All crews went into finalization mode today. The final touches needed to be put onto every home. We did touch-up painting, finishing painting any trim and all the doors, hinges were switched around, door locks were installed, etc. All teams returned to the compound for lunch to report that everything was done.
|Dave and Alejandra paint a door|
After lunch we attempted to deliver eight gift bags. First we waited for the students to be summoned. Next, we loaded the eight gift bags and started down the road with the students leading the way to their houses. As we questioned the children, some of them said they lived in the opposite direction. We were confused. After walking a block Marta called us back, and we went in a different direction to a lady’s house, only to discover she wasn’t one of the eight. So, we turned around and headed for the original boy’s house. We did actually find it. It was eye-opening to see the poverty he lives in. Then we tried to find another house in another direction. We were able to deliver three gift bags before having to return for Mass. We’ll try a different strategy tomorrow.
|Distributing gift bags|
Fr. Doug concelebrated an all-school Mass with Fr. Patricio, the priest in charge of all the schools for ACOES. It was fun hearing all the kids participating whole-heartedly in the singing. Our choir missioners sang “Always There” after Communion. They did a great job. Abby sang the responsorial and Janet played the guitar with both Abby and the choir missioners. Afterwards we excited the students at the school by presenting the principal and students with twenty soccer balls, headbands, bracelets, and gumballs. The soccer balls really were a hit!
|Presenting soccer balls to the school|
Tonight we began talking about final preparations. We have only one day remaining. We will distribute as many of the bunk beds as possible tomorrow. We’ll also try to do more gift bags. Shortly after lunch all missioners will travel to the individual homes we built to sign them over to the families. Fr. Doug will bless the houses; we’ll sign the necessary legal papers and turn over the keys. I have a feeling it will be an emotional day for everyone. We’re also celebrating our last missioner Mass at 7 tomorrow night. It’s almost over. Pray for our families with new homes – that it gives the children pride in who they are and what they have. So many people in poverty have negative viewpoints of themselves. I pray this will give all the families a boost up!
|Missioners singing "Always There" at Mass|
To the seventh graders: Those are all great questions, but I'm too tired to answer all of them tonight. Save them for me on Monday, and I'll try to answer all of them. If I can, I'll get a photo of the inside of Paola's house tomorrow after we've put in their newly built bunk bed.
|Grand Jefa Carolina uses a moto-taxi to check the various crews|
|Distributing pillow case dresses|