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2016 (Aug-Oct) 2nd Mission Trip (4 of 7) – Construction & Miraflores

1 September, Thursday – A new day, a new month and a new (4th) blog for this trip. From here on though, they should be about two week long blogs, since we are falling into the normal routine down here now.

This afternoon Kelly came by and Lily passed on some clothes that Yadira had brought down for her. Thank you Yadira. Unknown by me until after she returned, Lily also took two of Kelly’s brothers, Luis & Carlos, with her in to town (dentist visit for Kelly and Luciana) and bought both boys some new shoes (also thank you Yadira!).

Kelly brought her little cousin with her to the mission, who I have yet to get her name but who I think is such a sweet “highly photogenic” little girl.Before Lily left for the dental visit with Kelly and Luciana, she stayed to help out with the 2nd adult knitting meeting this week (4th counting the two for children). Another showing of 17 for this gathering!!

The new soccer ball, in the photo, we bought for the mission! 50 soles on sale? Seemed to me a bit high to be ‘on sale’ but that’s about $16 and it looks ‘professional’ .. hope it last far longer than the cheaper ones we have bought in the past.

As to the knitting session just ended, the ladies got creative on a few items. One Lily is now sporting, a knit cellphone neck hanger … keep it coming ladies! Thought I would also pull some numbers together on the attendance so far, hence the chart at the top of this blog.I will also keep the chart it current as the days of knitting progress.

End of the night, when Lily returned, we walked Luciana home and the three Rameriz’s as well. Good night.

2 September, Friday – Well, as reminded throughout the week, we are overdue for a ‘cine’ and the kids have been getting me committed to this Friday so as far as I know for today, THAT is on the agenda.

Abel and Edwin (his helper) are now waiting for the roof to dry at Maria’s house before they can take out the support ‘trees’ and get to work on electrical and plumbing and then pour the floor. This will take a week. With that week upon us, we are going to start clearing the area in the back of the Mission for building a new classroom with ‘eventual’ individual missionary dorms on the second floor. This new ground floor classroom will be of immense help during church services and when more than one room is needed.

So, today we start to prepare for this new building in the rear. We have another missionary joining us in November (Irma) and that is part of the incentive to get this project started. However, we may rough out the first floor only on this trip, and not get the 2nd floor done, and any finish work, for at least one more trip if not two (this time next year). But start we must. We will have a 5 x 11 meter large classroom downstairs (with bathroom and kitchen. And when done, 3 private bedrooms upstairs, one being a double for missionary families like the Sanchez’s, as well as a missionary kitchen and full bath to share. So, much work ahead.

First things first, and that’s the demolition. While Abel & Edwin work on dismantling the casita, a crew of 6 are tearing down the adobe wall that runs the property line from the rear of the mission to the rear of the property. The new building will stradle the property line and will replace much of the wall here, at least 11 meters.We will continue to build the wall back with brick, instead of adobe which is far safer. Note one photo above with a major section of adobe that came down while working on it. Thank goodness no worker was next to it when it was pushed over, but one can easily see how susceptible to damage by earthquake such construction is. At the end of the day, we did have Cine but due to some tech issues I am unable to play any blu-ray DVD’s and our current projector is starting to act rather persnickity …. might have to replace it in the near future.

3 September, Saturday – I have been sleeping in a 2nd floor bedroom away from my wife the last three nights since my coughing keeps me awake, let alone her. I believe this may be coming to an end, thank goodness, but it has affected a lot of the village. It’s still winter so, colds are more common than when it’s warmer.Since I am closer to the road in this bedroom, I heard the breadman this morning (5 or 530am?) quite early with his megahorn “pan de linia, pan de linia’ or something to that effect. Anyway, I remember Lily saying last night that we missed the breadman and we were down to our last two roles for breakfast so I hustled out to the street with my ‘un sole’ to buy the morning bread. Fearing that I missed him, I was reassured when I saw to my right another early ‘soul’ with his ‘un sole’ also waiting for the ‘bread man” … It struck me what a morning ritual this is, and how simple and comfortable life in this little village is.


