This morning was scrambled eggs, rolls, and coffee. Today was our first day to work. We took off to Tocagon, unloaded our equipment and got started. The plan for the day was to grout the floors. Everyone was working and I walked around trying to figure out what to do, until the bus driver handed me some grout and a tool. I was excited. We got a quick run through on how to grout. First we were told to use it sparingly, then someone else told us to just use a lot to make sure the holes were filled and move on as quickly as possible. We started in one room in the farthest right side of the building. When we finished that room, we moved to another.
At 10:30am we were told to take a 10 minute break. For snacks we had crackers and drinkable yogurt. Then we continued grouting until lunch. We got an American style lunch the first day; a 350ml bottle of coca-cola, a chicken salad sandwich and a bag of chips. There was a mustard sauce to put on the sandwich. There was also extra sandwich filling. I added more filling to my sandwich, and then I made nachos with my chips. I put the sandwich filling on the chips and added the mustard sauce. Mary Katherine did not want the rest of her sandwich, so Amber and I split a half of a sandwich. We had to coax Rene to eat and stop working. There was no leftover waste.
After lunch we separated into three groups. One group went to Vacation Bible School, one group went to first ad, and the other group stayed to finish grouting. The second half of the day we had locals help us with the construction projects. It was me, Karla, Curtis, Rene, Hugo, Jose and Sebastian. Rene was washing the floor to remove excess grout. I asked if he needed help when he said that he was having so much fun that he didn’t want to share. I told him he was supposed to say, “I am having so much fun white washing this fence, you should give it a try.” He laughed. Karla ands I chipped in and used steel wool to clean the floor. I got a dustpan to collect the dust. Curt and Jan were in another room painting the ceiling.
Eventually, Karla, Jan and I went outside to play with the children. Hugo asked if I had ever heard of Ecuador before. I told him that I had and that I learned about the mountains and jungles. We took pictures with the children. Jan asked Hugo if we should go up and paint. He told us tomorrow. It was 4pm but scheduled to work until 5pm. Karla and Curtis started painting the grey brick wall on the opposite side of the bathroom. They were finishing when I sat down and the others arrived back from Vacation Bible School. Marilyn asked for someone to go with her to purchase water for everyone. I went with her. We were headed to the Aki grocery store next to the hotel, but we noticed how bad the traffic was backed up on the opposite side of the road. We assumed it was due to carnaval. When we got to the store she remembered he forgot her card and we were off to her house. She parked and I went inside, and played with her dog. I was greeted by Isabel and offered a piece of lemon pudding cake. For dinner we got chicken and potato soup, pork, potatoes and corn, and strawberry mousse and orange juice.
Curtis: Wonders if he was really helping.
Lindy: She was doing first aid and was surprised by how interested people were.
Karla: She enjoyed working with everyone today, and blowing up balloons for the kids.
Meghan: Felt awkward this morning until she was given tools to work
Jan: Had a great time working and playing with the kids.
Amber: Noticed that the kids enjoyed the games that they played at v.b.s.
Hugo: Every time people from the USA come it gives him more opportunity to learn.
Blanca: Today was a different day, getting everything ready for 1st aid and VBS
Lori: Cleaned and swept in the morning. The kids for VBS didn’t show up right away but they came in as pairs then 4s and 6s, and ended up with 22 kids. They played, sang, colored, and had fun. The pastor came and had a color book and cross that he kept.
Murial: In the morning I washed doors and in the afternoon I went to VBS. They played hot potato with tennis balls and balloons. And got a hug from a little girl.
Marcy: Opportunity to teach a subject she adores, and they were very interested. There was an hour of ask the nurse questions. After we practiced wrapping, I got so many hugs and kisses, and one lady said she was sure she had seen me on TV.
Ken: Last year if someone would have told him he would be going to Ecuador he would not have believed it.
Rene: He was told an economical way and less economical way to grout floors.
Luis: He can’t do a lot of heavy lifting but he made sure everyone was doing their job. He made sure bathrooms were cleaned for VBS. He registered the children and had lots of fun.
Janel: Enjoyed the day, working with Marcy. Glad that people came out of their comfort zones and good to see the strengths everyone had.