Saturday, April 14th I arrived at the Miami airport to meet the rest of the team. I guess some of the guys had too much time on their hands so they visited the airport barber. A few others joined in on the fun, but I chose to sit that one out. I had my hair like that once when I joined the military, and that was enough for me.
We flew all night and arrived in Buenos Aries just after sunrise. After a layover there we flew across the river to Montevideo Uruguay. A bus was there to meet us and after grabbing a bite to eat, we rode 6 hours on what was suppose to be a 4 hour ride to Fray Bentos, a city on the western border of Uruguay across the river from Argentina.
We had dinner at a nice little restaurant in town, we had originally planned on being there by 7:00 pm but the bus ride took longer than expected. The reason I mention that is because in Uruguay, typically restaurants don't open until around 9:00 so they had opened early for us.
After dinner we rode a few minutes down the road to the Central Bible Church. This is where we would eat, and get together the rest of the week. It's also the building we are replacing with our new project.
After dropping a few things off there, we headed down to the project site to get some things we would need for the night out of the shipping container that had already been delivered to the project site. Just across the street was a high school. We men had the pleasure of staying in the men's locker room. I'll tell you now, I don't want to ever see that place again therefore I took no pictures of the inside. Just use your imagination.
Early the next morning, (Monday) we were at the project site before sunrise, we met together and as soon as we could see, we were getting the site ready to start construction. Here, Gary and Brent are getting block moved so we could start building the columns.
The old building that occupied the site had been torn down to make room for the new building, well, most of it. This section remained, I think they are planning on making this into the restrooms and attaching it to the new building.
After a few hours of work, we headed over to the church for some breakfast. I took these photos of the neighborhood.
After breakfast, we began with some brick. I had never laid much brick, just a few here and there on some projects, but since we were short a mason on this trip, I decided now was as good a time as any to learn, so I tried to learn from the real masons on the trip.
On the right here is Jim, Jim is a FedEx driver at home, but in Uruguay became an outstanding brick and block cut man. He was very precise and always ready.
We also had some Uruguayans helping.
This is Luis Arce, he is a missionary builder who spends his time in South America helping missionaries with building projects in many different countries when needed.
Here is Lonnie, he is one of our masons. After this day, we just called him Hillbilly.
You can see the high school students across the street.
Pastor Sergio Duarte, the pastor of the church. Not the best picture in the world, but the only one I took of him.
This is looking down on my first attempt at a brick wall.
Thursday we cleaned up and went to a mid week service at the church. In this photo you can see how small it is.
Typically we would have our part of the building project finished by Thursday evening, but it didn't work out that way. We began again Friday morning with still much work to be done.
Mike and Brent finishing the front gable.
This building across the street from the jobsite intrigued me all week. I imagined it when it was lived in and well kept. I could imagine perhaps a wealthy family in a booming town. I think I heard that it was built in the early 20th century by a doctor.
I went up to the front door and was able to take this photo of the inside.
Friday evening, the restaurant opened early for us again. This time we arrived while it was still daylight and before eating I walked down to the river.
Here is the group of us in the restaurant.
The appetizer was this dish of cheese and butter. I hear it's good for your heart.
After dinner some of us walked back to the church. It was 10 or 12 blocks across town so I experimented with night photos on my new camera.
As we approached the center of town, I heard what sounded like a parade. It turned out to be a military band playing in the town square.
Saturday morning was cold an rainy. We boarded the bus at 7:30 and headed back to Montevideo.
While in the city, we stopped to do some souvenir shopping. I took that time to walk around the city a little and take more photos.
We boarded the plane a few hours later for the long ride home.