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)
16 October, Friday - Well, we had a light work day today, doing some odd jobs here or there or "projecto's" as Julio calls them every morning. while I was attempting to figure out one of two wiring puzzles I still have for exterior lighting, Julio wanted something to do. So I thought of this small task on the roof putting some cover plates on some power boxes that we need to protect until we use them. I was going to get him the ladder but he said 'no problemo' and up on the rail he went. Keep in mind that's 3 floors up!
Later in day, I had him install another light on the first floor (thats four for him now). I try not to stand on the top step of the ladder but no problem for Julio! The man's a daredevil, but also likes to get some things donen... I have a "projecto" just keeping him in "projecto's!!" ;-) God bless his strong work ethic and desire to pitch in at the mission.
Later in the day, Lily ran to Ica to do some chores. I got her to fetch me some bolts and nuts for another small "projecto". Kids were pressing me at about 5:30 to come in and I held them at bay, as I was trying to figure out one of my 'lighting puzzles', by telling them 'not till Lily gets here and can decide. Shortly thereafter I had a mad rush of kids in the mission that was really making it hard to work. When I inquired what was up, they basically made it clear that "Lily was here" (taking me on my literal poorly translated word alone). Oh well ... Another few hours of kids on computers and tablets, table games, etc. Sort of like the YMCA community center around here at 6pm!! At 7:30 or so, Abel and Cesar showed up to check on the doors they installed and to continue a bid on the kitchen cabinets we are discussing with them. Abel brought his little 5 year old daughter, Anai .. what a sweetheart.
Anyway, we booted the nearly dozen local kids out at 8pm as that was the limit of time we allotted them. Had some fun personal time with Anai who saw I was trying to draw (one of my electical puzzles). I gave her the paper and she spelled her name and wanted me to write mine, which she copied, she drew a picture of her and me but I had to add the zapatos to me!! Sweet kid that loves to kill mosquitos and flys, be tickled and chase me around with a flyswatter.
Made a new friend for the day. Another day, time to hit the hay.
17 October, Saturday - Victor came by to do some painting catch up. He also took some initial 'quality time' to watch the San Andres DVD movie that he brought with him before jumping into the painting effort! ;-) I worked on some miscellaneous chores, many with Julio's assist. Light day over all.
By evening we were ready, with all our new Audio equipment, for the adult bible study again. Not knowing if Cesar was going to show up or not, Julio was prepared to lead again. Cesar did show up this time. We will need to get a firm schedule from him in the future so standby's are not needing to 'standby'. However, many of the youth were again present, mainly for the worship and opportunity to sing along. We segregated youth from adults for tradition sake, and that worked out well. Nice study.
18 October, Sunday - Lily and Yameni were going to run to Ica for a few hours on some errands before Oansa session. However, Yameni's daughter would not hear of being separated so everyone left except me. I gave a list of items to Lily that I needed for many small projects, but wood is of most important. However, don't think they will come back with that since they are rushed and dependent on Collectivo's and it's hard to carry bulk items in one of those.
Oansa team of 8-9 workers showed up around 1:30, and got right into it. Great session, got quite a good amount of video and photos. Many new members, recognition and more. I counted 33 Oansa members present, and I think that is a record during my attendance although I do believe they have had up to 40 at a few meetings.
At the end of the day we had movie night. Bear Brothers from Disney, but all the young boys saw Teramoto (Spanish name for "San Andres") and they wanted to watch that. I held my ground since the label said age 18+ due to language and scary situations. I don't think the scary situations matter and will have to watch it with my wife who can understand the spanish translation looking for bad words ... I really don't remember any in the English. But until we review it, Bear Brothers 1 it is.
