We learned something through an experience of adversity today — a discovery that we had goofed and were going to have to re-do some of our work from Day 2. Like yesterday, we began with breakfast at Agape at 6 AM and then drove to the village to start early before the heat of the day. First task — put up the pre-assembled end wall. This has truly become a team/community effort with villagers pitching in to help with all aspects of the building construction.
It was expected that we could then move to the next step…installation of overhead “purlins” tying the beam frames together, and the application of siding. Cam Hawing works with villagers to erect scaffolding platforms to speed the work.
Then came the grim discovery….all three of the central building frames put up on Tuesday were incorrectly assembled. The cross beams on each frame had been accidentally swapped and were upside down.
After team discussion, the decision was made to set up two tier scaffolding directly underneath each beam, disassemble them one by one, swap the pieces and reassemble. The work set back our progress, but did speed the installation of purlins once the changes had been made. Both team and villagers handled the process in good spirits and great teamwork.
We continued to do battle with the heat and humidity. Temperatures today were near 90 coupled with the intensity of the tropical sun. We had bought 30 liters of water and another 30 bottles of Gatorade to make sure we had enough liquids, and were able to plug in fans and install a tarp for shade so workers could escape the worst of the heat. Our good luck held. A threatening thunderstorm missed us, and blocked the late afternoon sun, bringing welcoming cooling. John Saguto got cool in front of the fan near lunchtime as he removed the legs of his pants in favor of shorts.
Lisa White has become a favorite of the children in the nearby school. This afternoon, Lisa, Leslie and Kitty dug out the jump ropes we had brought with us and suddenly the village was alive with jumping children. Before long, other team members and the school’s teacher were leaping — to the delight of the kids.
More than anything, it is the children who remind us constantly of why we have come to Buenos Aires in hopes that the new school building will be a center of education and community that offers opportunities for the future.
Tomorrow…plans are to finish the roof installation and with luck, begin installation of the siding, before cutting in spaces for the installation of doors and windows. Team spirits continue strong, and our nightly discussions over dinner allow us to share our feelings emotionally, physically and spiritually. Again, our thanks for the support of the church and the community. Know that your contributions have made this possible…not for us, but for those in real need.