This is week 2 of this mission trip. Click for other weeks:
Week 2 - Monday, September 9 - Our contractor sent someone over to apologize for his not getting back to us, more delays on other jobs. Lunch and then off to Ica for some more errands, again with Rumundo #2, dropping legal papers, looking for size 45 shoes for me (ha! Not possible), worked on our internet problem and bought some more hard to find household items (fuse, etc.). Went looking for a stone engraver and a printer. I do think this engraver is going to be harder to find than I originally thought. We need to locate one in town for the donor bricks we are getting orders for since carving bricks in Lima and bringing them down with us cannot be the most efficient method. Anyway, problem still to be resolved.
There always seems to be an election down here, either just around the corner or just past. Interesting carload of representatives from the "Libertad", yelling in spanish their party name as their vehicle went down the street. Always fascinated by the politics down here.
Back to the 'collectivo' to ride back to the Mission. The collectivo is just a car that everyone piles into that works like a shuttle or bus, much more efficient than a taxi, but not as comfortable and on a fixed route. The route is good, the economics is good considering how many times we take that 30 minute ride … the route is still bumpy, via either taxi or collectivo, until they get around to re-paving the roads … now they have even more torn up doing additional sewer work. Progress!
Got back to the house, had a visit from Veronica Palomino and her three kids: Luis, Ariana & Italo. Veronica often helps us with our laundry, and its her mother (Maruja, aka Maria) that cooks us good meals each day that we stay here. We love to support the local community any way we can! Here's a photo of them in one of our two rooms of our Casita that we stay in until the Mission is completed.
Before we went to bed, we had a visit from another contractor from Ica who was hoping to bid on our construction job. We informed him that we already had a contractor but took his card. Will come in handy when our contractor shows up tomorrow!! ;-)
Tuesday, September 10 - Had an early visit with our contractor and spent most of the day going over all that we would like done based on the time and funds allowed. We got a plan going forward focused on the first floor to complete the rough electrical and plumbing for the downstairs, stucco the walls, get the floor in (which will cover the low and high voltage conduit, build and install a cistern for the plumbing system. All this will take about 6 weeks and S/15,000 (~$6,500), without touching the yet to be started upstairs.
Since our contractor's team really loves doing brick, concrete and rebar work, we did mention that any funds and time we had left over would be focused on what they could do upstairs in that category. We believe with the reference, he is now deciding to double up on his team and shorten his downstairs 6 week estimate considerably, leaving time to do some work upstairs.
We made it quite clear that September/October were all the time we had. So, tomorrow, they start assembling the scaffolding for the stucco work, to be done simultaneously with the rough plumbing and electric. We are off early in the morning to Maestro (the Home Depot equivalent down here), to get a large water tank, cistern pump, a lot of concrete, and a whole lot of other items. So, let the chaos begin!!!
We did a trial run setup of our movie projector and got Raymundo and Jose, who never watch movies, hooked on the Spanish version of a science fiction movie. I ended it midway since it was getting hard watching a movie on a naked brick wall! Will work on the wall part of our movie viewing before we open "Mission Movie Night" to the public!! ;-)
Took a good walk north almost to the next village, but not quite. Had an invite to attend a bible study group and wanted to do so and meet some fellow Christians. Had a great study and worship, and fellowship with a half dozen new folks. Hope to continue to meet with them and network with them in their village for the mission in the future.
Wednesday, September 11 - Left early this morning, Jose (who arrived yesterday) stayed at the mission and waited for contractor to arrive to setup scaffolding while we headed to town to buy construction supplies. 70 bags of concrete, 1100 liter water tank, 30 small bags of some sort of smoothing stucco compound, a lot of electrical boxes, wire, low and high voltage wiring, few more tools, etc. We caught up to our favorite driver, Jaime, but he was making a run and could not get back in time for our departure so we made a new friend, another Christian brother who does a weekly bible study with his church but his work schedule keeps him from attending Sunday services. Got back and got my exercise unloading 70 bags, 45.5kilos each (~80 pounds?). Good nap afterwards! ;-)
Lots of scaffolding arrived; we setup the 1100 liter water tank on the second floor (shown on roof in above 4 pictures) but in a temporary capacity. When we have a 3rd floor it will move up there. This tank will eventually be one of two on the roof, working with a cistern and pump on the ground, giving us 24 hour water supply. However, our contractor will basically use it now for his construction needs doing stucco and cement mixing, before we hook it up more permanently when it will eventually give us more than one hour a day of running water!
Raymundo P and Jose today worked on taking out our lemon and orange tree. Apparently citrus trees do not mix well with grape, avodado and mango, and are a primary source of flies. I didn't like to see these trees get destroyed, being a Florida man, but a guess a citrus grove needs a different space. They were also taking away a lot of soil nutrients and sun from the grape vines.
Having screened the spanish translation for language, going to replay a science fiction movie tonight on a white sheet, invite some neighbor teenagers over. Lily and I debated showing Christian movies right up front or generic, and decided until we get the kids on board we wanted to just be a general cinema initially. After the planned outreaches, and a few movie nights we will start to initiate more Christian themes into the movie nights, while still giving them some current fare as well.
