Lily Silverthorn, LAMA founder, returned to Peru in early February. She spent less than a week in Lima and then moved down to the Mission in Ica. Before another week passed, she has engaged local assistance with a complete painting of the interior of the first floor of the Mission; our regular contractor is doing tile and fixure installation of the master bathroom, formation of rebar columns for the 2nd floor, initiation of brick installation on the 2nd floor and more.
She has committed to me that she is taking a good amount of photos and videos, but I will not see them until I get down there myself next week. I am encouraging her to maintain a diary/blog and will include it here when I get it. Needless to say, she has been one busy founder and the mission build as well as outreaches are moving. More will be posted here soon.
OK,, no more excuses ... 1 night in Lima, and 2 at the Mission, time to start blogging .... (still having internet access problems with my computer so doing the create on one and transfer to other thing ... whatever) so here goes .... more than you will ever want to know (can't say we don't do full disclosure!! ;-)
Having arrived March 6 just after midnight (leaving March 5) in Peru to assist Lily, the following is a recap of her first month down here, recaptured mainly from looking over her expenses and having her recall the day to day events while she was here. Hopefully after completing this mostly February recap, the March chronology will be a little more real-time and less based on an accounting re-telling .... ! ;-)
Feb 8, Saturday - Lily arrived Feb 8th in Lima ,Peru. spent 4 days in Lima doing some personal time.
Feb 13, Thursday - Lily caught a morning bus arrived in Ica around noon, and went right to the mission in El Carmen after a single stop at the grocery store, and with the phone company to put more money in her cell phone. She had to do the normal first things upon arriving to the mission, clean up our little casita that we live in on the construction site, dusting, spider web removal, etc .
Feb 14, Friday - Lily met with Abel, our contractor on the 14th to get an estimate to finish the 2 bathrooms downstairs, and to do rough brick, columns and roof for the second floor, as well as the deconstruction and construction of the other third of the front courtyard. The estimate was S/18,285 labor only (current exchange rate is 2.8 solas/dollar). Abel also gave a list of material that he needed.
Feb15, Saturday - Lily went to Maestro (our Home Depot of Peru) and bought materials for two bathrooms, including tile, sink, toilet, grout, some light fixtures, etc. Same day, had glass estimate for finishing up first floor glass installations in 6 windows and 2 doors. On prior trip we had window frames custom made but most did not have glass yet installed. Paid half of the S/600 estimate for the glass work.
Saturday evening, 4:30, had children's service at the mission.
Feb16, Sunday - day of rest. 5:30 service at the mission.
Feb17, Monday - Victor, a brother in the Lord from El Shaddai church, who had started to do some prime painting in the front room, showed up to continue painting. What El Shaddai started was to just prepare and prime the front room where church services were being held. Working with Victor, Lily worked out a plan to do the entire first floor. She and Victor went to Maestro to buy paint and supplies. They returned and painting started that same day.
On this same day, additional court feedback was received by our neighbor, Raymundo, in his continuing efforts to finalize a declaration of heirs on the property transfer, needing to get additional birth certificate information on his siblings. Lily also took time to do some video of the horticultural area of the mission location, even with all the construction going on! ;-)
Feb18, Tuesday - Abel, our contractor, showed up to start working on bathrooms. More painting work continued.
Feb 19, Wednesday - Maestro purchase of rebar (S/3,507, $1,257) for fabricating columns for 2nd floor. Delivery charge for each major Maestro purchase is an additional S/100. Our favorite delivery man, Jaime, delivered the rebar, nails, wires, on this trip. Jaime is a good christian brother friend that we always look forward to meeting again.
Feb20, Thursday - Abel worked on the bathroom tile, painter was working as well and glass man also showed up to install as well. Lily went to town to buy more groceries, and to also meet with attorney Uchuya. This legal work is still on the title work.
Feb21, Friday - Painting work continued. Bathroom work was paused as tile was setting.
Feb 22, Saturday - Painting continued. evening, 4:30, had children's service at the mission. Showed a Vegi-tales movie.
Feb23, Sunday - day of rest. Lily attended morning services in Ica at El Shaddai. 5:30 service at the mission. Bought more painting materials at Maestro.
Feb 24, Monday - 2nd coat of paint continued. Abel finished grouting on 1st bathroom.
Feb 25, Tuesday - Painting continued. ordered 1000 brick and 50 bags of cement, also two interior doors for bathroom, locks, plywood. Gave S/400 deposit to install 3 wrought iron doors downstairs for 2nd bedroom, office and hallway. Abel installed toilet / sink.
Feb 26, Wednesday - Abel, Cuba (la Machine) and one other helper show up and column fabrication starts. Painting continued.
