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Report on Trip to Pueblo Nuevo, Peru 2016

This trip was to help the Strong Tower School by re-installing doors and windows in the third floor of the elementary building and constructing windows for the new Junior High building.

Day 1

For the trip the day started quite late as Mark Owensby, his daughter Hadasseh and myself gathered for the trip, flying out of the Des Moines airport at 7 pm Tuesday the 23rd. We found the airport quite deserted and the two hour lead time was overkill. The joys of a small airport was listening to the announcements about pink sunglasses being left at the security desk, or the sympathy card found on the floor by the restroom. We easily made the connecting flight at Dallas, being able to walk from gate to gate and have them start loading.

Day 2

The night was the proverbial long night as most of us did not sleep well, catching a few winks here and there. The Lima airport requires one to go through immigration and then get your bags for customs, which puts one outside, needing to check the bags again and go through security. This used up most of the two hour lay-over before we were back to the gate. Chiclayo is refreshing for its smallness, with the baggage claim about 20 feet from the outside where Tom Clark met us.

After setting our bags down we had a tour of the compound and greeted Laura and Tina. After lunch we all attempted to catch up on the sleep in very hot Peru, a drastic change from the Iowa thawing. We then became a little more oriented to the work and made a few plans before supper. Afterwards we tried the internet, but were unsuccessful and went to bed early to catch up.

Day 3

The prospects looked much better with a good night of rest. After breakfast we moved windows and doors to their perspective rooms (some needing to be reset after finish work was completed), then we started into our respective jobs. Hadasseh started into helping paint a stairwell in the building to which was added the second and third story two years ago. Mark proceeded to mount the windows in the third floor rooms. Fred started preparations for making the new windows from scratch. The 1 x 8 and 1-1/4 x 2-5/8 boards 3.2 meters long and many other supplies arrived mid morning for the work. The day was cloudy, so was noticeably cooler than the previous day. A cool breeze starts in the afternoon and makes for beautiful evenings. Much was accomplished for the first day of work.

Day 4

This is what would be perceived as a more normal day in that everyone went to the work and stayed with it throughout the day. Mark was putting in windows in the third floor of the existing building, having to trim some as the finish coat made the opening slightly too small. He was also able to get a door resized and put into place. Fred started putting new window frames together and then went to making more pieces for new windows. Hadasseh and Laura painted the frames Fred made and then were given a project to paint a mural on the stairwell. There had been rain the night before and the humidity remained throughout the day with a cloud cover. Reminds one of a summer day in Iowa. Tom and Carol celebrated their 33 year anniversary by cooking and serving us supper, with a game afterwards.

Day 5

Saturday is a day to relax and visit some tourist destinations. We attempted to see Sipan, Inca ruins and museum, but the only road was blocked by a town strike, so we turned back and went to a craft section of town to look for souvenirs. Then we visited the beach where there were many people visiting, surfing, looking at the fishing trawlers, and seeing the Peruvian fish boats come in. After lunch at a fine restaurant in Chiclayo we took a combi ride back to Farrenafe. After rest there was the afternoon youth meeting and then supper, with an evening corresponding and visiting.

Day 6

The Lord gives a day to relax and puts it into our schedules that we might spend time thinking on Him. We were able to make preparations for the day, then after a light breakfast we went with Laura to the local market. A quick look around and the purchase of a few items allowed us to return to the compound and Laura to host a Sunday School in their apartment. Whether it was the heat or the walk, Mark and I took a nap while Hadasseh went to the Sunday School class. After lunch we again coasted for a couple hours before the meeting started at 3:00 pm. Though the numbers were a little lower than in the past years, it was a warm fellowship (likely pun intended) with many participating in the worship of our Lord around His table.

The recommendation is to always be prepared to speak, so the word was passed around at breakfast that I was speaking at the meeting. That even gave several hours to prepare. :)

There was a nice breeze to enjoy for the evening while making contact back home. Hadasseh went to play soccer with the locals (the ambition of youth).

Day 7

This is what would be considered a more normal day in Peru. The sun was shining, there was a breeze most of the day and each of us busily work on our separate projects. Mark was working on the doors for the rooms on the third floor. The finish cement had encroached on each one for both height and width, so there was a lot of shaping to get them in place. Hadasseh and Laura were working on the mural, having to go to town to find the appropriate color paint and starting the work. Mostly I made a huge pile of sawdust as many boards for the window sashes needed to be ripped, then cut to length, then ripped to form a rabbet (square notch along the board) to hold the window. Every one of the 112 boards went through a saw at least three times and half of them two more times. But the end result was that 4 sashes were put together before supper.

Day 8

During the day there seemed to be not much out of the ordinary. Mark kept working on doors, Hadassah kept working on the mural. Laura painted on window sashes and Fred put sashes together for her to paint.

The evening activities was the local Bible study and prayer meeting and then a surprise birthday party for Laura. She was able to have the best of both worlds, following some of the American traditions of balloons, a birthday song and cake. Then there are the Peruvian traditions of singing several times while the birthday cake candle burns, much food for snacks and portions of a meal, then good singing, mostly chosen by the honoree. Such an enjoyable time of fellowship, even when most of the conversation was in Spanish.

Day 9

Much more of the same--cutting boards and putting them together (we think the final planned cuts are completed), more painting of the mural and more doors being hung. A lot of routine and repetition goes into this type of work.

The girls in the apartment, Laura, Trina and Chrystal had us and the Clark family over for supper. Most of the evening was spent conversing, but toward the end we did watch some of the tournament basketball game by the Emmaus girls. They did win and will progress up the bracket.

Day 10

Knowing this is the last day, the push was on to see how much more can be completed before we will have to leave uncompleted work. All the windows were put together (minus the "glass", for mounting purposes), the mural is nearing completion, and all door and windows are in the new third floor room. This means the whole third floor of the existing building has doors and windows ready for use (although there are a few panes missing yet). Everything is ready to mount in the other two rooms in the new building. I refer to the panes as "glass" as they are a type of plastic, due to earthquake laws. We are sorry that all has to be left to those staying to complete the work, but the end has to come and the tickets say we must leave early tomorrow. Thanks for all your prayers, and continue as we travel home.

This is the final leg of the journey and lasts over a full day. We were up and loaded by 6:30 am to travel to the Chiclayo airport. The advantages of a small airport is to have your bag for an international flight checked physically (no x-ray) about an hour ahead, then go have coffee before going through security about 5 minutes before loading time.

In Lima we had a brunch before going through security. The flight to Los Angles was aboard LAN Airlines, which is recommended for their courtesies. For a daytime 9 hour flight from noon to 6 pm we were issued a blanket, a pillow, headphones, and a bottle of water. During the flight the lights were turned down between the two real meals with real flatware. This is in contrast to our later two and half hour flight on American Airlines to Dallas from midnight to 5 am with a drink offered.

We arrived in Des Moines about 9:30 the next day to the welcoming of our families, tired, but glad to be back.

Thank you for following our activities and praying for us along the way. We were able to get much done, but would have liked to accomplish much more. You can continue to pray for the preparation of the school as more doors and windows need to be put in, more students need to be enrolled, and school starts a week from now. Continue to pray as those who have gone will tell of the work the Lord is doing and for insight to what the Lord is doing in their lives.

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About TeamWorkers

TeamWorkers Abroad was started to assemble teams of believers from U.S. assemblies to work on building projects for assembly missionaries. While TeamWorkers Abroad’s focus is primarily on teams of skilled workers, there are opportunities for unskilled workers and young adults on most projects.