We left Tampa the afternoon of July 7, flew to Miami where we met up with the rest of the team then flew to Santa Cruz Bolivia. It was an all night flight and we arrived at Jake and Sharon Wiebe's home in the late morning. I rested some from the travel, had something to eat then we went to church that evening. The church was meeting in an old building on a small lot. The pastor had been a part of that church since childhood. We introduced ourselves and enjoyed sharing an evening with them
We headed out to the jobsite early Monday morning. It was cold. A couple of days never even got out of the 40s. Shortly after beginning working, I recognized a face from the past. It was Rafael, he helped on the project we did here in 2003.
You can see from the look of Lonnie and Dick that it was quite cold.
This is Malcolm Gregory, he is a missionary elsewhere in the country and came to help with the construction. He is also the missionary that had planted the church for which we were building this building.
Here is a photo take the afternoon of the first day.
Old friend Rafael, new friend Justin and me.
The second day was even colder, it's one of the days where the temperature never rose over about 48 degrees. Malcolm and I decided to take the trash barrel and turn it into a burn barrel. It was a welcome addition to the jobsite.
Ray working his way up over a window.
You'll notice here that the brick are not very uniform in size.
Typically the homes in Bolivia don't have heat. We just happened to be there on a few of the really cold days. From the way Debi is dressed here, you can see it was very cold in the house too.
The thermometer that evening.
I don't know if Rafael was a mason when we were here four years ago or not, but I do know that he is now. He helped us quite a bit. We were suppose to have had six masons on the trip. Only two of them are actually masons by trade, the rest of us are just part timers. Of the two masons, one wasn't able to come with us because his passport was Jamaican rather than US and we found out at the airport in Tampa that he would have to have had a visa for this trip, so he wasn't able to come. Leaving Lonnie and the only Mason by trade and then the other four of us.
Here is the progress as of the afternoon of the third day.
By the fourth day (Thursday) we were putting the end trusses up.
Here is the way we left the building after four days of work.
Now I'll just show a few pictures that I took in the area.
A family in their Bolivian SUV
Sugar Cane being taken in for processing.
Jake the Missionary with is daughter Hanna.
The roadside tire shop where we stopped to add air to the bus tires.
After a trip out to the boy's home on Friday, we stopped at the building we built in 2003. The area hasn't changed much.
Before heading back to the airport, we stopped in town for souvenirs, here is snapped a photo of Hanna with her new doll that she calls Dolly.
While some were finishing up their shopping, Jake, Justin, Dennis and I went to try and locate the guitar store we has stumbled upon in 2003. Justin wanted to buy a Bolivian made guitar. We managed to find it. Here Justin is working the deal. He bought the green one you see hanging in the background. It was made entirely of mahogany. The pine one next to it was double the price because pine is not native to Bolivia.
We were suppose to leave Bolivia that evening, but after spending the entire night in the airport waiting for the landing gear on our airplane to be repaired, we were told to come back at 3:00 Saturday afternoon. We all headed out to hotels and slept for a few hours then went back to the airport. We left on time and when we landed in Miami about 7 hours later, you could hear a little bit of cheering from some that I guess were concerned whether the landing gear would work or not. Since we missed our connecting flight back to Tampa and there were no more flights until morning, we headed to another hotel in Miami. We finally landed back in Tampa around 9:30 Sunday morning, a day later than planned but still happy to be home and happy to have been used by God.