Don't really know until the interior construction work is more underway what sort of movie schedule we will be able to run for the village, but brought plenty of Spanish soundtrack DVD's (mostly kids movies) and one extra bulb for the projector. Starting to think I need more Christian movies for the real young.
Might get a radio shack set of speakers also but so far we have a pretty good setup. Any way to let the villagers know that we are here to stay. I need to build a collection of movie bible stories. I think "Nest" might be a good source. Although I have great family flicks in spanish (Courage, Fireproof, Narnia), I am hurting in the Christian category for the young, which is my primary audience.
Most could not stay for the full 2.5 hours for our premier movie effort, since it was a school night. It played well with a sheet on the wall. Left the front gate open and had a lot of short term galkers, visitors, who we made welcome but they never stayed long not feeling that it was a public event. We will work on putting a sign out for the next one, after we get a better handle on the construction status week to week. So, length of time of movie, starting time, who is our audience, do we play two movies, one for the youngest one for the oldest, etc. working out the questions ..
Thursday, September 12 - Did a lot of odd jobs around the mission today, while our contractor put one person on the job of digging, mixing and pouring a few footers around the proposed downstairs community bathroom. I resolved some electrical and shower heater issues in the cassita, cleared some more of the citrus cuttings. We are resolved to waiting for the full construction crew to start Monday it appears, as they wind down on a few other jobs and as Abel recruits new help.
Caught a wave of kids coming home from school, who we played with english language quiz questions. We talked a bit about a movie night tomorrow night, so if construction allows, we will try a more public showing of a kids movie. Lily wants to attend a local church service so we may have split roles tomorrow. Need to price a popcorn maker!!
Friday, Sept 13 - Spent most of the day cleaning up the citrus trimming mess from the total destruction of a lemon and orange tree that was decided was a good idea, in that
citrus attracts flies and is not a good mix with grapes, pecan and mango's, the other plants that are on the mission. I got to clean up, and since I was raised in Florida, the citrus capital of the USA, I think they gave me that job on purpose! ;-) Anyway, someone needed to do it. We also prepped for another movie night, our first official. Lily made a sign for the front gate, and were planning to play Rio for a kid audience (by our earlier sampling, this should be a better choice! ;-) Jose did a supply run to Ica for a few items, and we also had a meeting with an 'internet guy'. Apparently, since the internet service is so bad where we are, a underground market has grown up and we basically signed up for it. They guy came out and installed an antenna on our Casita, and had to identify each of our devices (four) even though we had him install a wireless router. So only those devices will work on the wireless router, and two of them will work wired. I guess he's somewhat protecting himself from competition or something, but I feel like we have a very locked down system that finally serves us adequately.
Anyway, as confusing as the internet techology was, and how it will work, I had to watch the front gate as we seemed to get our scheduled cinema times somewhat in conflict with our internet installation. I got my computer setup in time for many different arrivals, departures to get another cousin, re-arrivals, etc. We peeked at about 20 people, which is not bad for setting it up on a whim the same day, with only construction boards for setting. The movie "Rio" was a hit, with a lot of laughter. Lily and I debated giving a strong mission message before hand, but thought we would have a few cinema nights or weekends before doing that. Want to get the kids appreciative of our being here and just love on them for a bit. We have a good number of christian theme spanish DVD's that we will turn to soon and that will give us plenty of time for some good intros, testimony's, etc. before the movie. A lot of the kids came up to me afterwards and were fast talking spanish on me, basically asking if there would be another movie tomorrow night, what was my name, what will it be, what time, etc. So, I do think we have a good means of drawing a lot of kids to the mission in this little village with no theatre!! ;-) Notice the use the bags of concrete got!
Saturday, Sept 14 - Light day today, Jose left for Lima then USA, did some work on the Casita (plastic on the walls to cut down on the dust from the construction starting this Monday. Which had me relocating my beautifully redone electrical box (wish I would have captured a 'before' picture I think I said before). Anyway, here's the new plastic lining. We still need to get a little more.
Had our second night of movies this weekend. One of the newest movies we have, that has spanish soundtrack and is for kids, is Disney/Pixar's "Cars 2". Obviously, this is more of an appeal to the boys than the girls and the way the kids got up and down, that showed. It also lacked a lot (which I remember when I saw it in English) of action and humor, and way too much dialogue and subplots. Have to say that Pixar, who I love all their movies, really missed their audience with this one. We put in Ice Age after it was over but also ran out of time to play it to full run. So we learned a good bit on our cinema planning. 1) definitely start early to maximize time (6;30-7), and 2) They all seem to have a built in 'got to go home' meter at 9pm! Anyway, we may be playing "Rio" a second time based on the hit it was! Oh well ... with construction starting this Monday, our future Cinema nights may be on hold for awhile but playing it by ear. If at all possible we will try again next Friday.
Sunday, Sept 15 - Attended church services as usual for Sunday. We again took Raymundo P with us, in that he needed to talk legal stuff with Pastor Martin again. After services, we did our usual visit to Maestro for hardware store supplies. Later, before we headed home, we decided to eat in town. Raymundo had a favorite 'hole in the wall' place (usually the best) that he knew of so we headed over there, which was near where our home transportation pickup was anyway. Great food, good company. Lily even enjoyed sharing our grandkid pics with the hostess and cook, two wonderful friendly ladys.