The Ecuador Preteens have been busy digging holes for the fence posts that will define the Teen Missions new property line outside of Playas, just south of Guayaquil. To date, they have put in close to 200 fence posts. Because the project site is 17 km away from the place we call home, the team takes their lunch with them. This has caused the lady leaders to get quite creative in making lunches. Did you know that you can mix peanutbutter & jelly, put it in the middle of bread dough and have a delicious sandwich/roll?
It is hot work because there is not much shade at the new property. The kids are thankful for cloudy days, although the sunny ones are less humid. Instead of cutting trees for fence posts, it was decided to use bamboo posts because they are stronger and will last longer. The poles come in 18′ lengths, so the kids have been cutting them down to 6′ lengths.
The place the team is staying is what Teen Missions would call “holiday inn” accomodations. We are in a large house that is right on the ocean. While we are sleeping on mats on the floor and do our laundry in a bucket, there are regular bathrooms with showers. The front and back porches are used for morning devotions, classes and evening vespers (devotions led by team members). There is also a covered area over a large round table with benches where we eat our meals and watch the ocean waves and the ships at sea.
On special occasions when the tide is out, team members (and leaders) like to go down to the beach to collect shells. The prized finds are sand dollars, but there are many other interesting shells as well as wildlife to find. We’ve seen jellyfish, sea turtles and watched birds dive for and catch fish. Mostly we just get our feet wet, but we did go swimming in the ocean last Saturday afternoon. The Pacific Ocean water here is warm, unlike the cold water temperatures off the west coast of the U.S.
Last Sunday we went to a nearby church and did a program for the children there. Our kids enjoyed getting their children involved in one of the actions songs. We are fortunate that one of our team members is fluent in Spanish and can do explanations and translation for us. In spite of the language barrier, our kids enjoyed playing with the children there.
We are now sharing the worksite with the teenage team. Because there is one truck to transport everyone, sometimes we all crowd into the back together with the teens being dropped off first before we get “home.” We plan on sharing a meal with the teens next week. Hopefully the tide will be out so they can go down and enjoy the beach for a little while before we eat.
While the kids miss their families, they are all doing well. Before we know it, we’ll be winging our way back to the U.S. and Debrief. Where has the time gone? Paula