We fired up the popcorn maker we bought either on last trip or earlier this trip. Made a lot of popcorn. Word got out that there was 'free popcorn' and kids we have never met showed up! ;-)
19 October, Monday - A light day. Was fighting a cough most of the day. Got a few things done, here and there, but no contractors today. Just the Sanchez's and Silverthorns and Antonio Wong. Julio and I worked on the intercom a bit. I had bought all new wire, thinking that is the problem with the phone on the 3rd floor not working. It rings but can't call, or evoke the unlock function (gate). So, he and I replaced the wire going from the 3rd floor, all the way to through the 2nd (disabling the phone on that floor) to the main low voltage junction box, to the location where the primary used to be and then to where it is now. Got it all wired (doing it three times to get it right) and put back together and ...... same problem. rat. Oh well ... have to think on this one ... hate it when that happens.
We did move ourselves up to the 2nd floor freeing up the 2nd bedroom on the first floor for an anticipated visitor this weekend, Missionary David. David has some health issues and makes stairways very difficult for him. We moved a bed we brought down from Miraflores into the room with a foam mattress. Amazing how perfect it fit. The room is exactly one bed wide, without frame! ;-) We were using this room with a double, but decided to vacate it for an upcoming visitor who would have difficulty with the stairs. We will continue to keep this room available for people that fall into that category in the future. Anyway, looking forward to David's visit, with his helper (who will easily be accomodated pn the 2nd floor). Perhaps we can have David preach Saturday night as well. David is American but has been a missionary in Peru for over 12 years.
We had our first night on the 2nd floor and now we really want to get an internet repeater since we have no wireless (to speak of, weak if anything) and only the common areas and classrooms are wired for internet. There's always a new 'projecto'!! ;-)
20 October, Tuesday - Woke up at 3 still fighting my cough but did go back to sleep. Got up again at about 7, Lily already up and about. Decided to apply my smart morning mental mindset to solving a few problems. The intercom on the 3rd floor ... what if I tried the phone that works from the 2nd floor on the 3rd .. maybe it's not the wiring, but the cheap intercom that I am battling? Tada!! That did it ... now I have a Belcom handset for the 3rd station I need to fix or replace ... challenge. But at least it's NOT my wiring!! ;-)
Since my morning juices were flowing, I also did a wiring diagram attempt on how to do the exterior rear and the diagram just came to me .. and off I went up the ladder and fixed it. Julio gets to now install the fixture (something he's been doing a lot of lately!! ;-) Well that was a productive morning so far, and it's not even 9am!!
At noon we had an official sort of meeting between the five of us to discuss all matters going forward. We needed to synchronize on all events, planning, youth, adults, needs, staffing, and more. Good discussion. We even elected Yemeni and Julio as Secretary and Treasurer for the mission! ;-) How official! ;-)
One topic of discussion was the strong pro-Catholic forces here locally that are finding ways to undermine us, one being spreading a lie that we have a mandatory collection for attending services here, totally misunderstanding the opportunity of passing the envelope for voluntary tithes and offerings, a very Christian church function. I guess if you are NOT under attack, you are not having any effect so we need to keep this in mind as things surface. Julio and Yemeni did get an official mission envelope printed for the collection as we go forward. People don't give much, but even if it's two cents, it's important that they are asked, they are giving the opportunity to give, to support, to honor God. I find it amazing that so called religious people would 'lie' about this, not acknowledging the same offertory function within the Catholic church ... it is apparent that those that are passing such lies are also not even going to church? oh well ... life goes on. Success has it's road bumps.
But we went over costs, visitors, activities, monthly and yearly calendar, partnership with El Shaddai Communidad Christiana, and much much more. Then back to chores.
21 October, Wednesday - Victor came by to continue on the post-painting cleanup work, and to actually paint a few old wooden stools we had. Many chores ("projectos") worked on today. Julio and I worked on finalizing the built in desk in the office since Lily came back from town with a stick of wood we needed. That freed up a folding table. We also finalized the installation of the last external light in the rear of the mission, now giving us two sensor lights for safety on the external stairs and general security of the property. Did a bit more caulking and touch up on a table we assembled from an old door and some welded legs we had Manuel make for us ... don't throw anything away down here! ;-) Lastly we started on a new 'projecto' to install a vent fan in a downstairs bathroom shower. Always something left to do here as we finish up construction.
