Tight Places and Open Spaces

June 26, 2012

            Today, Tuesday, June 26, 2012, began rather auspiciously, as shortly after our return from the Steak House last night (where we did not really eat an obscene amount of beef, but one IRONMAN did admit to me today that he had overdone it last night), the power went out here at Schoenstaat. That’s a first, and we learned why Boli has encouraged everyone to bring a flashlight.

            By the way, yesterday was the 170th anniversary of the birth of Boli’s grandfather, Eloy Alfaro, who was once the president of Ecuador, and whose service and legacy are revered to this day.

            Mercifully, Schoenstaat is in an industrial area, and thus we were without power for only about 45 minutes.

            We headed out to work today for two different families. Team Ivan built a home for a nuclear family; Jose Luis (who is the father, but was absent all day as he was at work, selling water on the streets. This is such a prevalent work for this year’s homeowners, I will try and get a picture and post it of one of these workers) and Herlinda and their four children, ranging in age from 28 to 18 (I’m confident they are not all in the home). This was an incredibly tight build, blocked in by fence line and another home, complicated by a great deal of rock that impeded setting the posts for the home. Add to that the fact that there was a duck nesting on her eggs which no doubt caused SPCA and other agencies to oversee construction.

            Rest assured that this team worked faithfully and hard, wisely turned down plates of arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) when offered, and finished in time to enjoy a cerveza while waiting for the other team.

            Team Gato built a home in a wide open space on top of a hill, with a great view in all directions, over the site of a home that had burned down. Fernanda Mendoza, a 25-year old single mother with two darling daughters (aged 6 & 3), is a proud woman, with no man in the picture, and no job. The home is truly a gift to her. She prevailed upon the team to add a fence of bamboo, and midway through the build requested a change order, asking that the partition in the middle of the house be moved. Recalling Luis’ words yesterday, we smiled and accomplished the task.

            Curiously, next door to Fernanda is a single Dad, likely in his 30’s, with four children and no job. We agreed that he is indeed a true IRONMAN.          

            Our plan had been to go to the Malecon (the park along the Guayas River downtown and enjoy a stroll, but a late day and fatigued men decided to defer this. Dinner will thus be earlier tonight than planned, and sleep will likely do the same.

            We rise tomorrow to build the last of our planned homes-assuming we are successful, that will bring our total this year to nine families housed.

            Soli Deo Gloria-To God Alone the Glory!

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