Today started as usual… team devotions (studying Philippians 2:3-8) and breakfast, followed by a truck ride up the mountain again. We began some construction and destruction work today. As Jim stated, “you know we’ve been here a long time when we see the concrete we put up starts coming down.” The first part of the steps leading up to the sanctuary need to be moved for our construction project this year which is to enclose their patio area to make it a warm meeting room and to build tables and benches. It took a lot of time and muscle to break apart those concrete steps… and lots of breaks. Working hard at this altitude is very difficult, and makes you tired so quickly. Once the steps were busted apart, the rebar cut off, and the rubble hauled away one gunny sack at a time (to fill in low spots in the road), we had to haul sand and rock up the hill and steps to make concrete. 4 wheelbarrows of each hauled by hand in gunny sacks 3 or 4 shovel fulls at a time.
Lunch was served by the women of Lote 3 and was a delicious soup followed by rice and a tasty broth with chicken. Many of the team were full after the soup, and were shocked to see 2 giant pots of rice and chicken being delivered to the table.
After lunch some of the team continued with the construction with making forms for the concrete to be poured into, and tying rebar. Sarah, Beth and Laura played Jenga with some of the women from the church… these women loved playing it. Mark, Brett and Jim had a discussion with some of the milk tank cooperative members/leaders about their current practices for cleaning the bulk tank and maintaining it. Todd and Sue went along to watch. Danielle, Paul, Melissa and Nikki played soccer with the children from the elementary school as they were all coming home from school, and played some volleyball with the local high school kids as they were let out from school a bit later.
At 3:30, Sarah began a class to teach anyone from the church how to make their own yogurt. There were 6 or 7 women who came and seemed very interested in learning. Sanitation was stresses, as well as not opening the cooler the yogurt was left to incubate in. During the yogurt class, soccer and volleyball were stilled played, and concrete was mixed and poured.
The weather was so beautiful today on top of the mountain. The sun was shining most of the day, and even with re-application of sunscreen, many team members have some pink cheeks and foreheads this evening. The clouds even cleared enough for the team to see the snow covered peaks of Mount Cayambe in the distance.
The return trip to Cayambe included a stop for icecream treats. Annother delicious Ecuadorian dinner was served to us tonight and included potato tortillas (kind of like a pan fried potato patty), cooked beets, sausages, and a fried egg on top of it all. This meal is called “llapangacho” (ya-pan-gaa-cho). After dinner team members did many activities to unwind… playing guitar and singing, planning construction for tomorrow, planning women’s day, playing Jenga, and lots of laughter. All members are falling into bed extremely tired tonight. Please continue to pray for good health and good weather so we can all continue the work God has started here.