From LAMA founder, Lily: Hi all, I figured that this will be the best way to keep you guys current on my activities.
Left USA from LAX on Thursday Feb 7 at 8:45 PM Got to Lima on Friday Feb 8 at 8:45 AM. went through custom with a green light, no search of luggage's; thank Jesus. By the time I got to my lodging place, it was about 11 AM. I didn't want to go to Ica the same day because the next bus was leaving at 2PM arriving to Ica by 6PM and to EL Carmen by 7PM so stay in Lima until the next day.
Saturday, Feb. 9, took the 8:30 AM bus getting to Ica by 1PM. Nice bus ride, via Cruz de Sur Bus, like it better the others buses. Christian, Ageda's son pick me up, took me to their Ica home. Raymundo (our taxi driver) took me to El Carmen (around 3pm) after lunch at Ageda´s house (patita con mani-pigs feet with chopped potatoes with a peanut butter sauce) so gooood, I have not had this dish for years. Now, I´m craving for more.
Once in el Carmen, I called the contractor to meet him by 4 PM. The contractor didn't show up until 8PM. He stated that he could not be able to start until Monday Feb. 18 but we could finish demolish the neighbor's walls (Ageda and Raymundo). We will start Monday with more demolition (including Agedas wall) level the floor and excavation for the columns, this will probobly take one week.
This morning, Sunday Feb 10, went to El Shaddai Church, as always great service, talked to Pastor Martin and his wife Pastor Dotie. Talked to them briefly, because I was meeting the engineer Mercedez at 1:30PM. It was a good meeting too, plans are to go the city (municipality) on thursday because the goverment has declared a long week end holiday until Tue. to promote tourism. Mecerdez
needs until Wednesday to formalize the plans to include the additional land,and make the building wider. THe contractor does not want to start until he sees the new modifications. Don´t blame him.
On Monday, Feb 11, Leon (Pilili, nick name) here in Peru, specially in El Carmen every body has a nick name. Leon continue with what we have left in Sept 2012. (photo taken)
Tuesday, Feb 12, went to Lima for my brother's birthday.
Wed. Feb. 13, I was back from Lima and found out that the contractor and Leon (my worker) had a disagreement about the work. Didn't see Leon for a few days
Thursday, the 14, I met the guy in charge of the farm land (Ramoncito) in the AM at the farm land itself. (10 min by car or 30 walk from El Carmen). Took a taxi (10 soles or 4 dollars, usually 15 soles but because the taxi driver (a local guy) took some mangos and grapes he charged me only 10). In the PM I went to town (Ica) to pick up Jose that was coming from Lima.
Friday, the 15, Leon resumed work, demo Raymundo's wall with the help of Jose. Leon starts at 7AM and stops at 12PM because of the heat and sun. But because he missed a couple of day work (demo) and I want all demo done by Monday 18 when the contractor comes to level the dirt, continue fabricating the rebars for the columns, footing and foundation, Leon work in the PM too. AtGo 1 PM, met Mercedes (Meche) the engineer at the city to pull the permits, paid for it, left the plans need to got back on Monday to submit two additional requirements, a CD of the project hand title of property. Atty. Uchuya has a copy. Meche thinks she has a copy. I have a copy but I left it in USA. At 4PM met Pastor Martin to talk about his involvement with LAMA in the project we are doing in El Carmen. He wants to do an outreach campaign in El Carmen in August, when the first floor of the mission house is done. He is talking about bringing local doctors, dentist, optometrist, etc. A missionary group from the USA may go to Peru in August, and I not talking about Pastor Olga, who is scheduled to go in Aug. too. BTW, it was pastor Martin's birthday, check Facebook; they might post some pictures of him with his cake.
Sat, the 16, (today) Leon finished demo Ageda's wall, (foto taken). Lots of dust, hot weather and burning sun Jose, Daisy and I help Leon push that wall down by sections, piece of cake. :-) Needed a photographer to catch the moment.
Well, it is almost midnight here and I have to go to church tomorrow. I'm taking Veronica's little girl (Ariana) to church tomorrow, she was willing. Maybe, Veronica will be next. one at the time until our little missionary house/church is done. Please pray for the construction and the permits to go smooth. God bless.
------------------------- update below posted 2/22/2013 -
Hello again, I’m going to blog once a week, since I’m too busy running around with the labor people, contractor, engineer, city, etc. Etc., the heat and the three hour different doesn’t help either. I try to write every day so I won’t forget but by the time I’m done for the day, usually by 9PM, I’m so exhausted that all I want to do is go to sleep. But, I’m sending it a day or two early because I want you guys to pray.
A typical day is getting up at 5:30 AM by the “panadero” people that sell bread in a tricycle with a horn singing “el pan, el pan, el pan” everybody gets out of their house to but the el pan (bread). Then the farm workers start leaving to work at the vineyard; they are picked up by buses or some take the collectives, depending of what vineyard they work at.
B T W, we cut the last grape from the missionary house back yard and as per the next door lady (Ageda) the grape is sent to the local brewer to make pisco (a Peruvian hard liquor made out grapes, looks like whiskey) lest see how many bottles we get, I don’t what to do with them, sell it?....usually they make wine too, but according to Ageda, Pisco is better. I’m learning the local trade. I don’t know if that is good or bad.
At 7AM, they turn the water on for an hour, so we have to fill our containers and water the plants, take a shower if there is enough time but with the construction, it is better to take after the work is done for the day or whenever we finish, some time at 6PM but lately we have been finishing by 8 or 9 PM trying to work later because of the sun and heat. The labors doing the demo comes around 7AM too. Work until 11:30 or 12 noon, go home to eat and come back at 3 or 4 PM and work until 7 or 8PM.
The contractor may me wait a week because he was doing another job and couldn’t stop but when the week came, Monday 18, he show up by himself look at the site and said that he would be back tomorrow. Tomorrow, Tuesday 19 came: he didn’t show up or call. He showed up the next day Feb 20th. And and gave me all kind of excuses and stated that he couldn’t finish the portion of the job I wanted done during my stay here. He also stated that he couldn’t start for another two days, so he gave me the plans back. I guess he didn’t want to do the job. That same day I got another contractor, who has given me an estimate in Sept 2012. He appears to be more knowledgeable and easy to work with. God knows what he is doing because I didn’t feel good about the previous contractor. I wanted to fire him but because I already had an agreement with him I didn’t want to give him an excuse to sue me for breach of contract.
This new contractor came right away, the same day Feb 20, since he is working in the area. Because of the earthquake everybody is building, some with the help of the government. The government builds little 20 by 20 area, a two room building with a bathroom. This new contractor does some of the government work. He came on the 21 with the new estimates and coming on the 22, to start fabricating more columns, and footings rebars. The previous contractor did about 4 columns last Sept. 2012. What they do is fabricate the columns with rebars, then the Zapata (footing rebars that goes under the columns) they put it in the excavated hole, pour concrete, after engineer approves the columns. The continue footings are done after that. Quite a job, lots of rebars, a continue and monolithic pour because of the earthquakes here in this part of Peru.
I need lots of prayer, please don’t forget to pray for me and the project and everybody involve. Pray for safety, for the city approvals, for the contractor to work diligent, for the engineer to show up timely. Also pray for cooler weather.
Since I last reported on Saturday February 16, I like to tell the highlights of the days after that.
Sunday Feb 17, went to EL Shaddai Community Church of Ica Peru..I took a little local girl to accompany me and also to expose her to the church. We took a collective, about 30 minutes ride from the farm land (El Carmen) where the missionary house is being built, to the main city (Ica). The cost of a collective ride is 2.50 soles. Collectivo is a share car ride, a cheap way to get around. A taxi will cost about 15 soles. Our USA dollar is not doing too good; it’s about 2.50 soles to a dollar. Four or five years ago was 3.50 per a dollar. It has been declining ever since.
El Shaddai had a healing service and my little companion, 8 years old girl, liked the whole thing, she even raised her hands like everybody else. I asked her what was the best part of the service she likes, she said: “every thing”…from the collective stop in Ica we took another moto taxi, $2.5 soles ride to church. After the service, the pastor wife call a taxi for us to take us to the collectives to El Carmen. Taxi cost a $3 soles. We stopped at a Chinese restaurant next to the collectives stop for lunch, the little girl (Ariana) and I split a menu which is wanton soup and stir fried noodle with veggies. Ariana only wanted soup so I took the noodle. Ariana ordered Inka Cola, a local soda drink and I got my bottle water on my favorite container that I got for Christmas. Since I didn’t finish the noodle I asked for a “to go” container, they charge 50c. ( ½ soles, a dollar was 2.57 when I got to Peru now it went down to 2.54, the dollar goes up and down, more down than up. Sad, our money (dollar) is worth nothing, sore of speak.
When we got home I noticed that I have left my favorite water bottle in the restaurant. I was so sad about, I prayed and wrestled with God, yes for a bottle water. The Holy Spirit convicted me and reminded me that I didn’t pay the .50 cent of soles for a foamed container to take the left over home. I repented and promised God that I would go back and pay the 50c. And I wouldn’t care if the water bother be there. I just prayed that a needed person would find it. When I went to town the next day, I stopped at the restaurant and I found the bottle. I was praising and thanking the Lord. The waitress has found it and gave it to the cashier. The cashier/owner was not there because it was about 11:30 and the restaurant opens at 12 Noon every day. So look under the counter and saw my bottle. The waitress and a Chinese helper that was receiving the soda and drink delivery, were puzzled and would not want to release the bottle. I somehow convinced them to release my bottle. The next time I was in town. Around 6:30PM again going to take the collective, I stopped at the restaurant and gave the cashier/owner the 50c. You should see her face. I was with Richard the El Shaddai contractor coming from a home center buying materials , He was as puzzled as the cashier/owner, and could not stop laughing. Anyway, that was the highlight of the day/week.
Monday Feb. 18, the contractor was supposed to start construction. I usually get up at 5:30 AM because the bread people comes at that time saying “El Pan, El Pan, El Pan”…..which means “The Bread, The bread, the bread”. The contractor showed up around 8:30 with no workers. He evaluated the site, asked me to buy the chalk to trace the footings. Etc.. He was in for a few hours and left, staling that he would be back tomorrow, Tuesday.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, no contractor and not even a phone call returned, since I called him seven times. Finally on the last phone call, the contractor’s wife answer and said that her husband has left his cell phone at home.
Monday, Feb. 18, Tuesday the 19th. And Wed. the 20. we have been helping Leon (labor guy) do the demolition of Ageda’s (neighbor’s) roof, walls, etc. getting those timber lumber roof beams were an ordeal. Photo taken.
Wednesday 20, contractor showed up and stated that he would not be able to finish the first floor, footings/ foundation, walls, roofing and gave me the plans back. I immediately contacted another contractor, who has also given me an estimate last September 2012. He came and was willing to start right away, however, since we have added some footage to the building, he needed to give me another bid.
Thursday 21 the new contractor came with the new bid ( it went from $10,500 soles to $12,860 labor only) just for the first floor, footings, columns, walls. Thank God I have all the rebar material on site. I bought that last Sept, but I need to buy the concrete mix for the foundation/columns and the bricks for the walls.
He evaluated the site, measure the building pad and stated that he will bring the worker tomorrow or Monday to start building more columns since the previous contractor has built 4 last September 2012.
We continue removing the big timber (3) photo taken, cleared the site, ground clearance and leveling.
The contractor is going to give me another bid for the roof. God willing with can wrap the first floor, but no floor, no windows, no doors, just the foundation, the walls and the roof for the first floor. No time for anything else, besides that is all the funds we have.
Friday 22, I’m praying that the new contractor at least brings some labors to build the columns. He said that he will try but for sure next Monday since they were working on other jobs and had their schedule already done. I’m praying that the column guy shows up to build those columns. We will probably do more leveling and compacting the soil with water, will be taken pictures. Please pray, pray, pray….
New contractor and another helper came and laid out the site for the labor to dig the footings and gave me the new estimate, which went from $10,500 soles to $12,850 soles. Our USA dollar is not doing so good in Peru. In the last 4 years it has gone down from 3.50 to 2.50 now. The contractor left and stated that he will return on Monday to start, full force. Our Labor guys did misc. things like putting additional support to the grapes vines. And trimming the lemon tree, etc. picture taken
Sat. Feb 23. Labor did the diggings and opening an access to the new area we purchased last year. Picture taken
Sun. Feb 24. Church Day. Pastor Martin and his wife Cotie invited me to their house for lunch. They have grilled meat, corn, potatoes, salad, drinks, and cake (didn’t stay for the cake). It was some one’s birthday, all I know that he is the pastor driver; I think he may be a relative Pictures taken.
Monday Feb 25, contractor showed up with three other guys and worked on the steel columns. They worked all day, lots of steel, cuttings, tieing They did two big columns L shape heavy duty columns, so much steel for the corners, and two regular steel columns for the walls. The plans show 15 columns. If they did four but two are consider like double so in essences they built 6 columns in one day. Because the L shape columns are like two regular ones put together. At this pace, they will finish fabricating the 15 columns in three days by Wednesday, then, I would guess, they will install them, pour the footings of the columns by Friday because Thursday they will probably finish digging the footings for the columns. Hopefully, we can have the engineer come on Friday AM to inspect the columns and footing before we pour concrete that same day. They ran out of material, so I need to go tomorrow to buy more steel and cement.
Our regular labor guys continue working on the fence wall of the new property.
Tomorrow, Tue. Feb 26, I’m going to the EL MAESTRO (owned by Ace Hardware but more like the size of Home Depot). I will take pictures of the store and the purchased material. This is the list of additional materials:
- 45 of the 5/8
- 105 of the 3/8
- 15 of ½
- 180 bags of cements
- 100 kilos of wire.
- 8 circular blades to cut the steel
The contractor only put his labor no material no even the chalk to mark the steel where to cut.
This list is in addition to the materials I purchased last year in Sept. which were:
- 50 rebars of 5/8
- 38 rebars of 1/4
- 40 of 3/8
- 50 of 1/2
- 40 kilos of wire
- 8 kilos of 21/2 " nails
- 8 kilos of 2" nails
- 4 kilos of 3" nails
- 4. circular blades. etc. etc. etc/
I’ll rent a truck to bring the material from Ica to El Carmen. I’m bringing Leon (one of our labor guys) to help me bring the material back to the job site, while I stay in Ica helping Pastor Martin’s project, finishing the school on their new location. He has a week to finish it. It will take a miracle to finish it by the 4th. We are all sweating not only because of the heat but because of the tie schedule we both have. But he and his contractor think they will. I promise I will take some pictures of both Pastor Martin’s project and ours, but can’t forward them because I’m having problem sending them via email. It will have to wait until Bill gets here.
Tue. 26….more building of rebars, cutting, welding, digging, while I went to El Maestro Homecenter to buy more steels and concrete. Spent about $2,750 on this.
Wed.27….same of the same, but a little problem with one of the neighbors, on the encroachment of the build. I think we resolved the problem. Keep praying about this, so there will be no bad feeling and our long time relationship is not hurt.
Thru 28….more digging, more leveling, etc. they dug 15 cubic meters on 15 holes (each of about 1.2 meter square, lots of dirt, Lord!!! Where do we put this dirty and more dirt after we dig the continue footing, Lord we need more land to put that dirt.
Today we also bought 15 cubic meter of gravel and 5 cubic meter of sand, just to start with the base (call Zapata) for the columns, then we pour the footing for the columns. It feels like we are building a 10 story building. Hopefully we can pour concrete tomorrow. Photos
Until next time and please follow us on www.lamaministry.org or facebook. God bless Lily
P.S. prayer partners keep praying
Friday March 1….contractor came and did more digging and leveling removing all the dirt that came out of the 15- 1 cubic meter holes then they starting mixing cement to pour the zapatas (footing for the columns) but the equipment engine died. They could only pour one and half hole. They took the engine to the mechanic and be back tomorrow.
Sat. March 2….contractor came with fixed engine and poured the rest of zapatas 15 of them. They finished by noon and have to wait 24 hours to cure. They’ll be back on Monday, not before being paid, $3000 soles for the week. They deserve it they worked very hard. Ah, our bags of cement finally were delivered after waiting 4 days. I’m kind of glad they waited this long because we didn’t have room to put it. Now that the contractor has clear all the dirt that came out of the columns holes but more dirt is going to come out after the dig the continue footing, more dirt, dirt, dirt……but right now we can use that space.
In the evening, I discovered that my laptop was not working. It would not charge, so I though the charger cord was damaged and I needed to ask Bill to bring me another one, couldn’t imagine life without internet for 6 or 7 days. I couldn’t read my bible, since it is on the laptop. I could even play solitary. Nothing else to do here, no TV, not that they don’t have it. Even some farm workers houses have plasma TV, but, our humble temporary wood shed (house) doesn’t have it. I don’t dare buy one, one because of cost and two it is too dusty with the construction, maybe when the permanent house is done, the Lord will bless us with one. Amazing, they have TV but no Jesus,.
Finally, by the time to go to bed, the laptop charged. I think it was drained all the way that it took all day to charge.
Sunday March 3, Got up early as usual, filled all the barrels with water for the contractor tomorrow and wet the mountain of sand as per his request. Have breakfast with one of the labor worker, since he came to get paid, 300 soles, for six day labor, building the party wall fence with recycled adobes. Finally it is done; this is 1/3 of the additional 3/5 land we bought last year from the next door neighbor. Got ready and went to El Shaddai Church in Ica town. The service as usual, was good, the worship amazing and the fellowship friendly. I was able to see the school construction. It’s going very slow. It will take a miracle, which I do believe in miracles, for it to be done by Monday the 11th. Thank God, school day starting was postponed from the 4th. To the 11th. Poor Pastor Martin is under a lot of stress. Need prayer for him too.
After talking with Pastor Martin briefly about church matter, I took a moto taxi (2 soles) to the collectives to El Carmen but stopped first at the supermarket across the street to get some drinking water and some groceries before heading to El Carmen, collectives to El Carmen 2.50 soles. When I got home, I found out that the internet was not working or I didn’t have access because my time or allowance has expired and I need to recharge it. Now I have to do it tomorrow when I go to town. Thank God, I have a meeting with Atty. Uchuya tomorrow, because I don’t look forward going to town; the collectives rides are bumpy and dusty. I heard that they are going to pave the road in July, God willing it will be ready when we come back in August. The meeting with the atty is to do another contract of the 1/5 additional land we are acquiring from one of the 5 heirs of the adjacent land. This we postponed from Sept 2012 to March 2013, because of the “declaracion intestada” (intested declaration or declaration of heirs) needed to be done first in order to eventually transfer title, pay any require taxes or fees. Atty Uchuya is also doing that the declaration of heirs; another process. Atty. Dr .Uchuya only charges me $50 soles, (about 20 dollars) for this private contract, which is about two pages. I wish our attys in the states can charge this, but I think this is an exception here in Peru too. God has put him our path. Thank you Jesus.
Now is time to go to bed, it’s 9PM here and I have to get up early, well the alarm clock, EL PANADERO (the bread person) will wakes up all by 5:30AM, small farm town.
Monday March 4, woke up by the bread person but didn’t get up because I bought bread at the supermarket yesterday. But did wake up by the water since I left the bathroom sink on to warn me that the water is on. Breakfast, papaya, grapes, wheat rolls with fresh cheese and café con leche (hot milk with a tsp. of instant Peruvian coffee). the usual morning routine. At 10 AM went to town to handle the internet problem and recharge cell phone usage. Contractor getting ready to pour the columns, ordered and received, 15 cubic meter of regular sand and 10 cubic meter of medium size gravel, $1,075 soles or $418 dollars.
Tuesday, March 5, another day of pretty much the same as the day before, nothing excited, except no internet, what a hassle, I have to go back to Ica to complaint about the internet and pay the monthly payment, and try to get out of the contractual agreement of 6 month.
Wed, March 6, have to go to court for an audience with the judge to follow up the last judge inspection of the house in Oct. 2012. After that, I took the bus to Lima to pick up Bill, who was coming to Peru from the states. I left Ica at 2PM and got to Lima around 6:30PM. From the bus station, I went to a women Christian meeting at my friend Ana Roncal’s ( writer and public speaker on economy and politics) apartment in Miraflores/Lima, who just came back to her native home (Peru) after 3 months touring Europe (Germany, France and Spain) where she spoke in several churches, radio and TV. The purpose of the meeting was to seek the Lord as to what Christians ought to do in Peru, redeem the time and don’t be aisle. Coincidently, I just posted the day before on Facebook to redeem the time and not to be idle on none sense subjects. I did not know what she was going to speak about. She just invited me to her apartment for tea with the ladies. Needless to say, my ride came to get me at 9:30PM and we were just cover the surface of the subject, I bet those ladies stayed there until midnight.
Thurs, March 7, a day of rest at my brother’s home in Lima.
Friday, March 8, went to get Bill at the airport. Bill came in on a red-eye flight and apparently didn’t sleep well on the plane. We got to my brother’s house around 10ish AM and he slept till lunch time around 2PM. Around 6:30PM, we went to Raymundo’s sister house to sign the new contract for the fourth part of the 5 heirs, next door property to the mission house in El Carmen. The new acquisition area is (of 11.62 X 38.51 feet square) for $2,500 soles or 969.00 dollars. Raymundo is our neighbor to the north, who along with four of his siblings has inherited half of the house. Long story, and too complicated to explain it here.
Sat, March 9, got up early to catch the 7:30AM bus to Ica. Bill took 2 big heavy luggages’ (50 pounds each) plus carry on and I have two carry on. Thank God, we didn’t have to pay excess weight. We got to Ica at 12 noon. A local man from El Carmen picked us up and took us to our home at El Carmen. The construction workers were wrapping up for the week and waiting to be paid. The columns were up and the concrete beams underground and concrete footings for the columns were poured. So they deserved to be paid, their weekly payment of $3,000 soles or $1,163 dollars). My other two workers have already demolished the newly acquired property adobe party wall and reusing the same adobe to building the new party wall. Thank God, Maruja had lunch ready for us. Bill again, slept like a baby. I think the heat has something to do with that. Bill woke up and and got on the internet, his computer (thinking it’s still in the USA) used up my limited internet, so we don’t have internet until March 16th; I’m so cheap to recharge the internet because that is the way the company makes money. I recharged it on March the 6th. After 20 days of internet. Even though, I have paid on the 6th for a full month, I don’t get it on until the 16th. Go figure. Because our missionary house is so remote we can’t get regular (wired) internet service, only wireless via computer or satellite phone.
Sunday, March 10, Got up early and watered the fruit trees, since we only have water for one hour, we did this before going to church at 10AM. We have three pecan trees (1 -3 yrs., old and 2- 6 month) one established lemon and orange, one 6 month old mango, several 100 years old grape vines, one 2yr avocado and two- 6 month avocado, all in our backyard. The two year old avocado seems to be dying. I don’t know, too much water, not enough water, got some disease? Who knows, but praying for a complete healing.
Monday March 11, another construction day at EL Carmen. Bought more material: 3 cubic meters of fine gravel, 5 cubic meters of big stones all for $550 soles (213 dollars). General contractor working on the main house and my two labors working on the adobe party wall, creating an area to move the temporary wooden house once we relocate it since it is on the front of the property where the carport is going to be. Interesting event happened here, the area we need to place our wood house is exactly the area that they have not build the security wall yet. They have started to build the wall but when we got to Ica we stop them for continuing it because we need to go right to the property line and not leave the ½ meter as planned. Again, with signs like this, God is reminding us that it HIS project. This is the second time that the measurements are exact of what we need. We know they are not coincidence. Because we know that we know, that we know, that we know. Praise the Lord, Gloria a Dios
Tue, March 12, and yet another construction date in El Carmen and a lot more forming for the brick wall foundation. Bill and I went to El Maestro Home center (photo) to buy 7 thousand (mil) of wall brick, learn that there are several class of bricks, brick for the roof/ceiling, brick for the fascia, etc. Transportation is another thing, El Maestro deliver free only to the vicinity of Ica town not to places like El Carmen, which is about 30 minutes from the store. SO, we have to arrange private transportation that cost 140 soles per truckload, up to two tons of material. Since we bought 7 tons we have to do it in three or four parts. $140 X 4 560 soles that is a lot of money added to the cost of the materials. But, God put on our path a Christian man that does this kind of transportation and who happened to be EL Maestro approved, who charge me only $100 soles. I met this man, name Jaime, last Sept 2012 when I bought the reinforce steels for the foundation. He delivered more than two tons of reinforcing bars, longer than his six wheel truck, poor thing; he had to stop so many times to arrange the rebar since they were handing over the truck bed, in the heat, scorching sun, he did not once complaint, there were something about that man. That gentle spirit. My spirit and his spirit must have connected. Di