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Guatemala Recap: Day 2 - Assessing The Goals

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Morning came very quickly for many as sleep only began a few hours before dawn. So we opted for a later breakfast rather than forcing everyone into a early morning smog of tiredness, heat, and sweat. By 9am everyone was in the comidor eating and preparing for a day of who knows what. One thing we did know, the heat was settling in. Sweat was beginning to show on the brows of the team and all we were doing was lifting fork to mouth.

Shortly after we broke from breakfast, the teams broke into two camps. The guys met in the kitchen and the girls followed Eliud to the first building needing varnish. The work was finally beginning. More than just assessing the work, there were high hopes of moving far in the work today in order to have the entire team knock out the varnishing by the end of our trip.

As the leaders assessed the kitchen floor, it was obvious that the entire floor would have to be chipped away. The concrete was covered with a plaster that would not readily accept the tile concrete. So with picks, hammers, chisels, and most anything that would break floor apart, the guys jumped into work banging away at the floor.

Meanwhile, the girls took on the painstaking task of dusting and cleaning the posts in the first rancho next to the auditorium. Up wooden and aluminum ladders they climbed reaching to the extent their arms would take them with brooms and brushes cleaning the posts. Some of the girls pushed their limits with heights and fears. Early on it was apparent that the joys of being out of the sun were paid for with the price of exhausted arms and necks reaching for the posts in the ceiling.

Back in the kitchen, the guys had worked out a system for getting the work done quickly...rhythm. Straight out of the heart of what Brookwood's Rhythm of Worship camp would teach, the rhythm of picks and hammers pounded out a song of worship sprinkled with sweat and even blood of service to Jesus Christ. Check out a snippet of the music made here this day.

Just before lunch, outside of the kitchen, a group of border patrol officers approached a couple of the missionaries. The senior officer is a friend of Duglas (Camp Overseer). The boys enjoyed meeting the officers from El Salvador and Guatemala. Even more, they found it cool to see the M16's they carried with them. After talking a while with the officers, we asked for a photo before they left. They wanted them as well as they thought it was cool to see these gringo's working so hard for the people of Guatemala.

The afternoon progressed slowly as the intense heat pierced every one of our pores and even our fingernails seemed to sweat. However, there was so much work being done in so little time. It seemed that the kitchen would be ready by first thing in the morning for Dale and Brooks to lay tile. The closer we got toward evening, the harder everyone seemed to be working. There was determination to have the entire floor ready by nightfall. In the rancho, worked had been getting progressively faster as routines were found. Not only were the posts clean, all but the highest of rafters were already varnished.

The moment we called it a day, the pool was filled with hot and tired laborers. Their fun and play was well earned. Had Marcelo been on campus, he probably would have called the work day and hour or so earlier. However, with the immense task on hand, the crew saw the need to work later and embraced it without complaint. Excellent first day...

The first evening we were treated with an amazing meal of spaghetti and other side items. Of course most memorable was probably Erin's addition of Whipped Cream to the spaghetti...nice. We ate in the home of Becky and Duglas because of the work being done to the kitchen. What an incredible act of hospitality on their part. Not only was it the 23 of us but at least 10-12 of the missionaries ate in their as well. It was tight but so much fun to be together.

Following dinner, we had our debrief for the day in Duglas' house. We determined it best to move it to the auditorium the following night to give our hosts room and time to clean up.

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