Anyway, after a few hours more, the mission wakes up, and even the workers start to show up. Abel and Edwin bring Abel’s brother Charlie, who has a long history with the Mission construction. The adobe removal crew is ready to work as well, just waiting on their pickup truck crew who is carting away the adobe.

Today we should be getting footers dug and at least rebared in for columns that will become part of the long property line wall that will be constructed to replace the adobe being removed. My primary thought is that this is a lot of brick to put in if someday in the future we might buy the property next door.

Later in the morning, we had Romerio’s uncle who is visiting from Lima come by and ask to borrow our step ladder. No problem. I walked down to see where he lived, but apparently it was to help erect some red shade structures over the main road through El Carmen. He explained to me, and later to Lily who was more understanding of what he was saying, that he was celebrating his deceased mothers birthday who happens to have the same name as the patron saint that is being celebrated this week (there is a lot of saint commemoration that goes on down here, someone new every other week it seems .. and sadly, they like to use fireworks to do part of the ritual commemoration!)

He has a brother who is a missionary in Brazil and is Christian, not Catholic, that Lily has been corresponding a bit with on Facebook last year. Trouble was always that he would post in Portuguese and she would in Spanish so not sure if the connection was made .. or if we are still in touch. Anyway, Lily spent a good amount of time answering many of his curiousity questions regarding the Mission, our beliefs, how they differ from Catholicism, and more. It was a fruitful discussion hopefully. He was most appreciative of borrowing the ladder, for sure!

Returning to the workers out back, much was done. In moving the paver stones from under the casita, a few resident scorpion and lizards were moved out as well. Since work was now over, Charlie was picking Pakay beans and offered me one. I peeled one open and had him pose with both a closed and open bean for this picture. Very tasty, but they grow super large in the jungle area on the other side of the Andes. Anyway, for a humorous video on consumption of this bean by a few mission youth, click on the picture.

Our sub-contractor on the demolition for the adobe walls, apparently says he underestimated the work and needs more money asking for a raise of 40% approximately. He gave us a fixed price contract but apparently mis-estimated the truckloads when using such a small pickup truck and is overpaying the guy with the truck on a per load basis. Lily was not too happy with his plea and got all the workers to quit, since it was 1pm and on Saturday that’s the usual quitting time anyway. We will resume the work on Monday but I think we are done with this sub-contractor and will cut him off with a partial payment and finish it with someone else. Main thing is that we did NOT get to dig the footers and start the rebar this day … I was over-expecting considering this was Saturday and people only work a half-day. Moving on to tomorrow. Being that it’s Sunday, we will be getting an early call from our contractor to discuss the kitchen cabinetry work that is needed, before we go to church later in the morning.

Before Abel, Edwin and Charlie left they tinkered with our Fiat, did some battery swap to get it to start after sitting since last February. It needed gas and air in the tires, so they took it with Lily down south toward Ica to the nearest gas station about 10 kilometers away. All four of them in the little Fiat we own. I was worried that it would make it but apparently with the work we had done on it last trip, they did just fine.

While my wife and our three contractors were away, the OANSA staff started to show up and set up. We had a staff of about six with Victor and Muriella’s leadership. Games were played downstairs first and then broke up into typical 3 different age groups for different studies and interactions before resuming back together again for some comradery, a snack and a short movie.

During the early part of OANSA, Lily and the ‘guys’ returned and later we did a vehicle swap to get everything back where it was, trying not to disrupt the youth group while doing so. Abel will return in the morning briefly to discuss the kitchen prior to our going to church in Ica.

4 September, Sunday – Early morning breakfast with Abel, Edwin and a carpenter they brought over to give us an estimate on kitchen cabinets.I didn’t sleep well last night due to the partying going on (remember the red canopies?) for the alledged celebration of a ‘feast of the virgin’ or some other reason to get drunk and dance to latino dance music. I can very much appreciate the hard work that these people do and the need to let loose on their only night off. What I do have a problem with is using an alledged ‘feast of a virgin’ or any other church labeled holiday to do so. I just did a sermon on being a ‘pharisee’ and didn’t know how profound it would be 1!Anyway, love these people .. their traditions leave something to the appeal sometimes but such is life and why we are here.

We had tamales for breakfast which were great. After Abel and all left, Lily and I got ready to go to town to church. After which we had lunch in the city of Ica at the Mercado and did some shopping for hardware and grocery items, and then took a collectivo back to the mission well in time for the evening church service. 

Thank goodness that Victor will be here to run things.Kids stayed after services a bit for an hour of internet play .. While people were leaving our service, fireworks were going off and a brass band and parade were marching with a statue toward the Catholic church. Feast of the Virgin? I get confused as there are so many of these.

Anyway, after the fireworks excitement, we had one final game of Jenga before going to bed .. Not sure what Jean was thinking when his failing move was to attempt to pull the sole bottom peg out but we did get to bed after that….

5 September, Monday – New efforts to finish up the demolition and preparation out back got underway, this time with a real truck. It took three loads, and there is probably still enough for another load that we will work on after digging the footers and getting started. Lily will resolved the original quote we got for demo work who underbid on us, working out what expenses we will get charged by Abel for his crew today as well as 2 of the 3 dump truck loads. We will eat one load since that was for new materials from the casita floor demolition.

Had a great youth loom knitting session in the afternoon with 15 kids. Lily left me here with the two leaders and all the youth as she took Kelly and Luciana into town for their final cavity work at the dentist. She came back later and confirmed that their next visit will be their first Orthodontist visit where they get their braces. Progress!!

We have Palily, another laborer friend of ours who did some early work at the mission, start to put poles and clear the area directly behind the mission and next to the creek bed. We will turn that into a garden area, like many others have, as it is directly behind our property. We are doing this to avert someone else coming and setting up camp there as people continue to seem to make their home on any area of land they can put up straw or mud walls and claim, as long as it’s not already claimed … We will be able to turn it into a garden area hopefully that Antonio can see to.

Been spending a good many hours updating the Korg M3 keyboard, so it will have a lot more function and sounds when Julio and Yareni get back in a week or so. Hope they like it. 

Having internet website issues preventing me from putting up photos, hopefully temporarily. Looking into it. Heard from Jo Ann Hill this morning about their presentation at Branch Church on their trip down here. She says she videoed it for me as I had asked. Look forward to seeing and hearing her report. She loved the 2 minute video we made for her. Talking to Lily about the option of our staying a few weeks longer into November and overlapping with Tanto, Irma and Hank’s visit. Just a thought at this point.

6 September, Tuesday – Busy day today. A lot of earth got moved in the back, deep footers dug. We will need another dump truck tomorrow to take away a good deal of earth that was dug up, and some that was not taken away before.

I spent a lot of the day taking apart and reassembling the Korg M3 keyboard that we brought down on our last trip. It had a faulty touch panel and I had to bring a new one. The item was inexpensive but the time and effort to put it in was pretty extensive.Thank goodness for experts on Youtube! Now it works, but we need to put some more sounds in it. I have a collection of Hammond organ sound files but need to get a USB to put them on to insert. The USB I have is too large for this model to read. Next step. Hoping to get this done before Julio comes back.

We also brought down a sustain pedal on this trip and got the volume pedal (from last trip) working as well. Also have a new set of speakers for him to use as a dedicated amp for the organ. Right now they are running keyboard, guiitars and microphones all through the same speaker. Little by little.

End of the day we had our 2nd knitting group for the week, first one for the adults. Mary Lou displayed some of the cell phone knitted carriers that she whipped up in a few days, and gifted me the one with the more macho brown colors! love it … Good group. The attendees were at 13. We have noticed if we provide treats (Tea, cookies, etc) they come back the next week ..  (Regardless, we try to take care or at least keep busy the ninita’s that tag along with their moms. Here we find them buzy with the Jenga blockset we just brought down which is proving popular. ) Anyway, three teachers and 10 students, a good mix still. Let’s see how the trend goes.

7 September, Wednesday – Busy day today. Construction workers showed up ‘after’ their truck that was ordered did. It took out two additional dump truck loads of soil to make room for the construction. Most of what was removed was what was dug up to pour the new footers for the new building that is going up.