Feb27, Thursday - Another 2000 pandereta (light brick for interior 2nd floor) purchased and delivered. Column fabrication and painting continued. Also bought two fans for cooling for services on Sunday's. Also bought a computer table & chair & blackboard. Also got delivery of 10 cubic meters of sand for the concrete work.
Feb 28, Friday - Column fabrication and painting continued. Brick work began.
March 1, Saturday - Purchased another 1000 exterior wall (Kin Kon) brick, and more rebar. Made first payment to contractor. Victor painted black base. Column erection initiates. Evening, 4:30, had children's service at the mission.
March 2, Sunday - day of rest. 5:30 service at the mission.
March 3, Monday - Victor started assisting Lily on a few master bedroom items, assembled beds, did some electrical work, assembled closet, screened windows and door. Lily went to Maestro and purchased another 1000 (Kin Kon) exterior and 1000 interior (Pandereta) brick.
March 4, Tuesday - Lily departs from Ica to Lima at 6am, primarily to meet William at airport. Abel continued the brick work but Victor paused while Lily was away.
March 5, Wednesday - Lily is in Lima, met with attorney. Brick work continues at mission. William departs from Los Angeles, arriving after Midnight March 6,Thursday.
March 6,Thursday - Took a 2:30pm bus to Ica, meet at station by "Lecha", who drove us all the way out to the mission in El Carmen. We got to the mission definitely after dark, but it was clear to me (William) that a lot has transpired, seeing all the formulated columns on the 2nd floor, the partial brick walls completed as well, and the shiny white paint the 1st floor had received. Lily had indeed been quite busy!! Looking forward to seeing more of it. Spent some time walking around with a flashlight that night seeing how much had transpired. Apparently a little too much in that the brick work that was done during Lily's 48 hour departure, did not allow for some planned windows ! Ouch! See what happens when the lead supervisor is away!! [as of 2/6 expenses: total of $6,900 construction, labor, material, transportation, phone, food, miscellaneous costs ]
March 7, Friday - William met again with Abel and other familiar faces from the construction crew. Lots of needed discussion between foreman (Lily) and contractor (Abel) were done in spanish regarding going forward, the window 'omissions' that need to be corrected, as well as additional materials now needed. Victor, who has been done painting for a while, has stayed on as a regular handyman doing many odd jobs (screens, wiring, lighting, etc.) that don't fall in to the contracted construction work that Abel is doing.
Victor was left at the mission doing some minor electrical trouble shooting as well as installation of two bathroom doors that Lily had purchased earlier. We went to town shortly after lunch for additional materials. Made a major Maestro purchase of concrete and brick. Also picked up some miscellaneous bathroom items and lumber for some closet shelf building. We hurried back with our major material delivery aiming to get back by 4pm or so, with the hope of catching the crew before they were done for the day, to assist with the unloading. Victor continued to work around the mission, far later than the regular stop time of the construction crew which is about 4 or 5.
March 8, Saturday - work continued with Abel and team on the 2nd floor framing and pouring additional columns (with 20 columns, it's a big chore); Victor continued with odd chores, cutting in screen cloth and hanging a bathroom door, installing closet shelving. We had a rush on the column pours, renting a cement mixer to press forward, trying to get done before the youth showed up for fellowship. I put in a few electrical outlets and the first two stations of an intercom system that will eventually be able to unlock the front gate with the push of a button.
Youth showed up for 4:30 session, and they had about 21 kids. It's a growing group, that started with a loyal dozen apparently for many months and the word is getting out. We introduced the youth leaders to the e-cube and they want to use it for next weeks training. Wonderful group, and I was proud to see my little friend who always counts to ten in english when she sees me. Finally found out her name was Marianne. When I first asked her 'Coma Say Yama' (what is your name), she said "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven ..." ..... I love her little sense of humor!! ;-)
Plans to go to Ica tomorrow for church services and be back in time for services here in the evening. Agusto who ran the kids service today invited Lily and I out to lunch when we come to town tomorrow. Will be fun day.
March 9, Sunday - Made it to Ica for church services. We were also invited to a friends house for lunch, and then back to the Mission for 4:30 services.
March 10-11, Monday & Tuesday - construction progressed at Mission with both Abel's crew and Victor.
March 12, Wednesday - trip to Maestro, picked up 500 pandereta (light) brick. Not being enough to justify the truck charge, we also got 500 Kin Kon brick to complete the courtyard next week, and threw in a second 1100 litre water tank for the roof. It will be a little while before we get the tank on the roof, but we at least have it. We needed to get some more specialty items for the exterior electrical ground, some additional tile, lumber for door frame, and other miscellaneous.
