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2016 Feb/Mar – Peru Mission Trip – (2 of 4)

15 Feb, Monday – Starting a 2nd of 4 blogs for this trip, and since this is a relax day off of the week, perhaps this will be just a bookmark for a day!!   Ha! We did have a meeting with our current internet provider.  Seems as spotty as our last service, but at least they are more reachable.   So we decided to bite and pay them for the ‘device’ on our roof (even though our other provider doesn’t charge me for his receiver.  We decided this since at least this group, although smaller, is more reachable, does respond when we call (if only to tell us ‘sorry’), and is pursueing growing their service, switching from Telefonica (Movistar) as their main provider which apparently is the problem, as they are very saturated apparently with traffic in Guadalupe, the nearest city which is just west of us on the Pan American Highway.   I also think because this ‘reseller’ of internet service has their antenna only a block away pointed at us, that it helps with latency, which has given us better ‘skype’ phone calls over internet.   So, we made the decision, gave them S./250.  

Shortly after, our prior service provider finally shows up (after telling us a week ago he would be right over).  This non-responsiveness is what made our decision.  Of course he is telling us now that he just went from 15megabytes to 60 and he can really service us even better now …. grrrr.   Oh well.  I took him to the roof to remove his antenna … maybe we will switch back, who knows .. for now …    And of course, after he left, our service went out!!!  

I went up on the roof to make sure that the lights were on and our receiver was not the issue.  Got this current panarama picture.   But we limped along for most of the rest of the day with little if any internet and then it resumed.  Welcome to rural life in Peru!   

16 Feb, Tuesday –  Busy day today with English classes resuming, also youth game times at the mission are at 4pm.  Had a pretty good class for about 90 minutes.  Attendence is rising and pushing 20.  I am finding that number is a bit harder to manage.  But lots of interaction.   If we get many more students, we will have to create a 2nd class. The teaching material continues to be great.  Thank you Audrey for your setting up this donation.  It took two trips, but we got the last 50 pounds of it down here on this trip.  Want to incorporate more of visual aids but since it’s in the morning and even with the curtains closed, we need a far better projector to do that.  Another item on the ‘must fix’ list.

Later in afternoon, our ‘ladies’ started showing up for Marinara and Festejo dance classes, sponsored by the city.  Such a shame that none of the ninos are taking an interest in these classes.  But do get a kick out of watching the youngest especially, learn the finer moves of the Marinara dance especially.  

After the Marinara, the Festejo dance is a bit more worldly AND ‘energetic’ in it’s moves … They all work up a sweat with that one.During the dance classes going on, I was in the office working on the network, blog, photos, transferring media, making a video, etc.  Lily thought I could also babysit!  

So I got two of our younger kids and they love playing games on tablets (just like in USA) so that part was easy.  Got a great pic of Fabio, one of my two most huggables.

Later that evening, we have another visit from Juancito, our little boy with health challenges who loves coming by the Mission with his father or grandmother (who is a volunteer).  Julio, our resident missionary, always extents so much love to Juancito.

This time he engages both of the “Juans” with our latest board game.  Sort of a scrabble, tiddlewinks, blend in spanish thing where you shout a small plastic disk to a cup and if you make it in the cup, you get to choose a letter and if not, the letter is where it lands … quite engaging.  Julio started with just the 3 of them, while Lily, Ismelda, Yareni and I were still indoors.  Gradually the kids of the village started showing up (always looking for some game time at the Mission) and became a rather active competition of spelling.    And then we called it a night.

17 Feb, Wednesday – Day 6 of English language training.  Class of 19, same as yesterday, however a bit more unwielding 19.  Perhaps it was the lesson plan was a bit harder.  I tapped my wife near the end to assist.  Having that many kids for one person, especially when they don’t have much English and I don’t have much Spanish, is especially helpful to have a bilingual assistant!! 

My wife was offering to teach a financial class, and was all prepared for it yesterday using Larry Burketts teaching material, but we got no interest.  Hard to teach financial grass roots rules out of the bible to people that have so little.   At least it’s hard to get them interested in it when they look in their pockets and nothings there.  Oh well, perhaps we will offer the curiculum another day and advertise differently.   Anyway, a good day for English training.  Just forgot to get any pictures.

