VBS and Painting
Tecate Travel Blog› entry 6 of 31 › view all entries
June 24th, 2010 – by: diisha392
The bus was scheduled to leave at 7 with the VBS crew and some of the builders. We left about quarter after but hit a snag just after leaving the main town area. The medic came up to the front of the bus: "We need to go back, someone in one of our trucks is having a seizure." I gave directions to the driver in Spanish and we all watched the road for a pulled over vehicle. Unable to spot it, the medic Steve radioed back to the leader. We stopped, waiting to hear where to go. Our leader Randy decided to take the man in trouble to a medical center and sent us on to the building site.
Our energy returned as we arrived in the El Niño valley. Our driver let us off with a short walk up to the church. Walking the dirt road alongside the railroad tracks, I could understand the driver's decision. It was barely wide enough for the bus in spots and ruts and potholes made the travel less than smooth. We stopped in front of the church and looked up the hill. Built out of concrete, the church stood about halfway up the entire hill, its front facing away from us and onto the road that split the hill's upper and lower sections. The house building teams were setting up next to the road. The furniture team was setting up on the first "terrace" below the church.
The kids arrived between 9 and 9:30. Some came up to the church on their own, others we met out on the road and invited in. Each kid received a bracelet with one of our four group colors: red, yellow, green, blue. Emily had made little banners for each group leader to carry in its color, great idea for catching the kids' attention. We also put nametags on each child although figuring out the spelling for the names was a little interesting at times. Sometimes we just let the older kids write their own names and addresses on the sign-in clipboards. I noticed that no one in this small town had numbers for their homes, just names of either streets or the general area.
The theme for today was "God made me special." I read the story of creation (thankfully, Joey had ordered VBS supplies in Spanish as well as English so I had good translations to use) with kid participation. For specific words they had movements (such as flapping their arms when I said "pájaro" for bird). The lesson station was also where the kids got their snack: a box of fruit juice and pretzels.
We gathered all the kids together at the second terrace to close the day where the kids repeated the theme of the day after me and also sang a song that they had done earlier with Jenn and Amanda.
Around noon we had lunch below the church. I had expected peanut butter sandwiches and Gatorade. The kitchen staff put together an amazing spread: a variety of sandwiches (ham, turkey, peanut butter), chips, pretzels, carrots, celery, broccali, tomatoes, oranges, cookies, red licorice twists, and bags of trail mix. I filled my plate and joined a group eating in the front room of the church's lower level.
The afternoon found the VBS crew looking for places to help out. I hesitantly approached a Mexican family painting the large boards that would eventually form the walls of the pop up houses and asked if they needed help.
Once we had painted a bunch of boards (a light tan), I said my good-byes and headed up to the main level of the church to see how donation sorting was going.
With the number of workers we had at Donations, we were finished in time for the first bus back to the ranch. I took advantage of the little bit of extra time to put on my swimsuit and get in the pool for about 10 minutes.
I would get to experience more of the pool later that evening after dinner when there was a Belly Flop Contest. No, I didn't participate (I would have made an extremely pitiful splash compared to the guys who jumped in) but I did have fun watching from my perch on the wall near the deep end of the pool. Memorable moments: Patriotic Speedo Guy, the chair leg snapping as one guy launched himself, Josh climbing to the top of an 8-ft ladder for his plunge. The winner made a huge splash, the water hitting four/five feet up the side wall. The contest was not complete without Randy getting pushed into the pool as well.
After the contest we reconvened down at the Warehouse for an update on where things were and a chance for a little bit more fun related to the theme of The Search for the Holy Nail.
Growing tired, we split for the night. Some people stayed up to play cards while others headed straight to the bunkhouses and some rest. I would sleep better this night, only waking up a few times instead of nearly every hour like last night.
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