March 13, Thursday - Went back to Ica on Thursday. Still searching for a brick engraving solution for our donation wall. Bought some groceries.
March 14, Friday - construction progressed at Mission as usual. Got delivery of 6 cubic meters of sand. Abel worked on 2nd bathroom as his crew continued to move forward on second floor. Electrician specialist spent a good deal of time finishing up electrical ground in backyard.
March 15, Saturday - completed the retiling of the 2nd bathroom on first floor. Had youth services at 4:30pm. We had them do the e-cube presentation. Movies next week.
March 16, Sunday - Went to Ica for services, short talk with Pastor Martin. Will have a more formal meeting with him later this coming Friday. Had a great lunch with Augusto and the youth service team again, this time at Augusto´s home. His young eight year old son and I have a new bond! ;-) Headed back to collectivo to get to El Carmen for 4:30 services. Stopped at Internet cafe first. Also got some groceries. Got our 6 month water bill for S/48 (approximately $17).
March 17, Monday - Construction continued as normal.
March 18, Tuesday - Construction continued as normal. demolition of adobe house in front property started on this day.
March 19, Wednesday - Glassman came and installed glass on our three new interior doors. Construction continued.
March 20, Thursday - Demolition of Adobe house used three dump trucks to cart it out.
March 21, Friday - Went to brick engraver yesterday, dropped off 23 brick and templates for engraving. Went to Maestro to order 750 ceiling block and a lot of rebar for the roofing of the second floor. One truck departed, and we went on some errands to town since it would take about 90 minutes for the first truckload to get delivered and back, and a second truck load to get all the material out to the mission. Met with Pastor Martin as well.
March 22, Saturday - poured footing for the front courtyard north area, where the former adobe house was. Did some wiring and plumbing items. Two weeks to go and it appears that the roofing will get poured next Wednesday, and our courtyard will get completed this week as well. Not sure what we will do construction wise the last week, but good to make so much progress during this trip.
Had our youth service at 4:30 where many of the kids went through an exercise of using the e-Cube to explain their Christian faith. We gave our only remaining e-cube to the best presenter and pledged to bring more next August. After that we watched the movie Rio, a real favorite for the kids down here, lots of laughter.
Mar 23, Sunday - Went to church, stopped at Maestro for a few items and picked up our engraved bricks done locally. We have been unsuccessful in getting someone to actually come on site to do the engraving and we have to find that eventually or do it ourselves (more likely). It seems that no one that can do simple brick engravings want to do it except in their shop, while others who do graveyard engravings only want to do granite or marble. We will solve this problem but in the interim, we have gotten 24 bricks engraved here and are being placed in the newest courtyard wall. After the wall dries, we will paint the engravings and then remove the templates and hopefully get a good picture of the placement for each donor. Thank you all for your donations. Please, help us sell more donor bricks as our expenses (as you can imagine) for this project now being in the middle of the construction phase, are exceeding our donations.
Mar 24, Monday - Work started on the footer for the finishing walls on the courtyard area. Lily and Jose went to town to see a marble commemorative stone for honoring the original property donation for the mission. The engraver (different one) didn't have anything done. Work progressed agressively on roof of second floor.
Mar 25, Tuesday - Courtyard wall, or half of it, went up and we added 12 of the 22 donor bricks to it. We will put the remaining 10 in the 2nd ajoining wall, to be done this week. We will have to get new templates made for the two that didn't turn out so well. Hopefully we can return in August and do those two and a lot more, with our own sand blasting engraving equipment. Please help us by buying a donor brick and leaving your message, memorial or commemoration for all to see. God bless our donors.
Jose Wong worked on building the partition wall cutting in half our one long downstairs room on the north wall. This will make two small rooms, a guest bedroom (handy while the 2nd floor is still under construction) and an office (something that the church and mission need. When the upstairs is complete the downstairs bedroom might become something else, but in the meantime we now have two bedrooms for privacy. A very large beam was placed at the front of the building. Many more to follow. The construction team hopes to get the second floor ceiling poured by end of week.
Mar 26, Wednesday - Work will get underway today to pour the footer for the remaining north wall on the courtyard, with brick work to commence tomorrow. Here's a finish picture of the northeast brick work that was completed yesterday. It will get a header beam and the concrete portions (top, bottom and columns) will eventually be 'tarajeo'd', i.e. plastered, before painting, leaving the brick exposed. It is so good to finally have the old adobe building taken down out front and our full front of the Mission is starting to show up. Put together a pair of construction videos, one for the 1st floor (mostly painting and demolition work of front adobe house) and the 2nd floor. The first floor video is linked here on the right. --->
Finished up the wood divider wall that Jose started. Took delivery of 80 bags of cement (100 to come tomorrow) as well as 300 brick. Hope to finish the courtyard this week as well as the 2nd floor ceiling. Don't know how they will do it yet, since we also have the children coming in the morning this Saturday, rather than their normal 4:30 timeframe. Lots to do before Saturday.