Afternoon with youth volunteers who came to work on crafts for upcoming weekend with summer youth.  Volunteers are starting to become a little more mixed and not all girls.  This is a good sign.  While all the workers were here, I took the time to fix my own visual aids for my daily English class. Later in the evening the Sanchez’s went to Invacion for their weekly bible study teaching (Alpha program).  This was the 3rd lesson of a scheduled 12 that they were teaching.  It is to be repeated again tomorrow at another location in El Carmen (Pepe’s). 

18 Feb, Thursday – Session 7 of English language classes, this time my wife Lily assists (again).  Very helpful to have two people, especially someone bi-lingual.  But I was getting pretty preficient with my smartphone translation tool and handly bilingual dictionary I bought when I got into a pickle.  Class flow is getting good, the more and more I get familiar with the material and the class enjoys the training as well.

We had fewer attendees today, about 13-14, so the class size was more manageable but will have to explore with students as to why they didn’t attend and come up with a program as to how many you can miss before you have to start over. There are also many that want to attend but cannot attend at 10am so we are thinking of having a second class in the evenings.  Day by day.

The city dance leader came by and due to attendance, decided to have the Festejo dance classes across the street in the soccerball courtyard.  The number of audience is getting larger than the dancers, so probably best.  Also, the Marinara dance is very classy but the other dance is a bit worldly and we are not thinking that it is a good  representation of the mission.

Julio and Yareni left at 7pm to do their 2nd bible study this week at Pepe’s.  Today, Lily was in communication with the cabinet maker we used up in Lima since the ones down here seem pretty flacky on coming by and wanting the business.  She had me take a picture of her drawing so she could send it to him.  The cabinet maker will have to drive down from Lima for measurements first and then installation, but still a better price (and more hungry apparently) than we can find in Ica. 

19 Feb, Friday – Pretty full day today.  The morning was our 8th regular English class at 10am for about 90 minutes.  Good group .. thinking the count was about 15 or so, but Lily was there to help and also Julio part time.  We covered a lot of ground.   But forgot to get any pictures.  Oh well, you get the idea.  

Many different times we had youth in the front courtyard to play board and card games and some tablet and computer use.  In the afternoon, many of the volunteers came by for some usual prep time for tomorrows youth classes but since they seemed to be all prepped, they did some leisure time playing board and card games as well.  Our mission has an appeal on hot days like this, since our ceiling is high, and we have three floors, it is much cooler on our first floor than anywhere else in the village.  So come on by.  Also, a lot of time was spent with the volunteers discussing the importance of their role, what it can be going forward, so many things to do, and the volunteers are very enthused about their part at the mission.

Later in the evening we had movie night but at the same time that Julio and Yareni started a new Alpha group bible study group accross the street at Juancito’s house with his parents and grandparents.   For movie night we played a favorite, Enchanted.  We had about 20 ninos over for that. 

Still later that same evening I helped Julio reset his Amazon FireHD tablet so he could see his own purchases on it.  After which I took a stroll in the village, hearing a lot of music, I was curious.  Turned out to be a baptism party where a resident blocked off the street with a linen building for their party.  Amazing how loud people play their music for such events.  I understand the attraction to hold it outdoors in the heat though.  . 

 Romario walked with me to check it out, and we continued taking a long route back to the mission.  When we got back to the main street we ran into Carlos, Luis, Fabian, Jen, Luis Angel, Kelly and 3 or 4 others that we recognized.  Had a short reunion, talked about the english classes that all the boys are in attendance at .. tried a few words, and then said goodbyes .. village is so friendly.   Of course Fabian and Jen escorted me, along with Romario, back to the Mission and quickly made their way inside to say hi to Julio who was where I left him, still doing a long slow download on the internet of an Amazon purchased book.   Took 5 minutes to hussle the three lads out for the night and then back to the office to do this little bit on the blog before calling it a night.  Internet is very slow tonight.   Must be a lot of people on it in the village. 

20 Feb, Saturday – A new day.  Spent some time working with a tenant, a benefactor who was instrumental in our gaining a 50% increase in the land the mission sits on.   While having this meeting, Yareni came to us to tell us that a pastor from Bolivia was asking for Lily. 

This was an odd notice since we were not expecting anyone and have gotten close to Bolivia once (Puno, lake Titicaca, but have never quite made it across the border).  Anyway, unusual story unfolding .. It appears this “musician ministry pastor” and his family of six were traveling from Bolivia by bus to the north of Peru.  That is one LONG bus trip.  You come over the mountains through Aracipo to the coast and then north through Ica, Lima and the rest of Peru till you get their intended destination at a Gospel festival in the boarder region to Ecuator.  Well it seems that in Ica, the bus was stopped by the federal authorities and many people had to pay some fines for not declaring things or wrong papers etc. 