The regular worker crew (Abel, Edwin & Charlie) showed up about 30 minutes after and together with the two that came with the truck, started a shovel brigade that made me tired just watching them. After two truckloads, there is still going to be another truck load to cart out, but we will schedule that a little later, to make sure we get it all. In the mean time, Palilly continues to work at clearing and fencing in an area on the creek behind mission for gardening. If we don’t do it, someone else will move in and squat on that little portion of land.

Lily made a supply run, a short trip with Abel to get some immediate supplies although not sure why coming back with 10 bags of cement was important, although that is all his little truck could handle. Lily continued on her own to Ica for the big order of 150 bags of cement and a ton of rebar.

While all of this was going on, I spent most of the morning finalizing the Korg M3 update for Julio. I got the the touch panel in yesterday (if I remember right) but today it was updating the software from 1.1.1 to 2.0 and also testing some Hammond organ sounds I bought for it. I also set up a new speaker/woofer that we brought down so as to separate the musical instruments from the microphones a bit. Little by little, our ‘audio department’ is catching up.

Lily did some measurements of the new building in the back that we are putting up, mainly intended as a large classroom for the children to use, but also will get a lot of other use. It looks like it will make for a great church service room as well, as far as size goes. Will make sure that it is adequately wired for projection and sound for those needs as well. The big goal, but not likely we will get to it on this trip, is the second floor residency for long term missionaries. Perhaps we can finish that up early next year.

Youth showed up for their 2nd knitting/crocheting session for the week. Looks like an upturn with 19 students here and 3 teachers. Excellent. Hope we don’t burn out either students or teachers, and that the word of mouth continues to spread. Lily left early for Ica with Luciana and Kelly for their last dental visit before getting braces (I thought the last visit was last but whatever). Later she came back and we discovered there is one more major expense we need to come up with for the girls in the materials area, so looks like a couple of hundred dollars for the final fittings and then no more expenses. More than we figured this would cost but considering nall the donated supplies from the USA, and the volunteer time here by an interested Orthodontist, we are fine with it. It’s all for village, their health, their self-esteem, their future and hopefully it will contribute to their salvation somehow, knowing that it has been paid for and volunteered for by those that want to ‘give back’ to those that have so far less than the rest of us.

At the end of the day, we had a few nina’s doing some needed homework with google and the internet on the computer, and then when Luciana came back with Kelly, they too got online for something similar. It seems we are the homework center now to help and assist via internet access with childrens’ assigned homework. Much better use for the internet than playing games, that’s for sure!! End of another day.

8 September, Thursday – A new day .. just thought I would take a snapshot of the 150 bags of cement that haven’t been touched yet, since the guys are too busy cutting and tying and constructing columns fabricated from the 120 sticks of rebar today. Hopefully by end of the day we will have 10 fabricated columns and a thin concrete foundation for them to sit on.

Tomorrow hopefully we pour a lot of concrete, and Monday we start on the brick. Want to see a lot more progress before we run to Miraflores (Lima) for a few days on some chores next week. We have an initial supply of brick to get them started (much that was left over from the house project they are also working on but waiting for the ceiling to set before going back to finish). We will need quite a bit more brick, probably a purchase we will have to make prior to leaving for Miraflores later next week.

Just got a chance to see Jo Ann Hills video of her presentation of the Hearts & Hands trip to the mission. Thank you for the kind words Jo Ann, and prayers Pastor Wayne Kinde and Branch Church of San Diego.

We continue to go strong with the knitting and crocheting ministry here, with from 15-17 adults, 17-20 youths meeting four days per week at the mission. We pray as you do Wayne that most of all this will bridge one more person, perhaps many more, to know that Jesus loves them. The seed is planted, looking for the continual harvest. We look forward to the Sanchez’s return in a week and will engage them to work with the local knitting leaders, and look to the harvest.

