The middle of the world is in Ecuador. I’d ask, “who knew?”, but apparently, a lot of people know and now I’m one of them. And thanks to me so are you, if you weren’t. Also, Michael and I went there. Not to the specific point of 0°0’0″, but to Ecuador.
Michael celebrated his 10 years anniversary with Compassion international last year. One of the very generous things Compassion does is send their employees (and a companion) on anniversary trips at 5-year marks (5 yrs, 10 yrs, 15 yrs, 20 yrs, etc..) It’s a great opportunity for employees in America to connect with where the work is done. For Michael’s 5 yr trip we went to Indonesia. Michael’s work anniversaries conveniently happen to coincide with our monumental wedding anniversaries. (His 5 year at work was our 20 year. His 10 year was our 25.) So we combine them. So for our 25th wedding anniversary and his 10 year work anniversary, we took a trip to Ecuador!
It started they way other trips of ours have started – with a delay. We were leaving from Colorado Springs through Dallas/Fort Worth and planning an overnight in Miami. We did that, but everything was pushed back a few hours. Our overnight ended up being a long morning – we were in our hotel by 3am and checked out at noon. So we did get a little sleep.
We left Colorado Springs with a few other Compassion employees who were also taking anniversary trips. So we all started the journey and managed the delays together. In Miami, we met up with the rest of our group. I’m not one to get too mired in the details so I was a bit surprised to discover there were 30+ of us. I’ve done other trips with Compassion and it’s always been in the 20 person range. We made introductions at the airport and started getting to know each other. Most of us were from the states, some had international travel experience and others were getting their first stamps in their passport. We had one couple who had made the trip all the way from New Zealand. But we all had some things in common, this was an opportunity for us to learn about what Compassion really does and (for most of us) a chance to meet our sponsor child.
We boarded the flight for Quito, Ecuador. We arrived, gathered our luggage – there was a very, very lot of luggage because we all brought along our personal luggage and gifts for Compassion projects and gifts for our kids. We made our way through immigration (giving me my second stamp in my passport) and met up with some of the staff from the Ecuador country office. We boarded a bus for our hotel for the night. We were exhausted and a bit disoriented and we had an early start the next morning so we made our way to our rooms with instructions to gather really early the following morning.