Tour of Calacali

Hello everyone, this is Jacob. Since mom and dad can’t formulate their thoughts to write a new blog post, I have been given permission to express those thoughts for them. Since nobody back home is very familiar with the ministry and retreat center where we are living, I have decided to provide you with a tour.

Section one, the entrance:

Driveway looking toward the road

Driveway looking toward the road

That pretty much shows all of the entrance. The gate starts the driveway bordered by corn fields and it continues up towards the main part of the camp where it passes the bodega (storage/closet) building and the red house where we live and ends in the “parking lot” in front of the tan cabin. Who is that handsome guy in the chair you ask? Well, that would be me, waiting to bring the garbage down in wheelbarrows when I see the garbage truck go down the road. We can’t leave the garbage at the end of the driveway because we don’t know exactly when the garbage man will come, and, this place is loaded with stray dogs looking for their next meal.  One of the disadvantages of having a long driveway is it takes a lot out of you when you are sprinting down it with a wheelbarrow full of garbage.

The bodega building is also included in the entrance section. This building contains many years of history from the school such as props from plays and other various items from the old dorm at the school. But the bodega also includes hidden treasures left behind from years of missionaries leaving Ecuador with no where to put their stuff. Guess where that stuff ended up…

look what we found in the bodega!

look what we found in the bodega!

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Section two, the common area:

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The common area is, well, the common area. This is the middle section of the property that contains the four cabins along with a miniature soccer field. This is where most people spend their time while they are staying on the property and for good reason; because this is where all the good stuff is. The soccer field is one of the main attractions in the common area, mostly because Ecuadorians enjoy their soccer. One of the only level spots on the property, the soccer field is placed in the only big enough space possible.

See the soccer field to the right of the ox?

See the soccer field to the right of the ox?

The field is conveniently fenced in so the soccer balls will not roll down hill and make you run it down. However, there are some gaps in the fence so people can enter the soccer field without having to leap the miniature fence. Sadly, the gaps are in the places that the ball always seems to go whenever it gets away from someone. The fire pit is also in the common area. Basically a ring of stone descending into a hole, the fire pit is a great place to hang out and get warm when the night comes.

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Section three, the mountain:

The mountain part of the property consists of four main components: the prayer chapel, the pine forest, the eucalyptus forest, and the ridge. The prayer chapel is the most used component in the mountain section. There is a nice path leading up to the prayer chapel and it shows a great view of the entire property below along with providing a peaceful, secluded place to reflect on whatever God wants to tell you.

view from the prayer chapel

view from the prayer chapel

Prayer chapel on the mountail

Prayer chapel on the mountain

The pine forest borders the prayer chapel and runs up the mountain to about the same level as where the eucalyptus forest begins. All of the pine forest was planted by kids that used to go to the school and planted trees as part of a field trip and by Mister G. and some helpers. Most of the trees on the lower part of the forest still have markers which state the name of the student who planted the tree. The eucalyptus forest is on the opposite side of the mountain as the pine forest and runs from the same level as the top of the pine forest up until the summit of the mountain. The eucalyptus was planted after most of the mountains in our area of Ecuador were de-forested and almost no trees remained. To try and reclaim to beautiful hillsides, eucalyptus trees were planted.   Eucalyptus was chosen because it is fast growing, and was cheap at the time. Although it is an invasive species to Ecuador, it now populates most of the mountains around here. The last component of the mountain section is the ridge, which is the top of the mountain. Back when the property was first established, trenches were dug to distinguish property lines, so at the top of the mountain, a trench is dug and barbed wire is strung on the other side. Also, a thicket has grown in the trench and on the other side, obstructing any view down the other side.   Luckily, the view on our side is pretty good…

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The cabins:

There are four cabins on the property not including the prayer chapel. We lovingly refer to them as the white cabin, the tan cabin (occasionally the brown cabin), the red barn, and the conference room. Since no official naming of the cabins is in place, we get by with those names. The conference room is the newest cabin and is not outfitted for sleeping, but it is a popular place for groups who want to have meetings, bible studies, or a place to hang out.

