all day.