Well 4pm came and two functions, youth choreography by OANSA for some dance number in October, and the womans Crocheting group, were scheduled for that time. So, when the OANSA leadership finally showed up (closer to 4:30pm) we put the youth on the 3rd floor, so they would not disturb the adults on the first floor. Worked well … except .. after an hour or so, the temperature started to drop and the third floor being open and elevated and a little windy, there were not a lot of jackets that were brought .. So, it will work next week as well, if they kids just bring jackets. It was interesting to watch.

I was running around taking pictures of the youth, the adults and the construction which was progressing in the back. A busy afternoon. The women crochet group bumped UP to 21 ladies this time, excellent. And the youth that showed up for the first corregraphy practice were 21, good showing.

The construction crew finished assembling all 10 columns and 10 bases for the columns out of rebar, and finished all excavation which was held up a bit by keeping an area for the truck to drive on but now it is all clear. Tomorrow we position the columns and lay some foundation, excellent. Also, hopefully we will get one more truck here to take out another load of dirt to clear the work area. I think we need to do that before we can take delivery of sand and gravel for making concrete.

9 September, Friday – Another day, at least of construction. No knitting or OANSA today … but a lot of construction progress to hopefully make. Today we position and place the columns and pour the footers, adding gravel and sand to the cement to make concrete as well as a lot of boulders to add strength (and cut down on the amount of concrete we need to mix). Big day today.

Lily gets to take the girls for their 2nd Orthodonics fitting today as well, where they get the actual wires and anchors to their back molars installed. This is the additional unexpected expense on materials item i mentioned that is costing the Mission another $200. After dropping them off about 1 or 130p, Lily needs to take a one hour bus to Pisco for a quick meeting and be back for the girls before 5 and then back to the mission.

So, Lily left with the girls and a few hours later one of them’s mother came to the door and said the dentist isn’t there and Lily’s in Pisco, basically now what? So, I tried to raise Lily but to no avail, she wasn’t answering her cell phone. So, I committed to take the collectivo downtown and retrieve the girls or at least find out what is going on. So, I got there and no doctor, so I attempted to bring the two of them home, but after about 4 blocks walk, one of them saw the other doctor who works in the office paying his cellphone bill and on his way to the office. So we waited and followed him back, and then our Ortho showed up. What an ordeal. The girls got their first wires!!! Hallelueah!! They need to return on Monday though at 6pm again, probably for some adjustments. Soon they will get on a month to month schedule which we hopefully can give up to the parents to manage. Since I made the drive, I of course stopped for ice cream on the way back before the collectivo return trip!! 

Got back to the mission, no Lily but Antonio (groundskeeper) was locked out, left his keys inside somewhere. I then checked on the guys in the back and they were wrapping up with all the foundation poured, will finish tomorrow and start framing for a cement beam on the footers before the bricks. Hope we can get all done to stay on schedule for bricking on Monday. Seems like it might slip till Tuesday. Busy day.

Luciana stayed at the mission a bit to communicate on facebook with some of her new friends (many in San Diego now with Yadera, Jo Ann and others). And a few kids came by for movie night … It was pressing 6:30pm and Lily hadn’t yet returned from Pisco, but what the heck .. so I broke out Frozen, a movie that I brought down on this trip and the kids (although fewer than 10 of them) really enjoyed it. Lily showed up while we were watching it, and we all had a few cracker cookies as well. Called it an evening. Tomorrow more construction and OANSA.

10 September, Saturday – New day … Construction all morning, finished up with the footers for the main new building. We received two new truckloads of combination gravel/sand and were going through the cement bags pretty liberally, going through 41 of the 150 new bags just today and yesterday. We also recieved two truckloads of boulders (see piles in photo on left, my carrying one on the right). These get added to the poured concrete for strength in the foundation.

Anyway, all 10 columns are up and cemented in to a foundation that is poured. I was surprised to hear that they will be back to work tomorrow, which is usually not the case on Sunday. Lily is concerned if they will get the balance of the property wall completed for security reasons before we leave for Miraflores Wednesday. A lot to do in 3 days. At the end of the short construction day (normal for Saturday) the guys and I did some pellet gun shooting at cans of water … I surprised them on my marksmanship (surprised myself).

At 4pm the OANSA team showed up without Victor since he was best man at a wedding. The team did great. They started with a short coreography training for the coming routine in October.