When their family was returning to the bus station from the authority check point in Ica, they took a taxi which apparently had ill intent and took them to or through a bad neighborhood where they were robbed of everything, musical instruments (two keyboards, two guitars), all their money (over $1,500 dollars?  not sure why they had that much) and all their papers, passports, wallets, etc.  They ended up spending the night in the police station in Ica.  

In conversing with a woman about their situation, this woman actually gave them Lily’s Mission card as someone who could possibly help.  The pastor took a shuttle a half hour north to the mission in our little village and met with us and relayed this story.    It is interesting that Lily just met this woman less than a week ago on a very early shuttle ride back from Ica to the mission and they bonded as two fellow Christian missionaries. 

We received some credentials from this pastor, his name was Israel, and we decided to help him and his family out financially on their journey north to the festival.  He has been in contact with the festival organizers who are going to also assist them and provide rental instruments for the event.   We did some trusting in God in this assist, and we pray we did the right thing.Later in the afternoon, we had our regular contingency of older kids for the summer bible study meeting.  We always have some fun events as part of the gathering, and one of them was ‘tug of war”.

Well I thought I could help out, and the other side then recruited Julio to offset my helping.  But we surely had our beliefs that we had this one beat … apparently not … but my excuse is that I needed gloves, the rope was too small, it hurt my hands, etc etc etc … where is that excuse manual?  Anyway, when we next go to market, I’m buying a thicker rope and asking for a rematch!!

The youth group had a lot of fun exercises and then study lessons on the bible afterwards. Always enjoyable seeing them busy, engaged, and working on items that will educate them about our faith, as well as just having fun.  Although we have about 30 kids and 6-7 assistants on Saturday, these pictures seeme to be all focused around Diana & Madelin, two of our fantastic assistants.  Oh well, the price you pay when you delegate photo taking!! Later that evening we had adult bible study.  Cesar and his wife came up from Ica to preach.  Julio and Yareni did worship and open/close message.  Pretty well attended considering we didn’t have any birthday cake this week to incent.

To cut down on the noise and to add to the worship focus, we opened up the 2nd floor for the 2nd week in a row for babysitting the youth.  I took them all upstairs with coloring materials and a few helpers.  Went back for some drinking water as well.  

Later while up there, and after we were all colored out, we turned on the Roku and Spongue Bob .. definitely need a DVD player for a Chistian movie next time!   But the kids were enjoying themselves quietly and the worship and church service went on well downstairs with the little ones separated. 

We called Leche to come and get us and we didn’t get back to the mission till about 3pm.  Had a really heavy concrete laundry sink to unload for eventual installion in the back under the stairs (I would prefer a washing machine but Lily keeps reminding me that labor is cheap nd the locals really want to do it for us).  We got some lumber for a closet job, a metal bookshelf to assemble in the office, some bathroom items (hanging shelf), and quite a few other items.  Going to have a test for the english class on Tuesday and too often the students don’t bring a notebook, so we bought a bunch of those as well.  

Also got a lot of plumbing supplies as we are going to see about rerouting water direct from the city source in the morning for the yard watering we do.  Seems silly to pump water to the roof and then dispurse it at the same time the water is being pumped in from the city .. this way we can save some electric with the pump I think is the thinking Lily has. Anyway, ninos and volunteers showed up at about 4pm and I got my tug of war rematch with a bigger rope … and I got on the other side .. but apparently, I lost again … hmmm ….

I seem to be the common denominator.  Actually we were winning until Lily jumped in on the other side!!  traitor wife!!  Enjoyable time when we are with the children, and they are showing such great interest in learning about Jesus, being together, enjoying one another.  It is especially fulfilling to see many that started with us just a few years ago, on the upper end of the ages admittedly, and are now helpers, assistants to the newer smaller children.  

After the youth were finished, Julio and Yareni rewarded the volunteers with snacks and a movie on Netflex.  Forgetting the name of the witness movie with the young lady who lost an arm to a shark attack but turned it into a witness for Jesus.  Good movie and they enjoyed it.  However we did suffer a bit through some internet lag and about 2/3rds of the way through it, we all took a break to go play volleyball across the street.

