Tuesday morning was very quiet at the breakfast table for the girls at the House of Hope. Some of them were uncomfortable in attempting to speak conversational English. We tried engaging them in conversation that required responses of simple English phrases. Kathy Cerda lead the devotion in English on Joshua 1:9. She did a wonderful job! As we were leaving for the worksite, the girls could be heard speaking in Spanish.
Barrett and Aaron returned to the Hogar to help with the wall. It was great having the extra helpers. Bob and John S. continued mixing cement. Kerry, Dick, Bob M, Marco, Willy, Tio Juan and Tio Jose along with Barrett and Aaron continued building the wall. They worked hard lifting the cinder blocks up to place through the re-bar. Claudia and Diane continued shifting sand. Eleanor and Debby continued touching up the walls and trim at House #4.
After dinner we relaxed at the House of Hope with the girls, Patti, Willy, Daniel and Jessica. Since we had worked really hard today at the work site, Kerry went and bought ice cream for us. Some of us were tired from the long day and went to bed early.
Wednesday morning it was the teams turn to speak Spanish only. The House of Hope girls were very helpful when we were struggling with the Spanish word we wanted to use. Others on the team ate a very quiet breakfast. John W. lead the devotional with Marco translating it into Spanish. Once on the worksite, we were not speaking Spanish. At lunch time the girls did not remind us that it was Spanish only, so we spoke in English. Overall this was a good experience as it showed us how challenging it is for the girls to communicate with us with their limited English.
A load of concrete arrived at the worksite Wednesday morning. Tio Juan and Jose unloaded it all by themselves (Kerry and John S. showed up to help with the last 8 cinder blocks). There were about 650 cinder blocks on the truck. Right before lunch, another load of 650 cinder blocks arrived. The ladies on the team had just rounded the corner from the guys dormitory and saw the truck pulling in. We realized the team would not be on time for lunch. Our team work paid off and the truck was unloaded. Jose, Willy, Bob H. were on the truck bed handing down the cinder blocks. The rest of us were taking the cinder blocks and putting them in to piles. Debby and Eleanor volunteered to continue putting mortar on the wall, so that the concrete would not dry up in the wheelbarrow. Words cannot express how much this helped the guys out. After the cinder blocks had been unloaded we finished using up the mortar that was left in the two wheel barrows, as we could not leave any cement in them while we were at lunch. Needless to say, we all worked up a good appetite for lunch!
Wednesday evening was the Fiesta! Both the girls at the Hogar and the team look forward to this every year.We ate dinner with the girls in the dining hall at the Hogar. After dinner, the girls in each house will performed traditional Chileno dances. A few of the homes broke tradition and danced to some of today’s contemporary music. The team participated by doing some break dancing (Willy and Jacob). Justin Bieber (Bob H.) returned to do an encore performance of “Baby, Baby”. Little did he know that Debby, Diane, Eleanor and Claudia had a bone to pick with him due to the task they had of scraping his many pictures off of the walls in House #4. We interrupted his concert and pulled out our scrapers. As the song continued and we approached him with our scrapers, the unexpected happened. Most of the girls got out of their chairs and begin protecting Justin. It was hilarious seeing them push Debby, Diane and Claudia away from Justin. We ended the night leading the girls in singing “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord” in Spanish and English. Barrett stayed for this event and really enjoyed the opportunity of seeing this highlight of our time in Chile. This year the Hogar gave presents to the team members. It was a coffee mug with the C&MA logo and name of the Hogar on it. Kerry was very excited when he opened his present! Tom was presented with letters of gratitude from the Hogar staff and little hearts from a few of the girls w/ words of appreciation.
Thursday was our last day at the work site. We accomplished 100% of Kerry’s goal for building the wall. The team completed 50 % of the wall. Tio Juan, Jose and Willy will finish up the wall over the next few weeks. Debby and Eleanor finished up painting House #4. What a difference a coat of paint makes! Marco received good news today while he was at the work site. The strike has ended at the university he attends. He left early so that he could go register for classes that will start on November 2nd. Tonight we relaxed after dinner.
Friday morning we will leave for Las Serena where the team will spend a few days of rest and relaxation. We will head back to Santiago on Sunday morning, so we have a few hours to pick up our luggage and head to the airport.
Thank you for all your prayers over the past week and a half. We have had beautiful weather – not too cold/not too hot. God brought many people into our lives at just the right time to help accomplish His work at the Hogar.