Ecuadorian Cuisine & Road Racing

I made it to Shell yesterday shortly before suppertime. An interesting ride. I don’t believe my driver had ever driven to Shell before. The freeway was OK, however for those who have made the trip with me, somehow we bypassed Latacunga and the Mickos ice cream stand and drove right into Ambato. Mickos is an absolute must!! So we missed the turnoff to go to Banos and on to Shell. The next 60-90 minutes was drive a few blocks, make an occasional turn and then ask for directions, repeatedly. Even on the road thru Salasaca and Pellileo, he stopped and asked directions to Banos. Even when there was not other road than the road to Banos, he stopped and asked directions. We stopped for a delicious Ecuadorian lunch of rice, beans, salad (which I did not eat) and a nice thin slice of chicken breast.

All of a sudden we were an a “road race.” We drove faster down the mountain road and through the tunnels than we did on the freeway! I was reileved and excited to make it to Shell in one piece!

It is great to be back “home” in Shell, Ecuador!


Logan Scott was one of the students who came to Ecuador two years ago. He has been visiting and working in Shell. As with other students Vicky and I helped sponsor his trip thru our nonprofit SALTS, Inc. I was looking forward to visitng with him while he was still here. He had been working in Casa de Fe in Shell and also went on a mission trip to the jungle with Chris Zuniga, one of the local missionaries. We were able to invite him to have supper with Phil and Debbie. He brought along the family that he was stying with in Quito. I do not remember their names. Chris’ oldest son just happens to be dating their oldes daughter. We had a wonderful evening of catching up with Logan while Phil and Debbie made new Ecuadorian friends.

Dinner at the Douce's


Good morning,

I made it to Ecuador after a long day of travel on Tuesday. Snow, deicing, waiting in line and finally takeoff from Fargo after an hour delay. Fortunately I had changed my reservations and given myself extra time in the Minneapolis airport or I would have missed my flight to Atlanta and possibly the flight to Quito. When we got close to Atlanta we were notifited of bad weather and were told we were going to be in a holding pattern for 50 minutes. Actually we did it for only about 30 minutes and I had enough time to relax before the flight to Quito. On my way to the gate I passed a sign for a blood drive. I had 90 minutes to kill so I dropped in and donated a unit of blood to the Red Cross.

Blood donation for the Atlanta Red Cross!

Blood donation for the Atlanta Red Cross!

Possibly not the wisest thing I have ever done. I plan on spending the good part of the next ten days at altitude of 8300-8500 feet above sea level. So I have been eating well and drinking a lot of water. So far one episode of lightheadedness when I stood up quickly but other than that no problem.

I thought about how interesting it would have been if I had shown up with a team of 28 college students and leaders. But again, probably not my best decision.

The flight into Quito was also delayed and so we were late getting to Quito as well. Unfortunately I had told Phil Douce the time of the original flight when I arranged for him to pick me up. I had forgotten to tell him the airline and flight number. He was patiently waiting for me.

Have a great day everyone. I will be back.



This afternoon I was in Fargo running errands with Vicky. While she was getting her haircut I went looking for a beauty supply shop to purchase the necessary equipmrnt needed by one of the girls from Casa Adalia who has been accepted into a beauty school. I was explaining what I needed to a clerk in the store and commented about the fact that this young woman was rescued from sex trafficking and the school required that she obtain the proper “beauty equipment.” As I spoke to the clerk another customer who had been paying her bill to a second clerk turned and listened to what I was saying. She reached into her purse and handed me a stack of bills and some change. She commented “This is all I have with me. Thank you for what you do.” I was so overwhelmed with her gesture that I did not get her name.

I gave her a SALTS business card and told her she could follow my mission trip on our blog.

Young lady, if you are reading this, please send me your name and address so that I can contact you.

What an incredible experience!

Have a great day everyone.


Ecuador Mission 2019

I am going on a solo mission trip to Ecuador. It will be from Feb 12-24. I will be visiting the missions we support and particiapting with a medical team also. Vicky will be in Sacremento, CA babysitting our new grandson, Alexander, whose picture is below.


I am heading to Ecuador on Tuesday, Feb 12 to spend about ten days in Ecuador visiting and participating in several missions. Phil Douce will pick me up from the airport on the evening of Feb 12 and I will spend Wednesday, Feb 13 with Phil and Debbie Douce visiting Casa Adalia, the home for girls rescued from sex trafficking, and Casa Gabriel, the home for boys rescued from the streets. On Thursday, Feb 14, I will travel to Shell and visit Casa de Fe, the home for “the unwanted children of the rain forest” that we have been supporting for several years. We will also be visting Casa de los Suenos, “The House of Dreams.” This is a new mission and houses young women from Casa de Fe who have reached the age of 18 and can no longer live at Casa de Fe. There is a missionary couple from our church, Cormorant Lutheran Church, who are managing this home. We will also visit the school Emaus, which we have supported over the years by making textbooks and provididng other supplies. I will also visit with the other missionaries Vicky and I have met over the last fourteen years. On Saturday, Feb 16, I will catch a ride to Ambato where I will join up with the Medical Mission Ecuador team. This is a team of medical providers; surgeons (general, orthopedic, gynecologic & plastic), anesthesiologists, pediatricians, nurses, physical therapists, etc., numbering about 90 overall. They come from all over the United States every year. On Sunday there will be several clinics evaluating patients for surgery, clearing them for anesthesia and making surgical schedules for the next five days. We will do more cleft lip/cleft palate surgery in one week than I have seen in my whole medical career in the United States. The team also does a lot of physical therapy; we will bring a large number of reconditioned wheelchairs for the needy. It is a wonderful medical mission experience. I have participated on three previous occasions.

On Sunday, Feb 24, I will fly back home. I am looking forward to an amzaing opportunity to work with these mission efforts and teams in Ecuador.

Dr Bob