This is week 3 of this mission trip. Click for other weeks:
Week 3 - Monday, Sept 16 - Work gets underway! The plaster work gets rolling with a team of 4, finishing up the downstairs ceilings on two rooms. Tomorrow they start the ceiling on the big room. When all the ceilings are done, they get to work on the walls. Hopefully this 'outside estimate' of 6 weeks can be reduced considerably as more workers become available, leaving some time before we depart end of October to do some initial work on the second floor. Time will tell, but the contractor is motivated, knowing that we have a fixed window that we are down here. The race is on!!!
Tuesday, Sept 17 - Up early for the bread lady as usual, then a few hours later to let the new laundry lady in. We were feeling guilty having Veronica, who does two jobs, doing our laundry for free so we hired it out ... Lily tried it (by hand) for a good number of days but ... forget it (or something like that I think she said! ;-) (clothes washing is all by hand out here, folks ... hard work!)
"Tarajeo", the ceiling and wall 'finish work' which I have been wrongly calling 'plastering', continues today, starting the ceiling in the kitchen and large conference room. It's a simple cement/sand mixture, interesting process. They erect the scaffolding, do a lot of splashing getting the surface wet, then start slinging trowels of mixture up at the ceiling until covered, then trowel work (obvious messy job, that needs to be done before any other finishing of electric, plumbing, floor, etc.). Looks like we are now about a third of the way done with the ceiling, maybe half. Anyway, they should get that done this week and move on to the walls next week.
Had a few young lads come by and ask about the "Cine" for this weekend and we told them that, construction allowing, Friday is the day but probably not Saturday due to another commitment. Jan, the young orphan boy asking (middle of 3 in picture), immediately returned with a counter suggestion that we do Friday and Thursday. It's good to know we have a following at least. Hope we don't run out of movies in the coming weeks!! ;-)
Made an attempt to run a coax cable to the roof of the mission to see if we can get any TV reception on my PC with a little tuner I brought. I know it's all spanish, but best way to learn! Couple of news channels, but I think I need to invest in an antenna next to get better reception and perhaps more channels.
After loosing a few days on the internet, we got our bootleg service to send someone out and get my computer back up again. He sent a young lady who admits that the service goes down daily due to server failure. Not a good ISP design, but compared to what the big ISP's offer, it's far superior!! I'll take it. He's coming out to get our wireless router working as well as soon as he gets more familiar with how to secure it (he doesn't want his customers to become his competition!). ;-)
With internet back, I used Google Translate to make a stab at a spanish version of our mission flyer. Took the translated text, worked it into Microsoft Publisher on a smaller 3 column layout (no mention of the donor brick campaign), and then had my bilingual spouse clean up Google's mis-statements. She also did some cleaning up of my original misstatements from the english! (guess she didn't read the original close enough!!).
Anyway, we will get a few hundred of these printed hopefully next time in town. Will get some more local proof-reading first.
Wednesday, Sept 18 - Having met the 'bread lady' last night, no need to get up with the chickens this morning ... got to sleep in till 7am and made the water runs when it got turned on. Filled up the new Roof tank, 3 plastic drums, some garden water, casita ... Will be nice when we get to 24 hour water some day!
Workers continued the 'Tarajeo" work ("plaster" is so much easier to say .. ;-). Should almost finish the downstairs ceiling with today's work, with definite wrap-up by end of week, moving to the walls for next week.
Got invited to Maruja's mother (Timotea's) 97th birthday party! We went down the street to join and had a great meal and they told me it was beef! ;-) I jokingly asked Maruja, pointing at my plate, "Burro?" She, with no hesitation, corrected me saying 'Caballo'! (spanish for horse). I did enjoy the 'beef'. Good food. In left photo, Maruja on right, her niece Veronica and sister-in-law's back. Timotea in other picture. Thought this 'kitchen' being open air and all (note roof wall connection) was interesting. Regardless that it's early fall and sweater weather, no one has heat! Lily was having a dialogue with Timotea but all she got from her was 'No' when she asked if she liked the food! ;-)
Got a call from our internet provider who we had to run back to the casita for. After much effort, my router is bad so no wireless until tomorrow when he can bring me another.