 We played on one side of the net that was being put up by another group that wanted to play.   We then got to play a shortwhile first, and then we both played against each other.  I got to sit out for awhile and then came in on a player swap.  While sitting out some of the youngsters who I had a tickle fest with at Antonios 80th birthday party many days ago found me out and attacked me.  Looks like I may have to invest in a disguise. Anyway, we had a good finish to our volleyball workout.  After which the Sanchez’s (our missionary couple) treated all the volunteers to a meal and drink before (or was it after?) watching the conclusion of their Netflix witness movie, which ran flawlessly having all that time to buffer up!(guess, until we get the internet improved, that is what we will have to do to watch a movie!).

Lizbeth, one of the volunteers, had approached Lily and I yesterday to have a private conversation.  She did so and very timidly asked about if we could help them with getting wood for a failing wall in thier home.  We love Lizbeth who is also a long term missionary participant, growing up in the OANSA youth group and now a volunteer at the mission.  Lily was going to be in Ica all day tomorrow and leaving for Lima for a few days on Tuesday, so the only time we could take a look was now, although it was pitch dark out.  So off we went. 

We know Lizbeth’s little sister as well as she often comes with her older sister to the mission.  I am thinking that she is one of my ‘tickle buddies’ as well cause I verified that is a weakness of hers.  It was good to meet her parents and to see where she lives.  It’s the poor side of the poor end of El Carmen which is made up of poor .. don’t know how else to put it.  In the picture with the family, the wall on the left of the photo is apparently not very strong, no real insulation, bugs come in, and is subject to a lot of weather exposure being that it faces the ‘chochra’ the farm land.  It needs probably about 5 panels of plywood to make it better for occupation.  

They have three rooms that are on a very narrow strip of land that was obviously just thrown up for a place to live.  We noticed that there is a sewer and water hook up though, and per Lily’s translation, that was done by politicians buying votes … but so be it, that helps to know it’s there.   At least their house, although no papers to speak of, have utilities.  I think they get their electric through what one might call a ‘co-op’ box though, no separate meter.   My biggest fear for families like this is when there is some erosion on the bank of the ravine edge of the farmland they built their house on, they will have nothing.   Long term, one hopes they are looking for some better piece of land to locate to.  In the meantime, what can be done to better their situation?

The first room (picture on left) has dirt floors.  Glad to see that the other two rooms have concrete.  The wall on the far side of all the rooms is made of straw and mud and apparently replaced an older adobe wall that had fallen.  On the outside of the wall is a ravine and part of a very large farming area.   It would be quite difficult to built a footer and make a brick wall here, in that the ravine is so close, but it might be of interest to verify.  Looks like the only thing to do, which is all they are asking for, is to provide them some plywood panels to insulate and add to the existing wall on the inside.  

So we committed to helping them since the cost is so low and Lizbeth is such a long term helper and attendee at the mission.  And 5 sheets of plywood is the least we can do from America, correct folks?  These projects we can handle.  I can only think that such projects are great ones to get a list of for any visiting missionaries wanting to help out as I assume that some simple carpentry work like this would be quite doable and help a family a great deal.  

22 February, Monday – Day of rest!!   I did work on finishing my exam for English class #9 tomorrow.  Printed 20 copies.  Also worked with Julio and Yareni on picking out an English Christian song for working into the english teaching for them to learn.  Think we might go with 10,000 reasons.   This will be far better than me teaching them “Jean Jean” or singing out ‘We are the Champions’ after our volleyball game yesterday.  But they do love repeating such English phrases!  

Lily went to Ica today with her brother Jose (who is down here only till first week of March visiting his older brother).  Jose came back early with some ceiling fans that Lily and I were exploring buying last time at the market .. guess I have a new ‘projecto’.   Lily did not come back till a few hours later as she had a later meeting with Pastor Martin, who did confirm (a 2nd time) that OANSA will resume for a 2nd year up here, and will be in mid March.  So we will be here for that to happen.   With all the volunteers that Julio and Yareni have enlisted, it will be very well staffed.  Pastor was quite impressed with all that has been going on up here.    Lily also came back with a TV antenna to install.  We quit the satelite service along time ago, just not a good buy just like in USA … but we have a TV (property of Antonio) that we would like to hook up for local news and sports and whatever.   So, I am accumulating projects.  

