2015 second LAMA Mission trip - El Carmen, San Juan Bautista, Ica, Peru
Also you may click here for photo gallery. (many more pictures than are shown in blog)
1 Sept Tuesday - Large purchase at Maestro on 100 square meters of tile, tile cement, a dozen doors & door frames, plumbing fixtures, 7 toilets, 7 sinks and 5 electric showers. We got it all delivered and unloaded with Victor and William doing the work. Lily says when she was buying all this material, the aisle worker at Maestro asked her 'what are you building, a castle?' ;-)
Abel did not show up till later in day and he and his helper "Chato" (nickname means 'shorty' in Spanish) moved most of the materials to the 2nd and 3rd floors. William continued doing electrical work, while Victor resumed painting. Cost for this material ran S/. 9,500 (approximately $2,800).
2 Sept Wednesday - Bathroom tile placements actually got underway with a lot accomplished by Abel and Chato. William continued to work on the electrical, installing outlets and switches. Victor continued on painting of door and window frames. Lily returned to Maestro to get 35 more electrical plugs, more electric wires, many light fixtures, a circular saw for door installation work. This purchase was about S./2,500 ($760).
3 Sept. Thursday - Work fully underway on three fronts (Tile, Paint and Electrical)
4 Sept Friday - Work continues, as above. Lily returns to Maestro with William to buy more electrical fixtures, shovel, shower rods, aluminum rectangular rod for drain work on 3rd floor. Amount spent was S/.1,315 ($407). First time we have lights on the second floor, with first three turned on. Halleluea!!
5 Sept Sat - Abel continued to work on tile and William continued installing electrical. William accomplished getting the lights installed in the main room on the second floor for the OANSA group to use. Victor doesn't paint today but does show up at 1pm in preparation for leading the OANSA youth group. Our OANSA meeting was up to 27 kids plus a few new recruits that are potential repeat attendees. Had fun doing some sports outside, returning inside for study and worship. Lily again made sandwiches and chicha drink. We also gave out new sandals, courtgesy of Beautiful Feet Ministries, to each youth member. They were ecstatic to receive them. Cesar called in late to cancel adult bible study for this week.
6 Sept Sunday - Attended church today in Ica. Met briefly with Pastor Martin and will arrange for a luncheon later in the week to catch up. Dropped by Plaza Vea where we bought a refrigerator last year (with funding from Branch church). We are wanting a service call before warranty expires as it is not as cool as it should be. Service will be calling us tomorrow to arrange. Stopped at Claro in downtown Ica to arrange for cable TV and phone installation at Mission. Still working through some issues considering our remoteness. Will return tomorrow.
7 Sept Monday - Left early in the morning to Ica to catch a bus to Pisco for a business meeting. Returned to Ica early afternoon, had lunch, checked on some questions on TV/phone utilities, inquired about my getting a 'foreign resident' pass (finding out I need to go to Lima for that), and then got back to the Mission late afternoon. Both the bathroom tile crew as well as Victor's painting details were well at work all day while we were gone. Made an attempt to get the lights on the third floor working before sunset, to help the tile work continue after dark, but failed .. need to find my short in the morning. Oh well, rushed work often is not good work! ;-)
8 Sept Tuesday - Electical, paint and tile work - pretty full day.
9 Sept Wednesday - We returned to Pisco for more business discussions, returning back to the mission late afternoon about 4pm. Workers were still plugging away on painting, plumbing and tile. We heard Abel upstairs call for Lily saying the dreaded 'problemo'. One of the toilets was cracked pretty bad. In looking at all of them, it was not reassuring that the workmanship was worth installing them. The same manufacturer, a China firm, made the sinks and pedestals we purchased as well.
10 Sept Thursday - Returned all seven toilets and sinks due to quality problems of one. They were all made in China and it was felt that upgrading now was the right thing to do. What a pain. After taking them up to the two upper floors, they all need to come down and go back. After Lily returned, we discovered one of the new ones was broken as well .. groan!! The day was pretty full with painting, plumbing, electrical and tile work.
