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June Update
Stewart & Anna-Claire Cusick

We're Back...
We haven’t sent out an update in a few months as we were busy studying and AC was revising.  However, since then last email we have been doing a lot, probably a bit too much!!  To start off with after we returned from Shell in April, we went into a national lock down in Ecuador for 4 weeks to help control the spread of lockdown.  We couldn’t leave the house from 8pm to 6am in the morning weekdays and 8pm Friday to 6am Monday morning.  It was fairly boring, but it gave AC loads of time to study for the exams and we got to know our host family better as they couldn’t escape us!

After that AC had a few weeks before she had to sit both her exams.  The Spanish medical exam which we said was suspended in the last email actually got moved to the same week that the Tropical Medicine exam was moved to.  That meant AC had no time to study for it so we didn’t expect her to pass, but she did class and got 56% and she found it useful as practice for the future.  She did, however, need to sleep for 2 days afterwards as the test was 4 hours long and reading Spanish for that long is pretty tough going, especially medical questions.  Probably didn’t help that the Tropical medicine exam was only 2 days before and it was 7 hours long with breaks.  Starting to think medics really like exams or are just masochists!  That exam went well, no internet issues etc but it was quite difficult.  While AC was doing that Stewart was visiting the dentist to get a filling fixed and found out he needed 4 more filling! 
We moved...
So, if that week of exams wasn’t busy enough, we decided to move out of our homestay the same week.  We wanted to move into more independent living in a hostel so as we could shop and cook for ourselves, as well as meet different people to talk to.  So far, it worked out well, the family that owns the hostel also lives here with some of their workers and there are also travellers to speak to in Spanish.  Its hard getting used to new accents and different phrases buts it’s definitely good for our Spanish.  Also, the best bit is we have a TV to watch Spanish shows like cheesy Telenovelas (the worst soaps ever), the news and films, so we are really trying to immerse ourselves in the language. (Below AC enjoying he new room and the upgrade to a full size double bed)
The worst bit about the move out was that our Ecuadorian mother Marcy took the news hard and she was pretty upset.  We can’t really understand why because AC kept breaking the shower and I kept breaking plates, chairs, glasses…!  Seriously though, she is very lonely and we were her main source of company or possibly entertainment. She is also very scared of covid and won’t leave the house so it’s exceedingly difficult for her.  To say goodbye we made them a meal and AC baked a cake see below.
Our second visit to Shell and the hospital...
So, you probably think that we had done enough that week and at the weekend we would rest. Well, you would be wrong.  Instead, we decided to have a Latin Link team meeting in Shell that weekend (not ideal for us but suited the other team members).  We left late on the Friday and arrived at 10pm so didn’t do much that day.  The next day we meet up with Katy and the Bezemers, had a bible study, did some sight seeing and visited the Bezemer’s house for supper.  We also visited the hospital accommodation to see our house that we will be living in when we first move to Shell in August.  On the Sunday we visited the Sacha Runa church and this time were able to pray with people in Spanish and talk to some members.  However, during the church service I was asked who Jesse is in the Bible and I froze and forgot all my Spanish, so there is still lots to work on!  Below you can see some images of the trip, AC modeling the new hospital sign and we also recieved some Ecuadorian footy shirts from Katy.
Your probably think there can't be more...
Well actually after that week of activities and the months of Spanish we needed a break.  We decided to head straight to the beach from Shell for a week for relaxing and recovery.  We have to take 3 buses to get there over the space of 2 days.  Unfortunately, during one of the journeys AC had her bag cut open by a thief, thankfully he didn’t get anything as she kept moving her bag.
We had a good week at the coast just relaxing and Stewart was able to do a bit of surfing.  However, for AC it was a bit disappointing as there was no sun and it rained a few days.  For Stewart it was perfect because he didn’t burn!
To end the trip, we had a 15-hour journey on 4 buses to get home, it should have only been 2 and taken 8-9 hours but we missed a bus.  Also, there was another thief on one of the buses but we were wise to his tricks at this point and we kept an eye on him so he didn’t get anything.
Us on a lovely but raining beach.
The aftermath of the thief.
And so it continues...
We have 2 more months maximum in Quito of learning language.  Then we are planning to move to Shell on the 15th of August.  However, if we can get our cedula (ID card) earlier we might move a few weeks earlier.  Other than that, we have no more plans just to keep studying and hopefully be able to watch the British Lions games somewhere and the Olympics.
Prayer Requests
  • For out move to shell in mid-August, especial that we could get our cedulas by that date if not sooner.
  • More opportunities to speak to people in Spanish.
  • Marcy our Ecuadorian mother, firstly for her loneliness and secondly for her fear of covid.
We are extremely grateful for all your loving prayers and support.
Please become part of our work
For those of you who are interested in our support group feel free to contact Hannah Das hrhamill@gmail.com.  We meet once a month on a Thursday or Wednesday via zoom for prayer and a catch up.  We love to hear about peoples lives back home so please join us.
Support Link
Please see our contact information below.

Stewart
UK Tel: +447969386770
Ecuador Tel: +593989899371
Email: stewart@thecusicks.org

Anna-Claire
UK Tel: +447821224993
Ecuador Tel: +593989890445
Email: anna-claire@thecusicks.org

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Stewart and Anna-Claire Cusick
Hospital Shell
Calle Asunción Cueva
Shell
Mera
Pastaza
Ecuador

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Stewart and Anna-Claire Cusick Latin Link · 4 The Folly, · Antrim, Co. Antrim BT41 1LY · United Kingdom

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