Nov 16, 2003
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras
Last week was a good week. This week was otherwise -- but not without encouraging events as well. Basically, it was a week when expectations refused to be met and my Rodeo went from poor to worse. The majority of the week was spent working with Freddie and Shelley to put the roof on the warehouse. However, due to the screwy design for the back wall (which is simply the retaining wall that followed the shape of the cliff), we ended up cutting so many pieces that my 2 extra pieces of roof left us 4 pieces short -- still waiting for those 4 pieces to come from San Pedro Sula. On top of that, the electrical tubing that was run by Miguel mosting didn't work and then the few wires that he put in were wrong -- we spent 2 days fixing what I thought we could finish off in one hour on Monday afternoon... I have prayed for forgiveness for my attitude towards Miguel for the first half of the week.
Meanwhile, we had an army of youth working on the basketball court -- slowly finishing the leveling, spreading gravel and then tying the rebar (when not goofing off or "resting"). We were hoping to start pouring concrete Saturday morning, but were still not finished with the rebar by Saturday night. Fortunately, the fact that the road had closed due to construction and our gravel and cement couldn't enter the neighborhood was not a factor -- yet. My rush to get the court going was that our donor from UNICEF, Dr. Escoto, and his boss were coming to our center next Monday with the mayor of Santa Rosa and I wanted to have something to show them for their donation. Apparently God and I didn't see eye to eye on this desire and I lost (as usual).
Tuesday I spent all morning at a board meeting for a School of Arts and Trades. Not sure why I was invited on that board, but it carries the opportunity to develop contacts with other organizations that can help us out in the long run. I then wasted time Wednesday morning in another meeting with Camo and another board members over a concern of CAMO's regarding some beautiful construction shop equipment they were donating. (Would have loved to have that equipment in our shop). Thursday involved further delays as I took kids up to the far side of town for photo sessions with the equipment so that CAMO can show the donors where the equipment is going and who will be learning on it. While the time wasted on this drove me nuts, I had to keep in mind that CAMO had very graciously let us use their welder when we were first putting the roof on our center last year.
To add frustration to a week when I was trying to get two reports done (and never did until Friday night / early Saturday morning) and wasn't able to get to them because I was always out teaching basic roofing and rebar (to people who in a few years will likely know much more than me about these parts of construction), the latch on the Rodeo broke. Never seen that before in my life. I couldn't shut the door to the Rodeo, because the latch had broken off the door itself and was dangling inside the door. Insult to injury -- the majority of the electric windows quit working due to the cold and rain (old motors). I spent much of Friday cutting steel from a piece of 2x6 channel and then forming it to attach to my door to anchor the latch. Of course, when I go to mount it, I find that one of our workers had made off with the drill bits I needed to use. I drove out to a hardware store hanging onto my swinging door, driving over a field of mud to escape the neighborhood (due to closed road).
I took some youth with me to pick up more rebar since I had miscalculated the volume of rebar and had them space them too close together. Found the drill bits I needed and had the youth sitting in the back of the Rodeo dragging 30 foot pieces of rebar out the back to return to the center. The hardware store was to deliver the rest -- and they did about 3 days later. Anyways, I returned to find volunteers waiting for me to go to a meeting in another neighborhood - Los Angelese. There we met with some of the neighborhood parents regarding helping them set up some programs at least one day a week. We were late and they were even later. However, the meeting went well and we have December 5 scheduled to go help them paint their unused community center and stucco the front outside wall.
Saturday was not much better, but at least the door to my truck was working. We couldn't finish the rebar because the store didn't deliver it. We did however re-commence sewing class with a good turnout of neighbors with someone who seems to know what they are doing as an instructor. We played games for the afternoon, for the most part, and I worked on a report for the city. After I returned from church that night, the kids came over for a movie.
Sunday was better. I got up at 6:30am (quite a stupid hour for Sunday) to take 10 kids with me at 7:00am to Lepaera to play a football game. While still fighting our way out of our neighborhood, a Peace Corps volunteer from Lepaera called me to tell me their team wouldn't be there today. To avoid a mutiny from 10 kids who had worked all day the previous Saturday for the right to take this field trip, we went anyways. And we had a ball. We happened on to a concert at the big Catholic church there, we checked out the site of the future La Roca Lepaera (really cool) and then sat down on the street corner to chow on corn on the cob. On the way back, we spent about 15 minutes talking about the Good Samaritan and Jesus' ideas of the 2 most important commands. It was a good time. I followed that with 10 hours of work editting a video on my computer (which kept crashing due to the size of the files) to show to UNICEF.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for further information.
Praise: the opportunity in Los Angeles to expand our programs without extra costs
Praise: the contacts on the Board of the School of Arts & Trades
Praise: the really good time we had in Lepaera on Sunday
Better mechanical health for (or better yet, the sale of) my Isuzu Rodeo. Also a praise for all the times I accidentally learned while watching my dad build gadgets to fix broken things at home.
Christian volunteers to help us achieve our ultimate goal of helping to make Christ real to people we're helping.