At the end of the day the youth started showing up. We had some of our regulars who got engaged in a card game with Cesia. Cesia is rather shy so this is a great showing for her to start to reach out to some of the local kids her age. Great to see. She has a few plastic puzzles that she was enjoying watch some of the youth get stumped on as well! ;-)
We had 3 twelve year old amigos show up with hope in their eyes to access the internet, and I called on Yaremi to introduce them. Julio and Yaremi are planning on starting a ministry for 12+ year olds since Oansa cuts off at that age. Yaremi got them engaged in a domino game.
While that was going on, one of our regular youths mom came by to pick up her son who was playing cards, and I offered her tea to make her feel comfortable. She had brought her older daughter with her, another 12 year old ... thank you Lord. Quickly got Yaremi introduced to her. They stayed for an hour or so watching the card game and enjoying the welcome and the tea, and a conversation with Yaremi.
We had '4 across' going, dominos, casino card game ( a favorite), the other card game of Cesia (sort of like UNO, but not sure) and a lot of enjoyment. Before we knew it, it was 8:30 and we had to chase them all out by 9 so we could start to go to sleep. Now if we can just get these nights organized with the youth, we are becoming the stop over for sure!! ;-)
22 October, Thursday - Had a pretty regular day. Did some furniture movement from the 1st to the 2nd floor. Worked a bit on the bathroom fan custom installation. Did some light caulking in another bathroom. Some other minor projects. By 4pm Victor did come up, this time on a borrowed motorcycle. I guess 15 kilometers is not really that far but i would prefer a car! Anyhow, he got right to work on practice with the Nino's for the upcoming 'performance' they will be having in Ica. A good number of kids, about 16-18. They are really into the routine that they have memorized, and Victor is a great choreographer!
I think it was after the practice that the kids came over to play cards, games, and more and Romario challenged me to a game of Casino, a card game that the construction contractors taught me. Romario needs work! My contractor buddies made me too good at this! But it was fun, and the kids are fun. Good to get them off the electronic games on the internet!
23 October, Friday - Some light chores today. I am perplexed with an external lighting problem in the front of the property. Julio wants to help but it's more of a single person job so I ask him to do this other single person job in the kitchen chasing a blinking short problem. He gets right on it and gets it done .. I'm still perplexed with my front of property problem! I am so elated with the Sanchez's jumping on this mission assignment and all that it has with challenges in front of them. To see Julio's jumping to little projects here and there, and being a master at them in most cases, makes me very comfortable in leaving my tool box in good hands!! Running a mission has it's strategic AND tactical needs!! ;-)
Earlier in the week, the local kids were asking about 'Cine night', as it's been awhile, so we committed (well I did) to having one this Friday, so here we are. Marianna, one of our regulars made the request for Ratatouille, and I will go with the majority but not sure everyone will want to see that a second time since we already saw it a few weeks ago.
While getting ready for 'Cine Night' I thought I would check out Netflix, since the internet seemed stable the last few days. Came across Paddington Bear and thoght that would be a great one since it's about a Peruvian bear (don't even know they have bears) that makes it to England.
So, I'm all set with Netflix and this bear movie cued up when the kids arive and start making their votes known ... Romario starts some campaign for something that gets him 5 votes, and then Rosella overules him with rallying a cry for Narnia (a favorite here). In the meantime, Marianna shows up and I'm about to tell her that Ratatouille didn't pass the vote and she's carrying yet another movie (some bootleg DVD) to play ... well, we are all getting ready to watch Narnia (again) and as I am backing out of Netflix, the selection shows up on the screen and they all start showing interest and voted unanimously to watch Scobby Doo and some haloween mystery nonsense. Now I hear from Lily who doesn't want any of the halloween nonsense, as there were a lot of Netflix offering on that front. Having great Scobby Doo experience as a younger lad, I assured Lily that this will be a silly mystery resolved in the end for the good guys.
What a bunch of nonsense this movie was but the kids loved it .. just enough slapstick I guess. Haven't heard this much laughter since Rio and Rio2, other mission favorites. We crowded 16+ kids on our little rug, as the plastic chairs make so much noise during movies. Definitely need to invest in a larger rug. We also made a lot of popcorn for the kids as well.
