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Report on Trip to Pueblo Nuevo, Peru 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013. As expected we arrived in Lima, Peru near midnight and were picked up after immigration and customs to be taken to a hotel for the remaining nights rest. After a continental breakfast we took a walk through the city streets and parks near our hotel, then ate at one of the many KFC’s across the street, knowing they would have acceptable food, before departing for the airport and the final flight to Chiclayo in the evening. Tom and Carol Clark as well as Alberto met us at the airport for our final ride to Strong Tower Christian School. After a short time to settle in, we had supper and renewed friendships with Alberto and Rosa and the several children they care for. The internet was not available, so this will be combined with another report.

Saturday. The internet remains unreachable, even when checked by the locals, so there seems to be a problem on the city side. We started in a scheduled manner with team devotions and breakfast, then proceeded to start the organizing process. There were questions about the local methods of construction, so we looked at some of the cement slabs that had been put in locally. Sue proceeded to measure windows for the making of curtains and determining what material was needed. A truck load of sand arrived, so that needed to be spread over the area where the cement is to be poured to provide a level and solid base for the cement. This is just a matter of using shovels and wheel barrows to move it and rakes to level out. A mission group came by to look at the school and offered to help for a short while, so the enthusiasm of youth got much of the load moved in a short amount of time. More directions for the project were acquired and much more sand was moved from a far location and another load was delivered. The evening was spent evaluating the work and resting from a hot day in the sun.

Sunday. We are now at Sunday and have a different day in store. Since there were no plans for the morning we moved the team devotions after breakfast so there was no limit on an ending time. When we finished discussing the Word of God we wanted to walk to the local market. Sunday is the big day for the market when not only the market is full of people, but the several of the streets around the market are full of venders that come to set up for the day. There are many things offered, but the sights and smells are like most markets found in countries outside the United States. To return on time for lunch and also for the experience we had a mototaxi bring us back to the school. After lunch we had time for a siesta before the Breaking of Bread at 3:00. Really nice to meet with believers around the Lord Jesus Christ at the table He has asked us to come to. Though several were gone there was still about 50 people of all ages stopping to remember the work He has done on the cross for our sins. After a break to greet each other and rearrange the chairs, they had what we would know as the Family Bible Hour where the children and adults sing together and have quizzes of Bible knowledge, then the children went to Sunday School classes and Fred preached to the adults by translation in 1 Samuel about the examples in Samuel’s life, Elkanah, Eli and Hannah. After giving final greetings to everyone available we went to supper and an evening of conversation. The internet appears to still be down, so there was not that distraction, but also no communication possible with others.

Monday. Forgot to mention that Blue arrived from Prince Edward Island (PEI) on Saturday and tried to catch up on sleep during the young people’s meeting just outside his room. Difficult in any situation as the music is very loud. Monday started as normal with devotions, breakfast and getting to the work of laying more base for the concrete court we are preparing to lay. I might describe the weather of each day as it seems to be consistent. It is rather nice in the morning, maybe getting down to the 70’s. About mid morning it starts getting quite hot as any cloud cover has left and the sun is very hot with little breeze. By lunch time we have gone through a lot of water and are very tired from the exertion, giving one an appreciation for the famous siesta.

Sue left after lunch with Kim DeJager to purchase material for curtains to cover the windows in the classrooms. It is an all afternoon project with quite a bit of excitement including almost having their mototaxi being T-boned 3 blocks from the school, riding for a half hour in a car taxi with 6 people in a 5 passenger car not knowing if the noise the car was making was terminal, and keeping her lunch walking through the market to the fabric venders.

About 3:00 we start again into the concrete work with a nice breeze picking up and some cloud cover, so working conditions are much more manageable. By evening we had the foundation of gravel and sand distributed and were ready to do a more precise leveling of the area. After supper, as darkness closed in we were able to use a laser level to more precisely get the humps and dips out of what we had laid earlier and packed in place. Needing to do the work with the laser while it was dark we continued until 10:00, having put in a full day.

