We met the rest of the CWE team at the Tampa airport around noon Saturday the 22nd of April for our journey to Brazil. We flew to Miami, then Sao Paulo, then Brasillia then boarded a bus for an 8 hour ride to our final destination of LEM, which is short for Luis Edwardo Maghalles. It is a small growing city North of Brasillia and West of Salvador. It's is far from everywhere and near very little.
About half way from Brasilia to LEM, we stopped in this small town for a rest. There was not a lot to the town, a restaurant, a market and a bus station was about all I saw.
We arrived after sundown Sunday evening and were very tired. It didn't take long to find our beds and get some rest. We didn't have a container shipped due to Brazilian customs hassles, so we brought our tools in suitcases. About sunrise Monday morning we were at the jobsite unloading tools and preparing the site to be ready for the block walls.
It took a while to get everything level and square but before long we had gone from just a footer to a couple of walls a few feet high.
We hired a few Brazilians to help us.
By the end of the first day, we had a good amount of work done.
Late in the morning Tuesday, the ladies from our team (Linda pictured) came over to the jobsite with cookies and drinks that we shared with the Brazilians while Paul shared the Gospel message with them.
They posed for a photo before they left. Sharon, Susan, Linda and Barbara.
Jeff began making the frames for the windows and doors, then started on the first two trusses.
Dan and JW take a break on the wall. Dan had the dirty job of cutting the block. Not only is it dirty, but very exhausting also.
In this photo, John is building a lead. John is from the Chicago area.
We had to do some creative scaffold erecting. The power lines ran right through our scaffolding. You can see that the area looks very unpopulated. The city was not much more than a roadside stop 25 years ago, and today has a population of about 50,000. The new city downtown area will be just 6 blocks from our building location.
By Wednesday evening we had the perimeter walls built and the first two trusses in place.
Here I am holding down the wall with a couple of the Brazilians.
Notice our VW bus that we used to get back and forth to the job.
At one point, we had 12 of us crammed into it. It almost looks like a college prank huh?
This is the last of the project photos I have, in it, John and JW are building the interior walls, and Jason and I are finishing the block and concrete gable.
We worked a portion of the day Friday to finish up some small things then we took a ride out to a nearby river. (if you can call a 45 minute ride nearby) This is where the missionary (Stephen) takes his family to swim. The river is a little high now due to the recent coming to an end of the rainy season. (just last week)
Good thing I didn't jump in before taking a walk downstream a couple of hundred feet where there is this beautiful waterfal.
I cant get enough of this waterfall, it was amazing, and totally in the middle of nowhere. Later I'll show you the road and bridge we had to travel to get to this fall.
A look down from above.
Here is the bridge and road I told you about.
After leaving the river, we headed out to a coffee plantation. Here is the owners house. Notice the difference of the vegetation between the river and this high plateau area.
Most of my pictures from the plantation are too foggy due to the mist from the waterfall, but here is a close up of some coffee beans.
Coffee as far as you can see.
A trailer full of coffee beans.
Saturday we drove back to Brasilia to catch a plane back home. Before going to the airport we stopped at this restaurant for lunch. We had eaten at a similar restaurant the night before. In Brasil they bring the meat to you on skewers and cut portions off for you at your seat. They bring every cut of beef, pork, chicken, and lamb that you can think of. I also had some chicken hearts, buffalo, and Brahma hump. I was stuffed.
After lunch we did a little sightseeing before going to the airport.
It was a long journey there and home but as always, very much worth the effort. I am still amazed at the things God allows me to do. I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.