They they broke into their respective three groups on the two different floors for their age specific learning, and then resumed in the main room for a skit, treat and a short video. OANSA will return on Thursday for coreography only and Saturday for regular meeting. We will most likely miss the next two since we will be up at Miraflores end of next week, but back late Saturday I believe.

At the end of the day, I found one more picture that I have to share. Love these kids and we have some history in watching them grow up here at the Mission. Pictured are sister/brother Luciana and Jose (red and yellow shirts), two that we are helping with their kitchen / bathroom and Luciana’s Orthodonics. Also pictured with sister/brother Marianna and Romario, who we love very dearly as well. Romario is our ‘mission rat’ who never wants to go home, is always hiding under a table somewhere cause he loves the mission, who is picked on by many kids in the village due to his ADHD learning challenges, and his 10 year old sister Mariana who approached me about 4 years ago right out of school and after counting to ten in English, shrugged her shoulders like ‘is there more? Oh, and she is forever walking around the mission trying to hack the internet!

These four and oh so many more make up our ‘village’ of who we aim to show that living for Jesus is primary and all else is secondary. We hope to be a guide, a light, a hope for these families. Anyway, I love this picture.

11 September, Sunday – Got up and Lily had already met the bread man and got bread AND tamales, a Sunday bonus. She asked me to take a few pictures to send to Dan Dangel, our church ‘bread-man’ back in San Diego who is trying to get the economics of bread in Peru down to a science, teach us how to make bread and perhaps be able to communicate a useful skill. We get 8 rolls of “pan de linea” (which I think means wood fired bread) for one sole, about $.28 US. We also get a tamale for 2 soles. Put that with a cup of coffee and you get a heck of a breakfast for far less than a dollar, considering the eight rolls will go around to far more than 2 people, at least 3-4.

Went to Ica by collectivo and motor taxi this morning. We were under the impression that Abel and his crew were going to show up today so we thought about NOT going, also since we have service in the evening here at the mission. However, since we know we won’t be here next weekend (going to Lima) it was best that we did show. Great communion service, great worship, great fellowship as well. Captured one closing worship song (on video) with Pastor Martin leading which I thought exemplified this fine church well. I told Lily if we ever get Pastor Martin to San Diego, we should have him guest lecture (with translation) and have him lead our church band in this song. Love it.

We went to Maestro afterwards looking at security camera systems. They have one good model but the service or knowledge of it was a bit lacking by the staff and it kind of made Lily have second thoughts based on price. Thinking we may still just bring one down next trip or something. Just want to make sure that it has 4 cameras, 8 channels (future growth), HD, internet/phone support, hopefully PTZ support and at least 1TB of space. Those last two items seemed to be lacking in the models sold here, and when Lily found out the monitor was not included she definitely wanted to shop some more. No problem.

We headed to the mercado over by the collectivo stop and stocked up on a few items and then headed to the Mission. While at the mercado we also did some ‘flour research’ forDan (our California bread man, who does this as a hobby actually and has been training us to bake bread when we are there).

Got back to the Mission about 3pm, and Abel never showed up so good thing we didn’t wait all day for him. Have about 90 minutes before Victor shows up for service preparation. Doing a little blogging in that gap.Great service, some comradery afterwards with Tea and cookies. Some of the mission kids stayed to use the computer for some school projects. Silly picture of Mariana and Luciana.

12 September, Monday – Abel showed up with one worker and a tale of a broken down truck that is getting repaired. Wondering where his other workers are though? Apparently Charlie is working another job, and Edwin is with the truck .. so looks like it’s going to be a long day if they expect to fabricate columns, dig footers and pour and assemble the entire back wall base today.

Anyway, getting underway for more digging for the property line brick wall to be continued along with the building of the north wall of the new structure. Once the property is secured, then we can resume with the regular part of the building as well as the work they need to complete on Luciana’s kitchen and bath that should be about dry now for taking out the ‘support trees’ and get to work on the floor, electrical and plumbing. Much to do this week, as well as a planed trip to Lima at mid week.