Mar 27, Thursday - General all around tasks of organizing, cleaning up, installing a bathroom door, cabinet door, etc. Work crew was focused upstairs prepping the ceiling for a hopeful pour tomorrow, while one specialist worked on cutting in the stairway from the 2nd floor to the 3rd. Lots of electrical tubing and light boxes to install before ready for the floor pour. No work on the courtyard brick so far today since the 2nd floor is taking priority and they will have to construct a platform in the front for a concrete bucket brigade once they start pouring. Concrete pumpers are pretty rare in Peru! ;-)
Mar 28, Friday - A great amount of finish brick work went into the front courtyard. The final framing of the 2nd staircase upstairs was done as well in preparation for pouring the ceiling next week. Personally I rerouted some back yard plumbing and hung some curtain rods. Lily made a trip to town on some errands returning about 5:30pm. She needed to get some food items in preparation for tomorrows childrens breakfast we are having at the mission.
Mar 29, Saturday - In the morning we had a great breakfast with the youth. Lily provided oatmeal and El Shaddai provided bread, cake, and juice. We usually meet with the children at 4:30 pm but this being our last Saturday we changed things up a bit. So good to be working with this group of about 20 kids who are saved, with the hope and prayers of multiplying it immensily in this village and the neighboring ones. During the day, construction work was focused on pouring the columns in the front courtyard. In the evening we had a cinema night for our group of kids, playing one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Over an hour into the movie we had a 4.6 earthquake with an epicenter only 30 kilometers away making it seem like a much bigger quake. It rattled the windows a bit but nothing else moved. Our little theatre and in fact the whole village emptied out onto the street. More excitement. 10 minutes later we were back watching the movie. Excitement in Peru.
Mar 30, Sunday - We decided to not go into Ica for church today, especially since we were having services later this evening. We hung around doing miscellaneous chores. Never usually see the construction crew on Sunday but Abel and his two brothers came by to remove the column forms from the front since leaving them in the sun another day would only damage the wood. Major equipment showed up as well for tomorrow's large job of pouring the roof. First to arrive was a roof elevator with dual buckets to carry concrete to the roof. Then a major concrete mixer showed up with a front loader that can output a lot of concrete per hour with the right amount of folks feeding it.
Mar 31, Monday - The 'big day'. We did the roof pour. Heavy equipment brought in the weekend prior, was put to use and all day the two bucket elevator was taking mostly concrete (some water) up to the roof. A crew of four on the ground level feeding the bucket system with a large capacity mixer. On the roof, one elevator operator, a few wheelbarrows and place workers, and the day was full. We had a fresh delivery of 10 meters of gravel and 10 meters of sand to go with our 160 bags of cement. Along with the roof, they also poured the new stairs that went from the 2nd floor to the roof. Problem is we ran out of gravel before we were done. Tried to put in a small order of a meter at the end of the day and they didn't give less than 3 meters, and then we waited and waited for our excess gravel delivery. Got to be dark when it finally arrived so the work didn't finish until well into the evening. One big job.
Apr 1, Tuesday - Clean up started and we had a lot of it. Abel and his brothers came by to remove some forms from the stairs, and a few other exposed to the sun areas. A few hours of work and they were committed to another job. We did clarify a lot of things that needed to be done before we left the country. Lily and I worked on a lot of internal issues, bathroom doors, etc.
Apr 2, Wednesday - Abel and crew spent most of the day cleaning up the 2nd floor. Had a laborer come by and offer to wheelbarrow all our debris away from the street for a real good price. We got him convinced to do a load from the back yard first and got a combined quote. He got started and got a helper. Had to quit about noon due to the heat, and promised to finish tomorrow. Hard worker. A nice young man who grew up in El Carmen and along with his little brother who we have entertained a few times with movies, are both orphans. Hard working gentleman. Abel also worked on finishing and cleaning up the front area where half of our neighbors home was donated and demolished to build the mission. Had to do something to make the other half somewhat secure! ;-)
Apr 3, Thursday - cleaning continued. Our two rubbish removal workers who arrived a 6 am to continue their job, hinted that they could work better if they had some breakfast. Lily made her now famous coffee cup runny oatmeal drink with some bread. That got them going! ;-) