Project Ludo

About two months ago, Bryan and I discussed with Father Joseph about ways we could possibly help the people living in Ludo, Ecuador.  Due to the consequences of the covid virus lockdowns, it is known that many people all over the world are in dire straights.  What transpired after we spoke has been amazing.  No doubt, God's hand has been in this from the beginning.

Father Joseph said that the community of Ludo, which consists of about 25 families, are in great need of food.  So, Bryan and I offered to donate what we could and it was received gratefully and humbly.  We extended this action further and initiated an email to our Cuenca church family offering an opportunity for anyone else who might be interested, and able, to help financially toward the grocery fund.  The response was significant.  Consistently, for several weeks, contributions have been received and Bryan & I have forwarded the monies to Father Joseph.  This generous donation from people have gone beyond Bryan and myself and our immediate church family here in Cuenca.  Contributors include family and friends from Ecuador and the United States.     

We are so humbled by the kind hearts who have participated in this effort.  

Shoes for the Kids

Upon receipt of some of the photos that Father Joseph sent with  recipients of the groceries, we noticed the shoes on some of the children's feet were in bad shape.  So, again, we discussed with Father Joseph about purchasing shoes for the kids.  With an email update sent to family and friends, we shared our thoughts, and intentions, concerning the purchase of shoes.  Again, generous individuals wanted to help with the "shoe fund."  Several hundred dollars from various Contributors were collected.  Father Joseph sent us shoe sizes for six children.  For each child, a pair of Crocs and pair of rubber boots were purchased.  



Father Joseph invited Bryan and I to visit Ludo.  We happily accepted his invitation and were delighted to schedule a day trip to bring the shoes and visit with Father Joseph.

Day Trip to Ludo

We hired a private driver, Nestor Reinoso, and planned a day trip to Ludo.  We left Cuenca around 9:30 am and began the drive to make some kids happy-happy.  The trip for about half way was on a paved road and then it became dirt & gravel for the remainder of the route to Ludo.  There were twists and sharp curves along the way, but the view was spectacular.  With the weather providing blue skies and sunshine, we could see quite a distance.  

Arrival in Ludo

We arrived in the small town of Ludo.  First stop is the church and convent where Father Joseph and Father Juan reside.  Once entering the front doors, there are a few lovely courtyards with plants, flowers, and fruit trees.

Coffee & Cake

Father Joseph invited us to join him in the dining area for some coffee and apple cinnamon cake.  It was delicious!!

After coffee and cake, we began the tour for the day.  In the courtyard, we were greeted with some little friends, two kittens.  They were friendly and were not shy about climbing up my leg.  

Church

The sanctuary is beautifully displayed with very old, antique, items.  

Convent

Throughout the Convent, there are beautiful wooden floors.  Antiques, such as a Spinning Wheel and Organ are placed in the front living area.  Father Joseph played a quick tune on the Organ.

In the main living area located toward the back of the Convent the ceiling is completely tiled.

Guest Bedrooms

Plants & Meditation Room

One of Father Joseph's favorite plants is in the front living area.  It has yellow blooms and thrives in this location.  There is a meditation room for quiet time and the two statues located in there are worth quite a lot.  They are both very heavy and extremely valued both monetary and sentimentally.

Delivery of the Shoes

We arrived at the home of the children for whom the shoes were to be given.  The children's mother stood with them while other family members remained inside.  All were grateful and happily welcomed us.  We gave out the bags of shoes and they all said "Thank You." 

On With the Tour of Ludo

Every view was just as lovely as the other.  Mountains, fresh air, perfect weather, blue skies, good company ... recipe for a blessed day!

Father Joseph insisted we stand "in the corn field" for a photo.  He took my camera and captured a nice one.  :)

Stations of the Cross

We drove up to the top of the destination for the Stations of the Cross path.  This church is where the bells are rung after completing the Stations of the Cross journey during Easter.

Father Joseph invited us to join him for the walk in to the tiny town of Ludo.  Bryan and I accepted to join on the hike while Nestor and Father Juan drove to meet us at the church in town.  While walking down, we passed the 14 Crosses along the path of the Stations of the Cross.

Back in Town

We returned to the church for a delightful lunch.  Served to us were fried dorado, fried shrimp, french fries, and lettuce/tomatoe salad.  To drink, we had naturally prepared apple juice.  For dessert, we had icecream and Maria cookies.  Everything tasted so Good!   After lunch, Father Joseph and Bryan picked a few figs from the fig tree.  We continued on to see the community center which is in the process of being built.  This will serve as a gathering place for eating together, meetings, or other events.  On our way, we saw a couple of four-legged friends.

Future Community Center of Ludo

On the Way to the River

For our final destination of the tour, Father Joseph wanted to show us the river in town, Rio Bolo.  At the time we arrived at this bridge, there was a woman riding a horse getting ready to cross.  She was so kind.  She saw that I was taking pictures and directed her horse near where I was standing so that I could take more photos.  The horse took a liking to me and kept getting closer and closer.  It was quite comical.  The woman said the horse expected that I had food.

Father Joseph, the Photo Bomber

The River - Peaceful

Ahhh, sounds of the river flow, so peaceful.  This is one of Father Joseph's favorite places.  He enjoys going to the river for some peaceful meditation.  The water is chilly.  There was a very large honey bee hive in the rocks above.  We enjoyed some relaxing moments at Rio Bolo. 

Thank You and Return to Cuenca

We enjoyed this beautiful day in Ludo, Ecuador.  At this time, Bryan and I want to say THANK YOU to all who have contributed to help this precious community with basic needs for survival.  We can tell you all, first hand, how grateful and humble these people are and they appreciate the generosity we all have extended to help them.

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