Abel and his one new worker got to fabricating 6 additional columns for the property border wall. By the time that Edwin showed up with the truck (in time for a lunch break) they then had 3 to start doing the needed digging. Later Lecha, our handy collectivo driver, pitched in on the actual concrete work so they had an adequate group of four. I pitched in as well throwing in boulders to the hole, I’m getting good at that! And much later as the day progressed I brought out the flashlight as they were working in pretty dark quarters.

Before I forget, we had 16 kids this afternoon for knitting and crocheting and a milestone was met in that only one of them was on the loom, all the rest moving on to learning crocheting with needles … hmmm … progress? Mary Lou has been a fantastic leader here, more than just an addition to Deysi who has also taken the leadership of this group to great extents. We are getting ready to drop the four days per week down to two, mainly for the sanity of these two primary instructors and not from any wishes of the students.

13 September, Tuesday – Bright and early and construction continues. We seemed to be running light on personnel though working as Abel and Edwin were making lumber runs from other job site. We will be getting into framing and forming a good deal, so a lot of lumber is used for that. Lily with her shade umbrella has a mini meeting with the crew in the early afternoon to go over progress from yesterday and plans for today, and when to take a supply order & delivery, etc. A lot to do today.

Later in the day, the last crocheting/knitting session of the week went on. We just changed the schedule from four sessions per week, to two. This was primarily due to the amount of scheduling demands that 4 sessions was putting on the primary two instructions (Deysi & Mary Lou), but also since we are running out of yarn, this was needed at least until we resupply. I can tell you that the kids are going to be disappointed tomorrow when they find out!!

Picture on the left shows Mary Lou with many of her latest sample creations. The cell phone caddy is quite popular, and she is wearing the ‘grande model’ that she made for my phone with external battery. Thank you Mary Lou!! Actually she gave me two, the brown one when I don’t have the large exterior battery on my phone! So grateful.

14 September, Wednesday – Well, we had a regular morning of greeting the workers and seeing a lot of brick work get done today on the new border wall. At the same time, we only had 1,000 brick (approximately) and it probably wouldn’t take long for the guys to go through that, and we definitely needed a lot more.

In light of us running off to Lima in the morning for 3 nights, we needed to make a supply run. So Lily ran off to Ica to place an order and come back with it. Before she got back with it, I had the honor of disappointing a lot of children at the gate about 3:45p or so, telling them that there is NO crochet/knitting today, since we have dropped back to two days a week, one each for youth and adult. I swear that must have been nearly 20 kids who were ready for crochet time!! Oh well, have to reserve the teachers and have the supplies .. but still a great thing. At some point we had to adjust the schedule down from four days a week anyway, so no better time to do so.

While all this craziness on the truck unloading in the back was going non, Deysi & Mary Lou came over to joint-cook some ‘papa rellena’s’!! While they were cooking, we were unloading. But when we were done unloading, what a treat. We had this treat while our San Diego missions ladies were here and they could not get enough of them. A street vendor at the time was selling them for 1sole each and we kept going back for more and more. Found a good video on youtube on these, simple recipe .. Try it, you’ll love it!!

15 September, Thursday – Got an early bus from Ica to Lima. Watched one stupid movie (Egypt’s God’s & Men?) that I am so glad I never paid for … and then Reverant? about when Leo Decapra getting mauled by a bear? Great scenic shots .. but bus ride came to an end before I could watch the final ‘revenge’ piece .. will have to schedule that 30 minutes for the ride home on Sunday!Anyway, we got to Miraflores Apartment, and are expecting to receive back Julio and Yareni and Ceci today, when they land about 3:45pm. They will spend one night with us in Miraflores, and then continue their transportation to the Mission tomorrow. We will rejoin them on Sunday down there as well.

The Sanchez’s arrived and we had a great reunion. Much to discuss, and we did. We had soup together, They went to try to convert some currency at a local ATM but will have to do it again tomorrow. They are leaving in the morning to catch a 10am or so bus to Ica. We just got reunited with them and now we won’t see them again until Sunday when we return to the mission. Anyway, we are elated that they are back! And I know the whole village of El Carmen will be as well.

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