Sue and Kim met Kim’s husband at the grocery store (quite nice), and went to the airport to get a couple more men from PEI. They had been told they didn’t need to retrieve their luggage and re-check it in Lima so it did not arrive with them. It took 2 hours to find out whether it had left the country again or just what had happened to it since no one had claimed it when it arrived in Lima. They went out for supper at a ‘safe’ restaurant and had more excitement on the return to Strong Tower as they locked all the wheels on the van to prevent hitting a taxi that was stopping to look at a mototaxi that had been knocked off the road by someone because it couldn’t be seen with out any lights. She felt like she had had a long day too.

Tuesday. Having agreed the progress was slower than what would get the project completed on time, we started work at 7:00 so we could have more time and also work in the cooler part of the day. By the noon break we had gotten the necessary forms in place and one section of 18 poured. In the afternoon we completed the forming and poured another section, debating whether to do a third, but it was prayer meeting night and we did not want to be late or miss that. As the section work was drawing to a close the message came that one of the men who had traveled with us, Art Burnham, had fallen through a roof. After determination of few visible injuries, he was driven to a clinic in Chiclayo for a thorough examination. Let me make a comment on medical treatment in another country. To sum up, it is fast and efficient. Without insurance each step is paid for and immediate care is given. We were signed in, consulted with a doctor, had X-rays, saw the results and received the final consultation in about 1 1/2 hours. Our Canadian friends that have socialized medicine are especially impressed as a similar process could take 5-6 hours. Most of you have likely heard of this accident by now, but the result is that Art has a bruised shoulder and a broken pelvis that must wait to heal with limited walking. Sue had spent the day working on the curtains. The team was able to go to prayer meeting as only one went with the missionaries and Art to the clinic. Since the speaker and translator was going to the clinic, one of the local brothers spoke. The day was long and morning was coming soon.

Wednesday. To make better use of the day the activities started at 6:00. Forms were readied for new sections, with one poured before breakfast and one after, taking us to about noon. I might note that pouring cement is a tedious process as well as heavy. One of the young men, Darek, with help, loads the gasoline powered mixer with five 5-gallon pails of gravel, five 5-gallon pails of sand, and a 90 pound sack of cement plus enough water, which is a couple more 5 gallon pails. This is poured into three wheelbarrows and delivered to the section. It takes about 60-70 wheelbarrow loads per section and amounts to about 7 tons of concrete in each section. After the lunch break, two more sections were done before a late supper. It is good to catch up a little today so we can have some confidence of completing the work before we leave. Sue is doing more sewing as she is working on curtains for 28 windows. Art was feeling better, sitting in an office chair part of the day so he could wheel around the room and be on the internet part of the time. The shorten evening is used to catch up on a few things and be able to relax, but too short to get these long explanations out.

Thursday. This day has become more of what is expected to be the new norm. We are at work at 6:00 so forms can be placed and a section poured before breakfast at 10:00. Surprisingly there was a sprinkling of rain for the first couple hours. This is somewhat unusual as this is a desert area, getting about 1 inch per year, although when they get rain it is this time of the year. Then we rested through the heat of the day, being able to do a few small things before a late lunch and back to the work in the afternoon to pour two more sections before supper. Several were not feeling well as they worked and went to bed immediately after the completion of the work. Pray for all involved here as several are sick and more are not feeling well. Tina and Leanna also joined the work in the afternoon and were a big help, filling in for some who were not feeling well. Tiredness sets in, but the work is satisfying. Sue has spent the day sewing curtains.

Friday. This day would be described as sick. One man was sick all day, another slept from breakfast to the afternoon work and shortly went back to bed. About everyone has some variation of diarrhea or nausea or both. Even with that there was other help and three more sections were poured, one in the morning and two in the afternoon. Sue continues to sew curtains and Art continues to recover. After the work was done, we were all able to go to Mark and Kim DeJager’s house for supper, although some did not eat.

Saturday. With some of the team able to arise at the usual time, they spent the time moving the forms and digging the footings to complete the parimeter of the whole project. The rest stayed in bed trying to recuperate. Those who desired went to town to see some of the local sights and have a meal at one of the nicer restaurants. This is the one tourist day that the team likes to take when on a trip. The sicker ones started to move about in the afternoon and we were together for a supper meal. The evening was spent relaxing and going to bed early. Just for information, they system does not seem to handle large amounts of data, so will not be sending pictures while we are here.