Conference room

Conference room

The conference room is essentially one room, with bathrooms and a small kitchen.

Inside conference room

Inside conference room

Moving right along, the next cabin we will explore on our tour is the white cabin. The white cabin is the most popular sleeping cabin because of its spaciousness, loft, and wood burning stove. There are also small garden beds enclosed in brick outside the white cabin.  These garden beds are home to onions, flowers, rhubarb, and various other plants whose names I do not know.

white cabin kitchen

white cabin kitchen

outside white cabin

outside white cabin

Loft area in white cabin

Inside the white cabin there is an open main space with couches, kitchen and the beloved wood stove. The first door on the left enters into a bedroom that can sleep six, along with a ladder leading up into the loft area where there are three mattresses for people to sleep on. There is a small ramp leading to another section of the loft. The ramp is probably a foot and a half wide and overlooks the bedroom below. It has no railings. There is then a small hole in the wall of the loft that visitors can crawl through into an area over the kitchen that sleeps an additional three people. There is another bedroom with a double bed, single bed, and a crib which has a small bathroom and ladder leading into a small loft that sleeps two overlooking the bedroom.  There is also one bathroom with a shower tub.

living space in the white cabin

living space in the white cabin

Next comes the tan cabin. The tan cabin has basically two entries – each door enters to a small kitchen, table, couch, and bathroom. Between those two sides are the bedrooms. The bedrooms sleep a total of nine but mattresses from our collection can be thrown on the floor if needed.

Tan cabin bedroom

Tan cabin bedroom

Living space in the tan cabin

Living space in the tan cabin

And last, but certainly not least, is the red barn, where we are living.

The red barn

The red barn

The downstairs of the red barn has a kitchen on one half, and tables for dining on the other, along with a fireside room and a bathroom. This is used as the community area where groups are welcome to come in and have a cup of coffee. The downstairs, which wraps all the way around the staircase provides a great area to prepare food and socialize with guests, friends, and family.

kitchen in our house

kitchen in our house

The fireside room has a wood burning stove in it, along with a propane heater mounted on the wall. One of those sources of heat are usually used in the mornings to take the chill off.

fireside room in the red barn

fireside room in the red barn

Upstairs is used as our primary living space. The roof is slanted, so the most space is in the middle, where the living room is located. The living room  consists of two couches, two easy chairs, two tables, other regular chairs, and our life support: the HUSJ (Heater of Ultimate and Spectacular Joy). In one of the four corners upstairs there is a bathroom while in the other three corners, there are bedrooms where Mom, Dad, Josh, and Tessa have moved in. That leaves one out: me (because Josh and I decided not to share a very small room). So I sleep behind the curtain on a single bed in the hallway (not really a hallway, just an empty space between Tessa’s room and the bathroom). Any day that the sun is out in the morning (most days), the upstairs becomes unbearably hot by mid-day. While outside may be 60 to 70 degrees, the thermometer upstairs tops out at 98 degrees on most days due to the windows and tin roof. So, the time between 10:30 am and 4:00 pm is usually spent downstairs or outside. At night around 7:00 until bedtime we cave in and turn on the HUSJ because the temperature starts to rapidly drop and often is 45 to 50 degrees by morning in the house.  Blankets save us overnight, but it’s a shock to the system getting up in the morning!

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I hope I provided you with a decent tour of our new home along with something to read until mom and dad can formulate their thoughts into a blog post that gives you another segment of our lives that applies to yours (good slogan for the blog, eh?).

