The 26th of January 2008, Kathy and I met up with JW and drove to Miami to meet the CWE construction team that would begin the construction of a Bible Institute in La Romana, the Dominican Republic. We stayed at the SCORE hotel, the same place we stayed while here in 2004. We arrived after dark Saturday night, so after a good night's rest we arose Sunday morning for some coffee and breakfast. Here are Brent, Steve, Ray and JW catching up  over a few cups of coffee.

John, aka Johnny Queso from the Chile trip in '05 brought his Ukulele and is pictured here with me and John. John was on the trip to Brazil in '06. We were getting ready to head out to church in this photo.

Here we are outside the church, they are currently meeting in this rented space.

After church we went to the building site to get some things from our container which we would need back at the hotel. Of course the things we needed were in the back which meant unloading most of the container to get to them. That's okay though, it was that much less we would have to do the next morning.

After returning to SCORE, several of us took a walk down to the nearby beach. Here are a few photos from that afternoon.

Here, I am joining John, Brent, Aaron and Derrick for a swim, the water was nice.

Work began early the next morning. I think we hired about seven local workers to help us.

John Ruff brought his nephew Tim along this week. They kept the mortar flowing. As you can see here, it is not the cleanest job.

Lunch couldn't have come soon enough. We had eaten breakfast around 5:30 in the morning, so we could leave by 6:00 to be to the job by 7:00, we didn't break for lunch until 1:00.

Then a few of us took some time to rest.

Looking at this next picture, I was trying to figure out what Ray and I were waiting on...

but then the next photo was of Tim pushing a wheel barrow full of concrete, so I guess we were pouring the bond beam.

Across the street from our site was a little shack, we called it the chicken shack. The other construction workers in the area would line up there for lunch and each one would  come out with a plate of chicken, beans, and rice.

Shortly after the above photo was taken, some people began to dismantle the little shack. Soon it was being rebuilt on the back of our lot. You know what they say in business, it's location, location, location.

Wednesday morning on the way in, we rounded a corner then heard a flapping noise. The driver pulled over to find that we had a flat. That seems to be customary in the Dominican Republic. We had a flat the last time we were here.

We needed to move some of the block to the inside of the building before we built walls in the way, so John gathered his new friends and we started a block line, handing off the block one to another until we had it moved inside.

No, we're not fighting over the block, Aaron is passing it to me.

Kathy and the other two women, Wendy and Karen had come to the jobsite with us that morning. They took a walk around the neighborhood. Here is a photo Kathy took along the way. This man was dropping his kids off at school. We've seen as many as five on a bike before.

After they returned I tried to show Kathy how to operate the block cutting saw. It was a bit heavy for her, but she pulled the trigger just fine.

Wednesday night we had a little more free time than usual so several of us took another walk down to the beach. The air was cool and the sun was setting. It was a very nice evening.

John brought his Ukulele

I snapped a photo of Kathy and myself.

Then one of me with the Ukulele on the Jetty. John had to teach me a few chords, I had no idea how to play it. He does a fine job at it though.

I just thought this was a cool shot.

Thursday we finished up the last of the walls.

Watched the local workers eating at the new and improved chicken shack.

JW had his sneakers shined.

We put up the two end trusses and this is the way the building looked by the end of the last work day.

Friday morning I had a little time to kill so I went over to the beach again to see what it's like in the morning.

While there I picked up a few pieces of coral from the beach, and found some flowers on the walk back. so I surprised Kathy with a little arrangement.

Later Friday we rode the bus out to Batay Peligro. I asked what Batay means, and was told that it is just a name for the little villages where the sugar cane workers live. They are owned by the sugar cane companies. Here are several photos from that trip.

The cane being brought in to be loaded on railroad cars.

A couple of girls posing for the camera.

A church building that CWE rebuilt after a hurricane a few years ago.

I look at these faces and try to imagine what is going through their minds, and what does the future hold for them. Notice the girl in the white shirt to the right and the little girl with braids near the lower left.

Enjoying some sugar cane candy. Is this the original pixie stick?

After leaving the Batay we stopped at the market to purchase a few things for the orphanage we were headed to next.

Kathy helped make the beds with the new sheets.

Rick played with the boys and their new soccer ball.

This little girl is showing her new pillow and sheets.

Boys with new pillows and sheets.

The woman running the place said that the kids would probably not sleep that night because they were so excited.

We headed home as the sun was setting...

went to dinner at a nice hotel restaurant..

then got up early the next morning to fly home.

This was one of the best trips yet. It seemed as if the team couldn't have fit together any more perfectly.