Well starting the movie at 6:30 we had plenty of time on a Friday night to do a few more things with the kids so we broke out the games again.
24 October, Saturday - Well, I'm not sure if it was all that popcorn, the soup my wife gave me after everyone left yesterday or what, but I had a terrible night trying to sleep and then lost it all. So today I took off to recover. My body needed a rest I guess. So, I spent most of the day catching power naps to make up for the lack of sleep I had. Lily and Yemini went to town for a few errands which I napped through most of their departure. Did let the kids in for an hour to play before hustling them out in preparation for the adult bible study. Julio and I got the room prepared, and shortly before Yemini and Lily showed up. It was lightly attended, which is the big goal for Julio and Yemini to build, but our base is growable with their leadership. Yemini did the singing while Julio ran the computer, since Cesar showed up for the message.
We have two brothers that attend pretty regularily and have become Lily's favorites in that they are always so curteous and well mannered. One of which, the elder, actually attended the adult service for the whole extent. He is always the one most expressive or should I say shows the most emotion or 'sad face' when we have to ask the kids to leave. I noticed that he had this sad face at the end of the service, after we served those in attendance sandwiches and a drink. I asked Yemini to talk to him. She did, and I caught her in prayer with him as well. I hope that whatever is troubling him is being addressed. Will ask Yemini later if it's something the mission can address.
25 October, Sunday - A slow morning of rest until later early afternoon when we started preparing for Oansa meeting set for 2pm.
Lily had gotten a 'non-birthday' cake made, not sure who's idea this was but that was the theme .. let's have a birthday party for no one, just for fun. So, cake and ice cream. Also quite a bit of decorating went into this non-party, with all hands at work before the kids got here, and many still on the job while the kids were accross the street exercising.
The kids did their normal 40 minutes of outside exercise routines and then back to the mission to breakup into their 3 respective age groups, and then those groups that were largest broke again into manageable sizes. After 40 minutes or so of study and bible review, downstairs for fellowship all together.
We had some great songs, great laughter, good fellowship and 40 kids! I guess it was the cake and ice cream! After it was all over, we had the kids come back over a few hours later at 6:30 for another movie. Played Yogi Bear. Buzy day. Peace tomorrow.
26 October, Monday - Thought I would record a closeup of our regular mission 'signage' on our front door, which basically list three scheduled items: 1) "Cine" on Friday nights at 6;30pm; Adult Bible Study/Church service on Saturday evenings at 6pm and Oansa youth gathering on Sunday from 2 to 4. We have other informal things scheduled but these are the three firm. We will need to improve this sign. Working on some ideas.
Off to Ica today to run some errands. But that never happened ... Need to get a car (long story) to a mechanic and we had battery problems ... get the battery charged and it's late afternoon, way to late to go .. but let's test the car so we can drive it in the morning to the electical mechanic to work on ... eek!! brakes are really bad ... so around the block only hoping to get back to the mission with no incident since this is undrivable as is .. and bang, some truck pulls and stops in front of me assuming I would stop as well ... my first traffic accident in Peru and it's right in front of the mission ... groan, not a good day. The truck got a little twist to his bumper, we lost a light, bent the hood and fender ... groan. Sometimes you just have those days. Gonna go work on a projecto to loose my mind over for a bit.
Lily says the truck was a blessing, keeping me from running into another car in traffic in front of the mission ... I'm sick anyway, more expense ... This will postpone our intended drive of the car to a mechanic to work on the electric, until at least the brakes are fixed ...
27 October, Tuesday - So much to do. So other projects to get done while waiting for the mechanic to check out the brakes (we did get Leche to bring us a bottle of fluid for the brakes, another for the power steering, both of which were drained for some reason). Our welder, Miguel, brought us his compressor to rent/use for a few days so we can do some brick engraving on the memorial wall. We had four bricks to do so I started to get set for that work. Templates all in place, I postpone the actual engraving until the next morning with more sun.