11 Sept Friday - Lily returned one broken toilet from this last delivery. They were out of Italian, so now we went for something else .. it will be in an isolated bathroom. Toilet and sink purchase complete!! finally. Electrical and plumbing and tile work continues, as does paint. We did get the news that the Sanchez family will leave Mexico October 6th, arriving in Lima on October 7th. Apparently a 15 hour flight from Mexico City which obviously is NOT direct. Anyway, we are excited that their paperwork and travel plans are now finalized and we will have more than a month to be with them getting them settled in and oriented here before we depart for the United States. So exciting to having full time Missionary presense here not just when we are here.
Other minor happening today was that we had satelite TV installed on the roof. We contracted with Movistar, which is one of the two cellular companies down here (the other being Claro) to get TV installed, for two TV's. We have one small one, but we need to acquire a larger (major purchase) HD TV for the community room on the 2nd floor.
12 Sept Saturday - We had a busy morning with construction, working with finalizing many issues. I was able to install my last fixture and switch on the 2nd floor so I can honestly say it is done, at least as far as the interior lights are. Now I can quit procrastinating in finding my 'short' on the third floor. Will get on that first thing ... Monday! Also we have a water pressure problem on the upper floors at least for the showers. It does not seem to be a problem with the sinks or toilets at all so we are suspicosuspicious that there is either dirt in all the shower water lines or we have a major valvue problem ... groan. We should have tested these water lines before doing the tile. Gonna be a major mess to correct now but that's what's needed to be done.
Kids showed up as well as the leaders for the 2-4 Oansa meeting. We did it all inside since the sun was pretty hot for any outside afternoon activities. Signed up a few new members, gave out many rewards for memorized bible verses, put the lights to use on the 2nd floor again, sang some great worship songs that even I recognized. Loved these kids.
13 Sept Sunday - Church, some more shopping for a few needed items, groceries, and home to the mission. took a nap and before long it was committed movie night at 6pm already. We delayed this first movie night for a needed technical issue to get a better sound system that I picked up today. So we entertained the youth with Pixar's "UP" in espanol. We tried having them all on a rug this time since the chairs are so noisy for a movie environment. It worked but a bit crowded .. think we need a bigger rug for next week. Our next movie commitment is for Friday.
14 Sept Monday - This weeks been a blur .. gonna catch up on a week of blogging I missed .... Abel is out looking for replacement tile for the ones we need to repair after our pending replacement of shower valves. He only worked a half day as he had work to finish on another site. Victor spent the day working on the doors, I spent the day working on lighting.
15 Sept Tuesday - Work continues on electrical, doors. Abel not working, as he waits for tile. I caught Victor taking a power nap after lunch all sprawled out over a steal desk, looking very uncomfortable. I went down and got him a cot at least ... but he made me promise to not post any pics on facebook ... have to remember that!! ;-)
16 Sept Wednesday - Victor on doors and William on electrical. Lily was sick all day and stayed in bed.
17 Sept Thursday - Lily & I went to Maestro with Leacha and did some product exchange and bought some more items (paint, two motion detect exterior lights, paint thinner, nails, door knobs, electric screwdriver, screws, door stops, door frames, curtain rods, etc). Lily still not feeling well.
Did get around to installing some 'left for later' exterior lights on this day, mainly due to their being hard to reach. Two flights on an extension ladder is higher up than I care to be usually, and I had to add some slant to the ladder to make it practical to do any work, by putting the base of the ladder in the neighbors yard. Fun stuff, but glad that's over!!
18 Sept Friday - Lily had to return to town to do some merchandise swapping. Had a lot of door frames that were not long enough, a bad tool (made in China) to return, a bad florescent fixture return, and looking for some additional tiles to do repairs, getting some other items. Leche came to give her a ride since all the stuff she was exchanging made the normal collectivo (shuttle) ride not practical. She was able to get two boxes of the tile that the store said they were out of ... so repairs of tile will be underway. She also came back with better door frames, a couple of school blackboards,
19 Sept Saturday - Half day of work with painting and tile with the two crews, then Victor started to get ready for the youth who arrived at 2pm. Had a good youth session for a few hours. Four new young ninos (picture on right). No adult service this week, need to look into that. Looking forward to our missionary couple who are coming that will hopefully initially assist with the adult and youth services but when the adult leadership doesn't show up, they can just take over and run it themselves.