Until then,

-Jacob Bierle (un-official spokesperson for the Bierle family)

 

    

 

 

10 thoughts on “Tour of Calacali

  1. Ken Hohbach

    Thanks for the great tour. We miss all of you, and pray for you every day. We pray for God’s provision, protection, and His Blessings on your ministry. We will continue to look for your blogs on the internet, praying for great and wonderful things in this wonderful new life for all of you. Ken & Karen

    Reply
    1. Sarah Post author

      Thank you so much for praying for us. Honestly, we know that is what carries us through on a day to day basis. He is a mighty God, that is for sure. We are so excited and blessed to be here, but miss our Abiding Savior family tremendously. Please keep in touch and, again, thank you for writing a quick note. It means a lot to us to hear from you! May God bless you and keep you!

      Reply
  2. Beth

    Hi there! I grew up in Ecuador and calacali was one of my favorite places to go as a kid and growing up. I saw a link to this blog on fb so I clicked on it wanting to see how it’s grown since I’ve last been there. The conference room was actually made and dedicated in memory of my mom Gail Burroughs and it brings back many memories for sure. I hope you guys enjoy your stay down there, how long are y’all living down there for?? Thank you again and God bless you all for your ministry in Ecuador 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sarah Post author

      Thank you so much for your note. What a gift to hear from someone so near and dear to Calacali. The conference room is such a beautiful building and definitely an essential part of this wonderful property. We have a church group coming in today through Saturday who will be using it for training and I know that God will be moving mightily in their group. God bless your family for your part in growing the kingdom. A great tribute to your mom, for sure.

      We are not sure how long we will be here – we just know we will be staying until God says otherwise. 🙂 We’re trying to listen attentively to him and let him fully lead our lives. For now, Calacali is where he wants us to be, and we are so excited to be able to minister in such a beautiful setting.

      Again, thank you for your kind note and feel free to touch base anytime! May God bless you and your family!

      Reply
  3. Betty Jones

    Thanks for the wonderful tour, Jacob!! You did a Great job–it almost feels like we’ve had a visit! Miss you all so much, but know you are following the Lord’s plan, and thank Him for your hearts to serve Him!

    Would love to learn what’s all in the garden there, what the growing season is, and how many fresh veggies you eat? You mention the corn fields–what else do they raise for crops? So many questions about your life there–I LOVE reading your blogs–Keep them coming:)

    You are all in my daily prayers! Hugs for everyone–
    Love in Jesus, Betty

    Reply
    1. Sarah Post author

      Always great to hear from you, Betty! Miss you lots! I showed Jacob your reply, and he thinks he needs to do a follow-up post now answering your questions. I told him to go for it! 🙂 In a nutshell, we can buy many vegetables cheaper than growing them ourselves (due to time, etc) so we’re extremely happy about that. More to come on that…

      We spoke with Adam a bit yesterday so it was great to get an update on confirmation, along with other stuff. Miss our church family so much. Glad we can be in touch virtually, at least.

      Thank you, as always, for your prayers. You are a dedicated prayer warrior and we miss your smiling face and hugs.

      Reply
  4. The Torbert's

    Jacob, Sam and I keep saying we are going to check out your blog and the first time we do, you are the author! Great job. Like others have said, we felt like we were there (minus the eucalyptus smell – all I smell is Sam’s Dorito breath!). Sam says hi and congrats for making the team! The whole Torbert family says hello and God Blessings to each of you! Patti

    Reply
    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks for responding! So great to hear from you all! Jacob is really excited about next year…we are just trying to figure out logistics. 🙂 We’ll look forward to being together with you again next summer. Hope everything is going well for you guys – the school year, sports, etc. Stay in touch!

      Reply
  5. Dell & Alice Ormseth

    Hi Brad Sarah and company!
    Thanks for the tour Jacob, it looks like you are setteling in. Brad you are missed at the
    Deacon meetings, as you all are at Abiding. We will continue ti keep you in our prayers. Please let us know of needs that you have.
    God Bless!
    Dell & Alice

    Reply
    1. Sarah Post author

      Great to hear from you – we miss you all! Thank you for your prayers and uplifting us in that way…we know already that there has been many times that His strength alone has sustained us. Pray everything is well with you as well!

      Reply

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