Thursday, Sept 19 - Another day at the mission, the ceiling is nearly done. Today they did the rear exterior and the hall that connects all their other ceiling work. Tomorrow they do the exterior (much larger) overhang area. That will leave a bathroom to do on Saturday, clearly paving the way for the walls to be started on next week. Picture on left shows yesterday's work on left (moisture lines still showing through, reflecting faster absorbion of concrete versus clay block), compared to two day old work on left, and of course tomorrow's yet to be done work in front of picture. Anyway, progress ... Our lead worker was asking me about the building's use with a wave of his hand and his asking "Iglesia?". In my broken spanish, I agreed and added some reference to multi-use, children, and more. We both struggled a bit with our language but in essense he got that we were a Christian group, and he said that both his parents were Christian but he's 'so-so' (like so many young men. He started talking more and I quickly got my wife and said 'time to witness'. She then came out and got from his as much as I did, but discovered that he knows somethings about the bible as his parents taught him but he is not practicing any faith. Lily told him that he should definitely find a chuch and find other kids his age. I think there is some appeal that he has and we will keep in touch with him, for any and all activities that we have. He lives closer to Ica so it's not like he's an in town person, but still an interested soul!
Our internet guy came back and we now have only wireless but for our laptops and phones so four devices. Supposedly it will have good signal strengh to the mission building from the casita. Good news is that we can suspend billing when we are not here ... some advantages of getting service from bootleg providers!! ;-) The guys in love with my LG cellphone. Maybe I can trade it for his motorcycle!?!? Mutual admiration! ;-)
Tomorrow, the crew comes back to do the front of the building. We will have to leave them to it, hopefully in hands of our neighbor to lock up afterwards, so we can run into town and do many errands, plus meet up with our three newly arrived Los Angeles missionaries: Margaret, Olga & Eileen. Will see them again on Sunday but since they are staying at Pastor Martin's house and none of them speak very good spanish and Pastor's family doesn't speak much English, it will be good to check in on them. Busy day tomorrow so off to bed.
Friday - Sept 20 Spent the morning with the construction crew getting half of the front exterior ceiling done. When they went for lunch we headed to town to do many errands. Paid the taxes, updated Lily's DNI card (a national ID of sorts), went to Maestro to exchange and purchase a few items needed by the contract crew for tomorrow, when they start on the walls.
After which we joined our missionaries at Pastor Martin's home where they are staying in Ica. Had a few hours of catching up, before we headed off to El Shaddai church where Pastor Olga Goldine (one of our missionaries) was the featured speaker for the first of 3 days this weekend. It was a very spirit filled worship (as always) and preaching service, that focused on the healing grace of Jesus Christ which He has left for all of us that believe. After the preaching service (with translation), the healing portion of the service began. I have never seen a healing service where EVERYONE came forward!! Very blessed service. The attached short video was made by the church from this evening, mainly to promote the next two nights.
After the service we all came back to Pastor's house for some great tea and bread putting, some comraderie and enjoyment together. It was well after midnight when this day was over so being really too late to return to the Mission, Pastor Martin and his wife Cotty were very kind to open their home for us to spend the night as well.
Saturday - Sept 21 - After spending the night at Pastor Martin's home with our US missionaries, since it was just too late last night to get a 'collectivo' out to the mission, we caught a cab at 6am to get back. Got a 'collectivo' ride at about 6:30 and got here close to 7:10 am. Good thing we did, as the water was was running from the city to the property but was not on (as I thought we left it) to fill the roof top tank, and WAS on in the casita sink!! We were having a minor flood come out of the cassita until we could unlock and shut it off. No problem, but good thing we got home when we did. Workers showed up a few hours later and we had a long discussion with our contractor regarding the electrical and low voltage plates, some adjustments on the stairs, venting the bathrooms, etc. All exciting stuff! ;-) The worker team got under way, placing our first electrical and low voltage (internet/TV) plug boxes before they did our first wall. They were planning to have a short day today, ending at 2pm. They also finished the last of the ceiling sections in the master bathroom. So glad that they chose to start on our 'cinema' wall! Another small blessing that will allow us to perhaps resume with cinema showing for the kids next weekend.
Sunday - Sept 22 - Water came on late this morning, so our showers were late, and with errands being done around the mission we decided to do church in evening instead of morning. ran a plumbing line deeper in the backyard for watering Avocado plantings. Had lunch (chinese food!), left about 3pm to do some errands in town. Got some bags at an intown shopping location called "mercato" for our planned outreach with the missionaries. Looked around for a color copier service to print out some spanish flyers on the mission we created but the location the copiers are was all closed on Sunday. Did another trip to Maestro for some hardware items and walked to church from there. Another fantastic healing service with Olga Goldine which went on to 10 or 10:30 pm. After which we spent another nite at Pastor Martin's home (so kind) as it was too late to get back to the Mission.