23 Feb, Tuesday – Lily caught an early collectivo to the city so she could bus to Lima today.  Won’t see her again till Thursday afternoon.  Many chores to perform up there, one of which is to get the ‘templates for sandblasting and painting eight additional bricks.  We also have a few stars to add to a few of the existing bricks from subsequent donations from our supporters, thank you very much.   We also hope to get a template made for painting the name “la Misión” on the front of the building, so it will start being referenced for what it is.  Many people get picked up and dropped off in front of the Mission, but they refer to it as the ‘Plaza’ (which is a true location since we are located at the plaza) but we would like the location to be known as La Mission, or LAMA Mision or Centro Mision.   Anyway, hopefully putting a name on the front above the gate may help.   

We had our first English class of the week (class #9) and Lily warned all the kids last week that today would be a test day.  That might explain why I only had 6 students!!   We had some late show ups about 45 minutes into the class time but Julio sent them packing till tomorrow.  Anyway, it worked out well because there was a lot of individual instruction needed for the Exam. 

24 Feb, Wednesday – Today we had English class #10, and many more students showed up but those that were not here yesterday I handed out the exam for them to do later (such an evil teacher I am ;-).   We had a good class on numbers and was surprised to find out that many of the kids do not yet understand percentages or fractions. 

Well, this is an English class, not a math class but we reverted to teaching a little bit of that as well.  It threw a wrench in the schedule, only allowing us to do half a lesson, since we wanted to also teach an Englsh Gospel song for them.  So, after an hour and ten minute, we called the lesson and started the music teaching with Yareni on guitar.  We chose ‘10,000 Reasons’ since she knew the spanish version.  We will continue to work this into the lesson each week and maybe even have the students perform a bilingual singing at church one of these weeks. … who knows.

After the regular lesson and the English song practice, we excused the regular class and had the people that needed to take the test stay.  Had almost 10 students to work with.  It was funny that the boys caught Mariana cheating, copying answers from Cecci’s paper (Cecci who attended yesterday and today).  The boys would have none of it and insisted that I tear up her paper which I did.   Hmmm ..need to have a lesson in cheating apparently.  It’s not like there were grades on the test or anything.  I gradually worked with all of them to complete it, making sure that they learned all the way through and that they got everything right.  I wanted them to keep both their test and test answer sheet to study.  Why would someone want to cheat in such an atmosphere?  Fascinating.  

Later in afternoon, the Sanchez’s had many of their volunteers over to do a lot of craft work in preparation for this coming weekend.  They also had an internal training and update session afterwards.  I told Julio that we need to get a day this weekend to get all the volunteers in one photo so he put the word out for I think Saturday where we will make an effort to have all of the volunteers available at least for a photo.Worked with Lily over the phone on her finalizing the things she was doing up in Lima.  She was also chasing down some sources on yarn and yarn stores for planned trip in August of Helping Hands, a knitting ministry of Branch church of San Diego.  She will be back at the mission by noon or so tomorrow. I had a discussion with the internet provider’s sister, who is one of the mission volunteers, expressing our difficulty with the internet and inquiring as to their improving their service.

She said that she would try to have a meeting with us tomorrow afternoon when Lily returns. 

Had a regular youth fun hour about 4pm with the tablets and computer and board games.   Julio and Yareni had a bible study group in Invacion later this evening.  It was a new one starting up so not a large group, but this brings to 4 I think that they have going on every week.   Thank you Lord for these breakthroughs. 

25 Feb, Thursday – Was supposed to wake up at 430am and call Lily to make sure she got up to catch her bus in Lima today.  She facebooked me at 4:21am asking me a question though so no need to call her.  Guess we were both light sleepers not wanting her to miss her 5:30 bus.  I had asked her to go by the frieght office of the local bus shipper in Ica when she got here, before going to the Mission, to check on an organ/keyboard stand that Julio had ordered.  She called me later around 9:30 when she was pretty close by bus and I put her in touch with Julio to get the details.  

We had our tenth English class today and the topic was difficult since it dealt with percentages and fractions and a lot of the younger students didn’t know this subject very well.  Lily got back to the mission halfway through the class and was able to assist a little as well. 

I ended up teaching some math along with language and that is not how its supposed to be.  I guess we could dumb down some of the learning material to a lower age but as it is some of the older kids are breezing through it.  Anyway, we’ll keep moving forward.  If we run into another topic of unfamilarity I will stress “Not to worry”.  

Near the end of the lesson (which was really a half lesson today due to the difficulty of the subject matter), we left some time for us to practice for a second time a gospel song in both English and Spanish, “10,000 Reasons”.   The youth really love this part of the English class as they truly love to sing.  If we would have started this training earlier we might have entered into the harvest festival coming up this weekend!! Oh well, maybe next year. 