28 October, Wednesday - Resuming the memorial wall work in the morning, the first two memorials which were placed on the east wall get engraved and painted. One for my dearly loved and departed sister-in-law, Maria, who we lost this year. The second to a great friend, and missionary, Joseph Vu.
In afternoon, or late morning, our mechanic shows up and finds the fluid leak under the hood (interesting since that was where he worked on the engine ... wish we checked all fluids before driving, but at least it wasn't necessarily a leak from under the car.) So he gets that fixed and now (again) we are preparing to drive the car for REAL needed electrical work about 10 kilometers south toward Ica. So this is my 3 driving experience in Peru now. Last year, around September, I was asked to drive a clowns car around real slow as the clown was on the tailgate telling all the villagers about the outreach at the mission. That was an experience. And then just a few days ago with my first accident with no brakes in front of the mission! (groan.) And now my first real driving experience outside of El Carmen, or at least intended to be from El Carmen to somewhere this side of Ica. Off we go!!!
Knowing that this is a 'milestone' I ask Lily to get a few pictures as i try to fit in with the regular drivers, while avoiding the urge to lean on my horn (a favorite pastime down here). Keep in mind that this vehicle needs a lot of work on the electrical, with the ignition hanging down between my legs, and assorted electrical items not working as it should. So off we are going to the mechanic to get it all worked on, later we need to add an oil change, gas fillup and perhaps a shoe brake job as well (of course some body work will be on the agenda if we get through all that, due to my recent fender bender).
Note that as soon as you leave El Carmen, or shortly afterwards, the pavement turns to gravel for 3.4 miles (government promising every year to complete that paving soon). Well as soon after we hit the pavement the little bit of electrcal dashboard lights that I had went out and then so did the car. groan!!! Letcha, who was following us, helped me push it pass the local worker truck so we wern't blocking traffic and then we tried to restart. Noticing that there were no lights, I assessed that this car was NOT about to restart until after the electician spent time with it ... So "Letcha" hooked up the tow rope (how we got the car home a month ago) and off we go in a tandem hookup. We got the car to the mechanic, although not the way we wanted to. We then went with Leche to town to make our bunkbed pickup that Lily ordered yesterday. On our way back to the Mission, we stopped and got a gallon of gas as well to drop off with the mechanic to put in the car. The mechanic needed a day to 'assess' it all. Hope we make progress soon on our vehicle woes. I hate used cars!!
After getting back to the mission, it wasn't long before we set in to get the bunkbeds all moved upstairs and assembled. We installed the first two in the men's dormitory, and the third in the womens. Next we will have to go back and get some mattresses.
We hear from Miguel, who will need his compressor back tomorrow morning, so I hustle to setup for the last two brick memorials. Julio, with my misundertanding of his question on the ladder outfront, has got the whole area all cleaned up (God bless him ... but I need to get better at my spanish! ;-) as he is always seeking to find things to work on. No matter, we get the tarps all spread again, this time on a nice clean pavewalk! Ladder up, compressor setup and in place and I actually start to work but then it is just too late in day. I was thinking Lily said he was coming at 7pm for the compressor and was elated to hear it was 7am tomorrow. So, I commit to work on it in the early morning.
29 October, Thursday - As promised, since Lily gets up at 5am to meet the bread truck every morning, I followed her about 6am to get to work on the memorial engravings. Just two to do. Minor broken nossle on sandblasting took, little silicone glue fixes that (takes note to get a new one for the future). But have to beat Miguel and get this done before he comes for the compressor.
No problem. Projecto fini! Will have to update the photos of the memorial wall with the four new additions and look forward to adding many more in the future. Lily was busy outside dusting the brick wall of the mission as this is a dusty town being so close to the desert and so much construction going on as well. Last two bricks for two major contributors, one from the Fosters, supporter of Margaret Lozonne who has made many missionary trips here. The second was from Sylvia, a friend who attends our same church, The Branch, in San Diego. God bless you both. Your donation bricks are now part of the foundation.
