Today was a very difficult day but our entire team pulled themselves up by their boot straps and came through it with amazing resilience!
Because last night was so late we changed the schedule a bit for the morning… We moved devotions to this evening and let everyone sleep in an extra 30 minutes. After breakfast we loaded up the trucks and headed to school. The children and teachers there honored us and thanked us for the time we have spent playing at the school this week. They presented each of us with a nice little purse.
Most of the team headed to Lote Tres after this but 6 members (all of which were parents or grandparents) stayed back to meet with parents of the children in the school. The school psychologist wanted to facilitate a meeting between American parents and Ecuadorian parents to talk about healthy ways to discipline children. We were informed ahead of time that there is a lot of violence in the family units and the school would like to see it stop.
The first wrench was thrown into our plans… The psychologist was needed at another school so we had to facilitate the meeting ourselves. It was a good talk, but very one sided as they are such shy people and did not ask any questions. The group rejoined the team after the discussion and jumped in with projects. Work was done on the milk house (more of the roof went up today), cleaning of the church (lots of dust had formed from cutting tiles), grouting and cleaning of the newly tiled stage happened, lunch was cooked, and Jo sat with the women and taught them how to knit in a new way (Wrench #2- so many women wanted to knit that they often left Joni alone in the kitchen to work on lunch preparations.)
We had soup for lunch and then jumped into preparation mode for the afternoon. (Wrench # 3- we had scheduled a special event for men, a special event for women and VBS for the children all at the same time…. And everyone needed spaces for these activities!) With some planning at breakfast on the morning this worked well, and once again the rain held off so lots of VBS could be held outside!
We had 29 women attend this event. Sue led them in a wonderful devotion (Wrench #4- she accidentally left her notes back at the hostel and did it from memory-it was great). They did a craft project, we served them nice warm tea, talked to them about the Days for Girls kits they received and why it is so important to talk to younger girls about the changes they will go through, filled out their prayer partner cards and took photos of each one. It was a packed 2 hours and we worked right up until the trucks came to pick us up.
There were about a dozen men who came today. Our men had a discussion about the importance of being Godly men in their homes, proper discipline and…. I’m not sure what else as I’m not a man and did not attend. The men from our team also taught thes Ecuadorian men how to make rice krispie bars and then had them serve them to the women at the women’s day meeting. (Wrench #5- we had seen multiple pots in the kitchen earlier in the day we were planning on using to make the rice krispie bars in but they belonged to the women who had don’t the cooking and went home with them after lunch) It was pretty special to see the smiles on their faces as they served a treat to the women. This was a big deal as the men never do anything in the kitchen in Lote Tres.
Today went very well! Neil, Sarah and the youth have gotten the hang of how to control the children of Lote Tres and had a great day playing games, don’t an art project, seeing a Bible Story on a video and watching a puppet show. (Wrench #6- there was only one script for 3 players, and Jim was busy with men’s day so one of our interpreters had to step into the part.)
Andrew could not be pulled away from the construction of the milk house roof and stayed up there through all the activities of the afternoon working with the 2 hired men (maiestros) getting the roof secured.
At 4 we all quickly packed up our belongings and supplies and headed back down the mountain in the rain. We were very excited to have some down time before dinner. We were served some of the most amazing fried chicken tonight for dinner and did our devotions as a team after dinner. The team spent some time preparing for tomorrow’s activities and then were able to relax. There were groups of people who hung out and talked, some spent time on the roof top patio, some played games and others headed to bed.
As we talked after dinner we all realized how great the day was even with the numerous wrenches that were thrown our way. The entire team was very flexible and just figured things out. There are 19 very tired but satisfied team members from First Cov snugly tucked into their beds tonight at Los Olivos. They will all rest well and wake up ready to go again tomorrow!