Afterwards, in an attempt to get the english lyrics I already printed joined with Yareni’s spanish lyrics, I discovered that there are two sets of spanish lyric out there.  One a bit more literal than they other.  So we are currently in debate on which to use, as Yareni has a favorite but the purpose is to also help them learn English.  I think I will let Julio decide!! 

After class, Lily gave me a mail package addressed to me that arrived in Lima.  FINALLY, the book that John Frisbee sent me to read along with our men’s study group in San Diego .. however it never arrived after he sent it in October.  We were in Lima twice, before going there a third time in November to return to the USA and still hadn’t arrived.  I assumed it was lost.  Not sure of the exact arrival day as recorded by the USPS somewhere but it finally showed up.  All I know is that it arrived after November and before late February.  Not very good for $20 in postage.  Big problem in getting mail down here. 

Lily did succeed in getting all the templates for the donation wall and the mission facing.  She also decided to bring down the microwave we had up in Lima for the mission so now we can have my cold coffee reheated!  All the comforts of home. Youth came by for an hour between 3 and 4. 

26 February, Friday – Today we had our 12th English class, the lesson was on telling time.  Found a great video on teaching language and using telling time, and the video synched well with the printed material exercises.  Again driving the point home that we need a ‘brighter’ projector fo daytime use.   On our bucket list. We also had a great session at the end of the English class practicing a Christian hymn (“10,000 Reasons”) with Yareni, in both English & Spanish.  

I took a nap after class to catch up a bit.  Sanchezes went to Ica to shop.  I finished up a re-installation of a ceiling fan on the second floor community room.  Lily has posted a laundry list of 11 projects in the office reminding me how far behind I am falling!! Tonight we had movie night and we put on Avatar again … we saved the last hour till tomorrow night since that movie is so long.  But they love it, lots of action. Apparently that movie is not for ALL ages, since Fabian decided to crawl up on my lap and go to sleep.  Love this guy … His cousin Jen and mission regular Romario posed for a picture. We will have a big crowd of kids tomorrow and Sunday.  Lily was thinking that ALL of them would be here on Saturday since the big harvest festival for the area (what all the dance training was for) will be held in San Juan Bautista on Sunday.

However that apparently is in the morning so it won’t interfer with our 4pm Sunday youth group.  I was worried that we would be having all 50 youth members to deal with on one day but it should be the normal 20 & 30 on two different days.  

27 Feb, Saturday – Another day, NO English classes!!!  We did have our regular weekly festival day with activities, study, fellowship, worship and recognition.   Today we say goodbye to a few out of towners.  A great family of three youths, twin boys and their older sister.  She was one of the volunteers and we send her away with her earned t-shirt from the Mission.  Her brothers were most studious in the festival activities as well as the english classes, so we gave them both a watch to tell time with.  They were very appreciative. Jen, who has been living with his cousins in the village all summer, will also be returning to his home in Ica soon.  He is definitely a ‘personality’, a great fast learner in English, and a regular at the mission.  We also gifted him with a watch.

After the youth ‘Fiesta’ meeting ended, Juli and Yareni had a brief volunteer meeting to go over plans for the weekend, what the ongoing Harvest Festival will do, if anything to Sunday plans, restarting of Oansa in March, etc. Seasonal planning for schools resuming and summer coming to an end.I did get a chance to rollout the template that Lily had done while she was in Lima, for our painting the signage on the front of the mission.  I do like the font I picked which is rather modern and youthful.  Hope it fits in and looks good.  Lily does not want to sandblast, just paint the lettering, in case she wants to change it again later.  The sign template cost about 90 soles ($28) so I guess we can do it again if she wants to change it in a few years. I noticed that she had the San Juan Bautista ‘2nd line’ cut separate so she can perhaps try it without that for awhile (even though Yareni, Julio and I all voted for it!   We’ll see .. 

Did a little walking around the village this afternoon, visiting some of the guys that were leaving us, also Carlos’s mother and took a picture of the front of their house (we are working with Abel about getting a quote for their walls internally.  They have all the utilities, hookups, but no papers.  This is such a problem down here.  Papers are so hard to come by but possession is 90% of the law.  Our own mission is clearly on property that has been in my wife’s family for nearly 90 years, however completing the ‘secession of heirs’ is such a tedious and long drawn out process even when all the parties agree and everything is done right.  Sad that the lawyers run this country and cause so many problems.