Sunday. With the way many are feeling it is good to have a day of rest. After breakfast we spent some time studying together in 1 Peter, then turned to resting before the afternoon activities. The fellowship dinner was at 2:00 before the meeting at 3:00. How good to catch up on others lives around a meal and then to spend time with the Lord around His table. Following that was the Sunday School, with Tim speaking to the adults of the five proofs the Lord gave for His divinity from John 5. After the meeting we went to Mark and Kim DeJager’s for supper and fellowship.

Monday. Up and going at 6:00 to get another section poured. By practice the process is getting faster so that it takes just a little more than an hour to get each section done, and then there is cleanup. We also formed up the area for the soccer net at the end so it could be poured later in the day. There was a long enough break that some other projects could be done, such as checking the screws in the desks to see that all are tight. Sue is about completed with making the curtains for all the windows in the school and is waiting for them to be put up. The afternoon and early evening were spent pouring two more sections as well as the one goal area. For the evening we were all invited to Tom and Carol Clark’s for supper and fellowship.

Tuesday. Another beautiful day to get some more done. One of the men from PEI in Canada, Fenno, woke up early, so had the forms moved when we arrived. Had another section done early, ate breakfast and caught up on a few things, such as sending these notes out. We had been invited for tea at the Hendrik and Ronel Groenwaldt home at mid morning and several of us went to get better acquainted. Tim was especially interested as they are from South Africa. We returned for lunch and the afternoon of pouring two more sections. Sue had completed the curtains, so now was working to organize and record some of the books in the library. Tonight is prayer meeting where one of the local young men spoke.

This is likely the last communication for a while as the plan is to finish the final section, breakfast and look at a museum and do lunch on the way to the airport. Our flight from Chiclayo leaves at 5:30 and from Lima after midnight.

Wednesday. Made the final pour of the final section this morning. It is good to be able to have this major project completed as we prepare to leave. Then there were the usual pictures all around before a little sight seeing prior to the trip to the airport. As we traveled past the rice fields and rice plants Tom asked if we would like to see a rice plant. He called a friend of his that is the owner of the oldest rice plant in the area and were invited for a tour. Fascinating to see how rice goes from harvested grain to the polished product. Being familiar with the U.S. protections, it was almost refreshing to be responsible to walk up to each machine and not step into the unguarded pulleys. The owner leases a part of his factory area out to another person who works with the 20% that does not make the grade to upgrade and sell at a discount to the poorer people. They are one of the few plants that still sun-dry some of the rice that comes in. This is laying rice on black plastic sheets and then having someone stir it with a particular rake. There was a plant across the road that dries it conventionally, much like corn or wheat is done in driers in the United States, but it takes 24 hours, where as sun drying takes 6 hours. Afterward we went to a museum that described the archaeology excavations of the Lord of Sipan, a civilization before the Inca’s about 600 AD. They had their own concepts of the heavens and the underworld, but apparently never heard of the Lord Jesus Christ. Afterward we had a meal at a nice restaurant and then a quick trip by taxi back to get our suitcases and to the airport. Love the small airports. Several counters to get your tickets, one person to check you through to security and one line to go through to the small waiting room and one gate to board the one plane. Even though the plane holds about 170, like the flight we had arrived on two weeks earlier, it flew in from Lima, unloaded passengers and baggage, loaded passengers and baggage and in a half hour left for the return to Lima. In Lima we had 5-7 hours to wait for the return flights to the U.S.

Thursday. It is a curiosity that at both airports in Peru the lines form at the ticket counters even before the counters open, sometimes hours before departure. Both of our flights left after midnight, so we had supper and shared pictures back and forth as we waited. Lines seemed long for tickets, then security, then customs and finally to the gate. Sue and I took an hour and half to go through the process, showing the need for arrival 2-3 hours before the flight. With Art in a wheel chair, Tim, Art and Darek were able to circumvent some of the lines for a faster process. The flight was overnight and we have now arrived in the States to recuperate from the flight and tell of what the Lord has done in our lives and through us.

Thank-you for praying for us as we traveled, worked and encouraged the work in another country. For much more than what can be written in these short notes, ask any one of us to come by and tell of the Lord’s work.

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About TeamWorkers

TeamWorkers Abroad was started to assemble teams of believers from U.S. assemblies to work on building projects for assembly missionaries. While TeamWorkers Abroad’s focus is primarily on teams of skilled workers, there are opportunities for unskilled workers and young adults on most projects.