Day Two at the Sites

Tecate Travel Blog

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I woke up at 5:30 this morning, too late to make it to Bible study by the time I finished getting dressed.  Instead, I pulled on my running shoes and went for a run around the ranch.  I looped around many times, so often that at one point a guy offered to open the gate for me.  I declined, not knowing the area outside of the ranch and being a solo runner.  I also used the time as a prayer run, asking God to be with our team today.

We were joined by Joyce today for our VBS team which was great.  Another teen meant another team leader and today we would have four groups.  We arrived at the church and got set up.  Playing with the kids started early, and I pulled a jump rope out of my blue drawstring bag.  I made sure to get some clear space and then pulled off one backwards jump.

more jump rope
  I passed the jump rope to a young girl, and then I counted in Spanish her jumps.  To keep the jump rope moving from child to child, I set a maximum of 20 for the jumps and made sure to cheer and clap for any kid that made that number.  I was surprised when some of the boys wanted to jump rope as well.  One boy was very skilled and even had a few tricks up his sleeve.

We opened with a song or two from Eric and then the four groups were off.  Today I was giving the salvation message after we looked at the story of building a house on sand versus on rock.  Emily had brought two plastic containers, one with a sand base and one with a clay (rock) base, and used straws to make "houses."  I had provided some empty water bottles that we had filled at the ranch that morning.

watching the day's lesson
  After each reading of the Bible passage, we had the kids come up around the table to demonstrate the storms (the water) pouring against the houses.  Most kids bet that the sand house would fall and they were right.  For the clay/rock house I had Emily pour extra water, a volunteer provide some wind, and I even created a terremoto, an earthquake, but the house didn't budge.  I explained how the sand was like the things of the world and the clay was like God.  We then practiced our memory verse for the day--John 3:16 which many children already knew.  Each child then received a silver coin with the verse on one side and a prayer on the other.  We finished our time up with snack.  We finished with some singing back up in the church, and then my group was on the bus for the worksite again.
streetside vendors

Somehow we had taken significantly longer today than yesterday; everyone including the locals had already eaten, but there was still enough food for us, just limited sandwich options. We took our meals into the house that our team was building.  The two back rooms provided shade, thanks to the loft now being in place.  We didn't talk much; Emily even joked that we were being too noisy.  The heat was taking a little bit of a toll on my appetite; I gave about a quarter of my sandwich away.

After our midday meal, I set to work re-learning how to spackle.  My first few attempts were kind of ugly, but David gave me a superfast tutorial and I kept at it until the rhythm came back.  Connor was not exactly a fan of this work but he was a real trooper and worked hard.

jump rope
  As the afternoon ended, I couldn't believe that I had been spackling for four-plus hours.

The return to the ranch was slightly delayed when we hit a traffic jam due to an accident.  I was excited to see Mexican firefighters since my uncle is the fire chief in my hometown, but the badly-damaged vehicle was sobering.  Ironically, just after getting through this spot, we watched as another bus pulled into the left-hand lane and drove the wrong way for over a mile, only to cut off less than thirty seconds of travel time.

I don't really remember dinner this evening, maybe this was burger night.  I do remember going down to the warehouse early for the evening meeting and discovered that the boxes for the auction still needed assembled.

  We would be giving three large plastic boxes to six different families tomorrow, but tonight people would bid for the privilege of taking the boxes to the families.

Amanda, Shelley, and I helped the lady in charge; one of the youths joined in and Emily also came over.  We sorted the supplies out first and then put equal amounts into the bins.  One set was placed on the stage so bidders could see everything that each family would receive: beans, rice, tomato paste, canned vegetables, cooking oil, towels, a crockpot, a brush, cooking utensils, toilet paper, and more.  Math skills came in handy for this task.

The auction started with five duvet covers made by the local women.  The plastic bins were next and went for much bigger money.

singing
  Riva Trace bought one (which would go to the house we were building) and Andrew and Lori also bought one.

The auction was the evening's big event, but our group had one more task before bed: making play doh for tomorrow's craft.  Courtney had found the recipe on-line and had multiplied it by a lot (maybe 8?), so we were a little nervous that things might not work right.  We shouldn't have worried; the recipe was perfect.  The dough was pretty hot when we first started to knead it, we sort of ignored the fact that Andy had just poured in a bunch of boing water.  The food coloring took a little bit of time to take hold, but even that color turned out stronger than we thought it would at first.  Once we had mixed up the dough, we set to work taking fist-sized balls and putting them in baggies.

Tiffany and new friends
  We filled 100 bags which we figured would be enough.  Since donations would not be taking place at the church this year, we would not have a surge in VBS numbers for the last day.

The kids went to play cards while the adults stood around the outdoor serving area and just chatted.  It was a fun conversation until a winged creature zoomed down from the ceiling and smacked Randall in the cheek.  Courtney reacted by jumping backwards behind Emily as we discovered that the invader was a cockroach.  We laughed after the shock wore off, but bed wasn't too far away.

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more jump rope
more jump rope
watching the days lesson
watching the day's lesson
streetside vendors
streetside vendors
jump rope
jump rope
singing
singing
Tiffany and new friends
Tiffany and new friends
landscape
landscape
our visual for the Bible story
our visual for the Bible story
grapes growing in the churchs sha…
grapes growing in the church's sh…
my classroom
my classroom
landscape from the bus
landscape from the bus
school playground
school playground
spackling efforts
spackling efforts
Colin and Andrew putting up drywall
Colin and Andrew putting up drywall
David putting up the drywall
David putting up the drywall
bunk bed building
bunk bed building
outside of the house
outside of the house
Phil cutting the window
Phil cutting the window
David and Emily working
David and Emily working
tag team
tag team
Colin nailing
Colin nailing
Amanda and Andrew painting outhous…
Amanda and Andrew painting outhou…
Emily spackling
Emily spackling
Andy and Courtney working
Andy and Courtney working
the house from the front
the house from the front
Courtney jumping in the photo
Courtney jumping in the photo
me behind the house
me behind the house
outhouse of a different house
outhouse of a different house
the guys playing basketball
the guys playing basketball
donation boxes
donation boxes
putting the boxes together
putting the boxes together
duvet covers up for auction
duvet covers up for auction
Colin and Amanda making play doh
Colin and Amanda making play doh
Randall, Andy, and Courtney making…
Randall, Andy, and Courtney makin…
Tecate
photo by: diisha392