Later that evening we had our weekly church service, run by Julio.  We found out the next day that Cesar was tied up in Lima not able to get back in time.  But we had good attendance.   The youth kept hanging around waiting for the resumption of the movie night since we cut the film last night due to length and promised to continue on Saturday.After that, we called it a night!!

28 Feb, Sunday – We got up for an early service today at El Shaddai, 8am.  We usually let the Sanchez go early without us, our going into Ica for the 1030am instead.  Today we thought we would also get an early start, so that we can do some needed shopping.But also in the back of my head I’m thinking it would be nice to make the Harvest Festival that is going on in San Juan Bautista today, to see some local culture, perhaps the final dances that many of our youth are participating in, and more.  But that did not happen, at least as far as our attending.  

We got to church, got to talk to Pastor Martin and his wife Cotty and son Joshua, as well as Victor, Mariella, and many others.   We then went and did our needed shopping for a few items that we needed (mainly paint and some items for the roof antenna).  Had lunch at the mall, some MSG laden Chinese food … will try another fast food at the mall next time! We then caught a cab to the collectivo station, where Lily ran to the market to get eggs (didn’t want to carry them on the cab) and we got a shuttle back to the mission.

Once there, and after a little time and a needed nap, we had a birthday celebration for two of our ninos, Victor (11th) and Carlos (10th).  We found a few gifts left over from our Christmas purchase and gave them each one.  The Sanchez’s had purchased a birthday cake and we had Carlos with his two brothers and one cousin (Jen) present as well as Victor with one of his sister (a mission volunteer), and the four of us.  We had a nice little intimate birthday celebration.

Jen will be leaving us, at least during the week, since he will be returning to Ica to live with his dad as he returns to school.  We will probably still see him on every other weekend (I was just expressing to Lily that I did remember him from last October/November.  

Jen is such a high strong character, and being so much bigger than his cousins and most of the kids at the mission, although still just a twelve year old.  He is a born leader, and I have enjoyed my interactions with him, although a good number of them have been preceded with “No, Jen” Any way, we had a light Sunday, since the Harvest Festival apparently took it’s toll on the group, with all the heat, dancing, enjoying whatever goes on at the festival.  One of these years I’ll know.  But it is a big deal in February with all the farm workers, since ‘harvest’ is what they do.  So, no Mission festival group today, but a nice two family gathering for a birthday party.  It was pleasant.  And we welcome another day off !!  

29 February, Monday – Started the day with a new item in the office, posted prominently on the wall for Julio and myself to notice.  Projecto’s are growing.  Good thing that Victor is coming up to help today.  Also Abel, our contractor stopped  by to take a look at the garden plumbing alternative system Lily wants.  We spend a good percent of electricity running a pump for water from our underground cistern to our roof tanks.  Lily’s idea is why not be able to water the garden when the city is filling our cistern at the same time (like we used to do before building the roof tanks).  That way, at least for that portion of the watering , we would not be spending electric to pump up and down, as long as the garden is watered the same time the city is filling our cistern which is a floating hour every morning.   Anyway, more power to her.I have been working on the ceiling fans, which are taking more time than planned since they are made in China and all things made in China take more work to implement apparently!  (Long story)

Victor will pick up the project in the downstairs bathroom making a door and barier between the bathroom and the storage area.  He’s great with lumber and doors. Anyway, it was an overall lazy day.  The Sanchezes left for the day for Huacachina, a resrort oasis area in Ica for tourists. Had some fun with Jen who is still in town until tomorrow.  I asked him if he wanted a haircut and he said yes.  He shampooed first and then I did a number 7 on his top.  He wanted a number 2 on the sides and I let Lily do that .. I was a little leary.  Trusting kid but he got a free haircut.  Think we just found another service of the Mission. 

Victor came up to visit mostly today and will do some real work for us tomorrow.  He did spend some time near end of day going over OANSA planning with Julio as that program will resume in a few weeks.  I do recall sending the youth home a few times today as we were somewhat more lenient since Jen is leaving the village tomorrow.  I did give him my wristband “Yo Soy Segundo/I am Second” to help him to remember daily that we all serve the Lord first.  He’s a very high energy kid that I definitely want on the Lords side!  Tomorrow he will be at English class and then off to Ica in the afternoon.  We will still see him on weekends.  He’s become sort of a personality of the village!  

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