And Miguel comes through with a bonus while picking up his compressor. We made a request on getting some bike racks made, and he dropped off the first of two that he is making for us to our specifications.
Lots of kids bikes coming to the mission and being layed down, leaned against the bricks, and more. Saw something like this in town when we got our first pickup of bunkbeds. We talked to Miguel, our welder, about it and a week later he dropped off the first of two completed bike racks we asked him for. These will prove useful. It's actually amazing how much stuff is made out of welded or just cut rebar down here.
With much day left we get some assorted projects done, primarily on the 2nd floor. At end of the day, we have practice for Oansa dance routine, as we are running out of time to practice. A half dozen young ninos show up but only one nina, and Victor is running late. Shows up at 4:40 and still no more nina's. But we do have excited 3 year old Pia and her 5 year old sister.
Marianna showed up and I did succeed in getting Luciana here. Seems like the guys are much more into this than the girls, surprising. Or maybe the girls are just more committed at home and have more conflicts. Anyway, we have only one or two more practices until the actual performance, geared for the same weekend that our San Diego visitors will be here.
30 October, Friday - Almost done with this '4th' of 5 blog. We had an errand or project day, mostly little things here and there. I'm still working on my electical puzzle in the front courtyard when the sun is not high in the sky. Lily grabbed Julio and I to help detangle and clear some shade that our neighbors tree was putting on our grape vines in the back of the property. I had to bring out the big ladder which really killed my electrical puzzle effort at least for another day. Got the ladder in place and Julio took to climbing up and starting to do the pruning. Later I went in the house and came out with the circular saw, not designed for this effort but what the heck. We then did more permanent damage to the tree trunk than just the pruning was accomplishing, exposing the grape vines to much more sun. Got a few pics of Julio playing tree pruner with my Lima fedora that I gifted him (my head was too big for it, fit him perfect!!)
Back indoors, resumed doing a bit on my electrical puzzle in the front and then got ready for movie night with the kids. Light crowd this night, only a dozen or 13 or so. I assume it's because with Saturday school, Friday is now a school night. We will work through making our schedule flexible as well.
After 'Cine night' ended, Lily has a 'projecto' (using Julio's often reference to our chores around here). We are to get some clean dirt from Jose's place a few houses down the street and bring it back to the mission to help her with her planters she had made in the front courtyard of the mission. So off we go with two buckets and a shovel.
I quickly discovered how heavy a 5 gallon bucket of dirt weighs, let alone two of them needed to balance ones walk. Romario pitches in as best he can .. especially in taking the empty bucket back for more!! ;-) Anyway, with Julio partnered with one helper, Romario and I with another, Yareni taking photos and Lily directing, we do get this chore accomplished with about 8-10 bucket loads.
So what did YOU do on YOUR Friday night?
31 October, Saturday - Pretty full day, accomplishing a few chores in the morning and then hustling off to Ica to make a buy of a needed mattress and some couches for upstairs, as well as assorted items needed from Maestro to finish up some bathroom items. We hoped to have only been a few hours but didn't get back until about 1pm, 4 hours later!!
We had Miguel pick us up with his little yellow taxi, giving another photo opp when we got back to the mission, with all of the items on the roof again. Julio and I hustled the items upstairs and get them distributed. Had no issues with 2 of the 3 couches, but may have to return one of them .. again, China quality (or lack there of) in manufacturing.
I decided to take an afternoon nap after lunch, which was later than usual, since I was up at 4:30 for some strange reason today trying to resolve my wiring puzzle at 6! soon, I know I'm close!! ;-) We got our adult bible study going about 6:15, with everything setup. we need to either get an earlier start on the setup or perhaps move the start time to 6:30. I am thinking the latter since that is about the time that Cesar showed up as well. Anyway, a good service.
After which we had some of the local kids stay over, especially those that attended service, and enjoy some game time. Nice finish to a very busy month.
This is part 4 (October 16-31) of the blog for this specific Mission trip, second one for 2015. Click any of the below date blocks to go to any of the parts of this blog:
Also you may click here for photo gallery. (many more pictures than are shown in blog)