French toast tasted good at breakfast this morning. Afterwards we took our group photo on the steps outside our building.
Then we had to figure out who was going where and what projects we could do with the personnel and equipment available. Our orange paint disappeared from the hallway. Later we discovered the principal had given it away to the gate guard. So we had to improvise on that. With Bruce and Alex leaving, Pat needed to know what had to be done on the upper house. They made a trip up to discuss that.
Dave’s group started working on the three picnic tables because the paint for the school building walls did not show up this morning. A couple students went with Pat and Randy to the lower house. There they worked on installing the wiring, door jambs, and glass window. We are happy to report that it was finished at 5 this afternoon and the lights were on when we left the lower house.
The building paint showed up at noon. After lunch the paint crew went to work on the school wall. Unfortunately, someone told them to paint blue on the top part of the wall. After a section was painted, the principal informed them that the top was supposed to be white and the bottom blue. The crew switched gears and painted the bottom blue.
Students were pulled off their other crews to help build the picnic tables. The final nail was pounded into place at 6, just in time for supper.
We also rotated students to deliver gift bags. I cannot express with words the poverty we witnessed as we delivered the gift bags. One family deeply affected me. There were three children and a mother who lived in a shack about the size of a decent bathroom. The house had a dirt floor with one or two very small twin beds covered with all kinds of rags and other items. There were no windows, and the walls were patchworked with posters and plastic to cover the holes. A small table which butted up to the bed had some small cherry tomatoes and some other small food item. A small metal bin hung from the ceiling with a few tiny items. The mother had left the three children, ages 11, 8, and 6 alone for the week while she went to be with her sister whose husband had been killed in an accident, according to the neighbor. I have no idea how the children were able to find any food. Fortunately, they are all students and receive a small meal at the school. It was truly a shock for the whole group to see. A photo below shows the group with the children on the side of the home.
We’re all starting to feel a sense of accomplishment. The picnic tables are done. We’ve totally finished one home. The sand and rocks have been carried down the mountainside for the chicken coop project. One full building is completely painted and another will be completed tomorrow. Six gift bags were delivered by six student missioners. The second through fourth graders have had multiple English lessons. We shopped for our souvenirs after Mass in a church from the sixteenth century and visited a beautiful oasis in Santa Lucia. We helped children at a feeding center. We’ve enjoyed immensely interacting with both the school children at Santa Teresa’s and at the feeding center. Obviously, much has been accomplished by this year’s team.
I’d like to sign off tonight with a quote by Dan O’Brien. If you need any explanation, you’ll have to ask him. “There is no mission without i.”
Missioner blogs follow:
Kennedy Rolfes: Hey Mo! I am having a blast down here and can’t wait to tell you all about it! Of course, I did break the bank shopping. ;) It’s in my nature!! Missing you like crazy and the countdown is on! Love you to the moon and back!
|delivering gift bags|
|audience for drilling|