Day Five – No Grumbling allowed

A very stuck truck

This morning, Kasey gave a devotional that included the fact of being a shining star for God, and that we shouldn’t grumble in our circumstances.  Later today, the call to not grumble became difficult!
In the morning, people began different tasks around Lote Tres.  Keith, Jerry, and Tony began sawing wood to construct a toolbox.  Next, they cut ropes into shorter lengths, which were later used as jump ropes by the children.

The rest of the group focused on moving concrete bags and preparing to mix the concrete for the bathroom floor.  With the pipes in place, we filled in trenches dug by the group a few days ago.  Jim, Kasey, Sue, and Phillip began to mix the mortar for the concrete, while other group members collected rocks to be used as the base under the concrete.  Once the mortar was mixed, Matt and Richard hauled several wheelbarrows full of gravel, which was put into the concrete mix.

After lunch, a group departed for the school.  Sue continued working with the teachers on their math program, while Keith, Phillip, Nikki, and Terry played with the kids.  The kids enjoyed their new jump ropes.  They wanted Kasey to count the times they had jumped, which went well until they started getting into higher numbers like 70!  Terry and Nikki had a good time drawing pictures on the playground with the chalk, outlining the children on the ground.  Later, a soccer game started, with children of all ages chasing after the ball.

Back at the church, the work continued.  Tony sanded rust off of beams in the church, in preparation for painting them.  Down at the bathroom, Mario and Mark began mixing the concrete with water.  When it was the correct consistency, Matt and Richard shoveled the concrete into buckets while Mark carried them to into the bathroom to be made into the floor.

Painting of the beams went well, with Jim and Tony handling most of it easily.  But getting the areas close to the ceiling proved to be a little challenging.  With ladders made of logs and a couple rungs hammered in between them, Nikki, Kasey, and Richard slowly ascended them with care to reach the highest points with a paintbrush.

800 blocks to unload!

After a long day, the group was pretty tired, with soreness beginning to set in.  But that is just when the real work began.  A truck filled with 800 cinder blocks arrived at Lote Tres, and was the first vehicle to use the town’s newly-finished road.  A line of people formed, passing down the blocks and stacking them into a neat pile.

We then waited for the sand truck to arrive, being promised it was “just around the corner” by the cinder block driver.  A while later, the truck rolled around the corner and began ascending the hill.
Then it stopped, hitting a soft spot in the newly-formed road.  The dump truck reversed, rolled down the hill, and then began to head back up the hill.  Hitting the soft spot again this time, the wheels began to spin in the soft earth.  Digging its left side lower and lower into the road, the left rear tire was in a trench almost to the axle.

Members from our group and the community descended onto the truck, assessing the situation.  People began digging out the tired, hoping the precariously leaning truck wouldn’t tip under the weight of its load.
Kasey’s discussion on not grumbling laid on our minds as we tried to make the best of the situation.
Waiting and working for a long time, the truck was eventually able to move.  More digging proceeded, and eventually the truck pulled out of the trap that had it for the past several hours.  The weary group cheered, and boarded our bus to go back down the mountain to Cayambe.  And for the first time in our mission trip’s history, the bus had to return down the mountain in darkness, slowly driving through the twisting turns and steep curves in the shadows of night.

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