We gave them some light bulbs which apparently they were dire need of, but more importantly we did a lot of measurements of the two rooms that have just straw walls and fabric (if any) roof. One is a bedroom where just about everyone sleeps, and the other (without roof) is the kitchen. We hope working with El Shaddai to provide some wooden walls and a roof for these two rooms and get them better housed by so doing.
After spending a lot of time finishing up some lighting upstairs, I got the idea to see what the mission looked like at night with everything turned on. Took the phot
o at right (and a few more). Now to quickly shut them all off! ;-)
20 Sept Sunday - Off to services in Ica at El Shaddai Communidad. We did get to spend a bit of time with Pastor Martin at the end and discussed the arrival of the Sanchez family in a few weeks, as well as representatives from our San Diego church as well as the Missionary training facility in Mexico will be here early November. Pastor actually said that he would invite them to preach if they would be interested. Since this would be in Spanish, this may be a great opportunity to build links between us all, and we will mention it to Tanto, who is the most fluent in Spanish, and discuss what sort of opportunity this might be, what to say, etc. Great offer. Went to Maestro, did some returns, bought some needed merchandise. Bought a dozen electical outlets, first aid kit to hang up on 2nd floor and a few minor items.
21 Sept Monday - Had Victor upstairs hanging doors today, and I was continuing to complete wiring primarily exterior. I did half of the exterior outlets on the 3rd floor open area. Abel and Chato were busy in replacing some tile in the bathrooms due primarily the change of shower valves. Abel also assisted me with a wire pull in the front of the mission for some exterior lights. Fun to try to remember where all these tubes go, since we have no map!! Thank goodness they have worked so far! ;-) Victor will need to go to another job for a few jobs and will return on Thursday. We are talking to Abel about continuing the property wall on the north. We might start that Thursday as well.
Had to work through some problems which we wish we would have found before we finished tile. First, we had a severe water pressure problem in all five showers due to the valves we installed. The only solution is to replace the valves which entails replacing a few tiles as well, and again this is for 5 showers! On top of that we had to take off a few more tiles in the 3rd floor to get to a pipe that had a bad leak due to not getting proper teflon tape installion when we put it in earlier this year.
22 Sept Tuesday - Done with breakfast, and it's 9:30 and no workers yet. Hmmm ... Victor told us we wouldn't see him till Thursday. Finally showing up, Abel and Chato focused on finishing up the tile and sink installations. Did all but one sink, waiting for tile to dry and also discovered a bad faucet that we need to replace. I continued to work on external wiring and 3rd floor external outlets. Pulled a lot of wire out front for the courtyard area and ran out. Need to go to market and get 50 more meters of two colors to finish here, and the last section of wiring, which is the external lights at rear of building. When these two are done, I am done! (with wiring!) We also had a long discussion with Abel on doing counters and cabinets in the kitchen.
23 Sept Wednesday - Well, with most of Abel's work done (some minor things still remain) we didn't see much of him today. Lily and I worked on the 3rd floor hanging some bathroom fixtures, I finished a few more external outlets (still waiting on covers from San Diego) and one last 3rd floor internal outlet. I spent the rest of the time working on a small wooden wall on the third floor to make a closet. We will be getting an estimate tomorrow from Abel on completing the property wall further back. This will also entail cleaning out a lot of rubble and adobe walls we don't need in the backyard. That will be a major effort for Abel to get started on. Hopefully we will get both estimates (wall build and kitchen cabinet/counters) tomorrow.
24 Sept Thursday - Worked the morning by myself, with some help from Lily, to complete the small (3x8) wooden closet divider wall on the 3rd floor. Had a local villager, Ramon, visit as well as some distant family friends of Lily's from Lima came over later. Victor showed up late morning to resume the doors. Having completed the 3rd floor doors early in the week, moved to do the same on the 2nd floor today. No Abel as of 2pm, and he needs to give us a material list so we can make another run to Maestro. Victor had to quit at 4 for another practice with the Oansa youth who are working up a skit for an upcoming trip to Ica. Finished the day with a nice warm shower on the first new shower we installed on the second floor in the newly renovated tiled bathroom. Progress. Suffering through some very low internet speeds this week though ..
