About Me

portrait

I am a retired pediatric nurse practitioner and grandmother of four little boys.

I spent the first 14 years of my life as a missionary child in Ecuador under the Church of the Brethren. In 2014, I had the life-changing opportunity to return to the community where I grew up and spend ten days with a childhood friend and her family. 

Since then, I have returned to Llano Grande, the village where we lived, a number of times. I have wandered the paths that I remember from my childhood and marveled at how things have changed and how some things never change. Especially important to me has been renewing my friendship with my childhood friend, Mercedes and becoming like part of her family. This has also lead me in search of a better understanding of my parents and what motivated them to move, with their young family, to a new land that would become our home.


You are invited to share in my adventures of returning and reconnecting.


9 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Congratulations, Jeanne

    I’m looking forward to your posts.

    A friend of mine who I met years later in Minnesota recently sent me a picture of the Llano Grande COB work camp group from the summer of 1960. It seems that he and I missed meeting each other way back then by about one month. I was leaving Ecuador after high school graduation. He heading there to participate in a work camp in Llano Grande led by Claude and June Wolfe. They had recruited many Manchester College students several of whom I then met later that year at Manchester College. The work camp picture stimulated many memories that I had forgotten and my own memories of the 1958? Llano Grande work camp that i participated in which was led by George and Wilma Kreps. I still remember the night George came over to our house after dinner to recruit me for the work camp since only one person from the US had signed up. My parents were worried about the cost but George gave me a scholarship. Our project was to start building a lavanderia building where women could come to wash clothes.

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  2. Jim, I wonder if the lavaneria is where they now hold market on Sunday mornings. When I was there the last two times, Elizabeth and Fabian took me there for Sunday breakfast of morocho and empanadaas. My grandson Seth even enjoyed that breakfast.

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  3. Jeanne –
    I’m pretty sure you remember the location of the three renters farms (in our last years he mission built a small house on one for us to live in). If you were to continue on down the road for several large city blocks it would be on your left facing the road. Thought you are of aware of the value of this project your readers may not understand the value of a public place with running water including built in sinks and washboards. This work camp was just a few years after a single municipal water pipe (agua potable) had been put down this road into the community with public faucets spaced fairly far apart. Prior to this, the source of water during the dry season was a fairly deep canyon where the women washed their clothes and carried household water home on the backs in large heavy pottery containers. This trip was often made twice a day and also included water for some of their animals. The water line made a big difference as a water supply but still not provide easy access to water for washing clothes.

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  4. Jim, I do remember when the pipe finally arrived bringing potable water to Quatro Esquinas. Not to push my book, but I devote a whole chapter to washing day, contrasting washing in the canyon with our moms’ with their washing machines. I also recall the wonderful times we had hiking down to the bottom of the canyon. Of course, now all the homes in the village have running water and some have washing machines. Those who don’t have their own concrete wash boards.

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  5. My name is John Herr. Our family lived & worked with the mission in Ecuador 3 years, 1965. 66, & 67. We would very much like to talk to you about your book and living in Ecuador. My Spouse, Theresa Herr & I have read and enjoyed your memories.

    I look forward to meeting by phone.

    Sincerely , John H. Herr 717-293-8173

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    1. When Mercedes Tasiguano was here in June, she shared pictures of your family when she spoke to church groups. I also learned a little about you from Suzie Kreps who came over from Pittsburgh to spend time with Mercedes. What an amazing time this has been for me, reconnecting and making new connections. I would be happy to get better acquainted by phone. When would be a good time for me to call you? Are you in the same time zone as Indiana? I could call later this evening or tomorrow or Thursday evening.

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  6. Oh Jeanne –
    I have just now finished reading your book. How I loved reading your story! I could picture the exact details of the people and the places you wrote about; so so many parallels to my own story growing up as a missionary kid in Llano Grande: 1964-1967. Would love to meet you in person and sit down with you to talk about how similar my life was to yours just a decade later. Thank you for sharing your memories; it transported me back 50 years ago and indeed stirred up many of my own precious memories.

    – Kathryn Herr Riegen
    (first born child of John and Theresa Herr)

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