Day 4: The Gumbi Journal

“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5.

As you can see we have given our journal a name. If it makes no sense to you, think “flex” “flex” “flex.” Today we all had to “gumbi” a lot.

*We didn’t really know what we were going to do on the job site as we left Cayambe.

*Half of the team stayed at Lote Tres and the other half repaired the road to Quarto Lote so the bus could proceed to their work site.

*Nine were at Quarto Lote. The school director requested on arrival that we play with the children. Most of the staff appeared to be away and the children were in classrooms working independently – or doing the same things American students would be doing unattended on a ‘special’ day. But those nine also were asked to bring down many cement blocks (about 500 blocks) from one site and stack them next to the school yard (moving them about 100 yards).

*Sue and Joan (our Ecuadorian leader) taught an English lesson at the school. We taught the students “Five Little Monkeys Jumping On a Bed” so we could continue practicing when we gave the children the jump ropes that we brought them. A few children were very eager to learn some English, while many others were very shy. The class was dismissed for a very long recess so they could play with us. Some of the children were very concerned about Sue’s leg brace and asked question after question. It’s so hard to explain in Spanish. They finally asked if she would take it off and show them her leg.. J They loved writing their names in her notebook and laughed when she tried to pronounce them. Leah, Britta, Cady and Amy taught them some Christian songs in Spanish. It was a great day.

*Six people stayed at Lote Tres. Those at Lote Tres began by hauling 29 rebar rods up to the building site (about ¼ mile). (The church has a very small building, and so they are constructing a second building. The current church is about 12x12, has dirt floors, and no electricity. The new building will be almost three times as big, have electricity, and house a two shoveled dirt for fill, and two took the fill and laid it in the foundation area. Several local men were there, and they were working on raising the roof.

*The staff prepared lunch for us (we had packed sandwiches), which we debated graciously turning down. Thankfully we stayed because they had prepared for us the lobster of Ecuadorian cuisine. Cui! Cui is guinea pig! We were all seated on benches crowded around two long desks and brought a heaping bowl of boiled potatoes (each), cui, large slices of cheese and an onion gravy. There was a bit of discussion about the cui, to be sure, but everyone ate some and did their best to finish it right to the bones. In general, we all thought it was delicious.

*Because the local maestro for the project didn’t arrive at Quarto Lote, we all headed for Lote Tres. The bus was buried in mud a short way from the school. More digging! Men from the school area showed up with boards. The gringos piled into the very back of the bus, and we all prayed. Fernando, our bus driver, backed up the steep road to the main road (Ole!) while the shovelers walked up the hill.

*When we arrived at Tres Lote we were informed that the only road back to Cayambe was blocked and was impassable. We trekked back up to the lot and worked more with the men, working on preparing the forms for pouring cement, cutting more rebar, and bending the cut pieces into rectangles. The rebar will be used for reinforcement for the support beams. At 4:00 we packed up for the day. We started heading back for the evening. But a few miles down the road we came to the impassible part of the road. This is where we were really thanking God that Mark Kimball thought to bring long-handled shovels, because six of our team got off the bus and began shoveling with our bus driver, Fernando. Soon we had the roadway cleared and we were back on our way. OH, did I mention that it was raining and that the dirt roads were more like mud?

*Fernando returned us safely to the hotel around 6:00 p.m. We all got showered and changed and went for dinner. We then returned to the hotel for some much needed rest!

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