25 Sept Friday - Chato (a.k.a. Cesar) spent the day using up the left over tile from the mission bathroom work, doing tilework on the shower in the little wooden casita in the back. Victor continued working on doors while William (me) was doing honey-do's by cutting and hanging rods for future curtains, first on the third floor and then a few on the second before I ran out of screws. Helped Victor a litte before lunch and then after we ate, Lily and I ran to town for some needed supplies. More wire, screws, a few electrical outlets, and also a water heater for the 3rd floor laundry room, a kitchen sink for the 1st floor (needed for us to do the counters), wire to hang mirrors, 5 mirrors, two final electrical showers and who knows what else ... it never ends.
Got back around 6 and had Victor still working on the same door we left him at after lunch. Apparently he hung it wrong and had to do it over ... Well he will definitely be back tomorrow ... have to do I think one final door before we caulk and paint all twelve of them. The two largest doors that we were having trouble locating the needed width, we have decided to do metal and glass much like what we have on the 1st floor for most rooms. These two large doors actually will secure the dormitories so probably a good decision. Only challenge is that our welder is already working on banister rails for all three stairs and he is good but not the fastest task completing person around. He also is a taxi driver during the day so that's part of the challenge ... but no hurry. Lets get the banisters done first.
26 Sept Saturday - Work continued on Saturday morning with Victor on the doors and William (me) doing many odd jobs on electrical, bathroom fixtures, and more. The afternoon was pretty busy with the youth. We talked to Victor a few weeks ago, primarily in relation or in reminder to the sandals that we gave out, that it would be a good venture to teach them about servitude with a foot washing event. So this was the day. Kids were supposed to wear their new sandals and bring a towel. Kids showed up late (syncronized parental conflicted events of some sort) and as a result all forgot their towels and only seven had their new sandals on.
Oh well .. so much for that part of the planning. But forward we went and after a good biblical study on Jesus washing the feet of the apostles, and the why for his doing so. This event touched the adults that were doing the washing, a great deal. Victor even confessed to being touched by it. I made a short 5+ minute video (link) of this as well.
Later in day we had the adult bible study, when Cesar and his wife arrived. I think we played a movie later that night, can't be sure. Need to write this stuff down and not a week later!! ;-)
27 Sept, Sunday - Went to town for church services as we try to always do on Sunday. I do believe we did some returns and exchanges as well, getting some minor shopping done. A day of rest more than anything else. And if we didn't play a movie last night for the kids, then we did this night ... again, need to get this info down when it happens! ;-) Ah, I remember, before we even went to church, Migael our resident welder who we often use, did bring over all the bannisters that he has been working on and we left him installing them when we left for church. Helped him bring in a few of them to set up for installation before leaving.
After we came back, the external banister is great, but we have some level problems with the two internal ones. Will touch base with him later as he needs to come and take some measurements for two 2nd story doors we have him next working on.
28 Sept, Monday - Didn't see Abel and Chatto all day, although they promised to be here to get some hot water lines done for the water heater installation that was scheduled. They finally showed up at about 6 pm and needed parts .. needless to say Lily was not happy!! The solution was for them to get the parts and be back in the morning before the water heater installation. Sometime today or was it Tuesday, Abel also ran a ground wire to the pump in the back and did some clean up on the wiring there between the pump and the casita.
30 Sept, Wednesday - Touched base with Miguel, our welder, on the banisters. He understands the problems that need fixing. Says he will be back on Saturday. This is not his normal day job during the week, but he does great work and at a super price.
We decided against doing the bigger "next" job of extending the property line brick wall further back. Maybe in the near future. We need to focus our remaining time and resources on equiping and furnishing the mission. To that end, we are discussing working with Chatto, who is a carpenter (with Abel) to build out cabinets in the kitchen. That makes the most sense. Once built we will look at ordering counter tops from Maestro. This will entail also getting a new stove. That needed purchase as well as a washing machine (not sure if we will do that on this trip) will take our remaining funds, when you factor in all the bunk beds we are also purchasing.
In the evening, shortly after school gets out, we do get an encursion of youth to visit and play games on the two tablets and one laptop that we let them use. Hope to put the internet to use for other more educational purposes soon, as we did on last trip with English classes.
Well this completes September, tomorrow's a new day, a new month ...
Also you may click here for photo gallery. (many more pictures than are shown in blog)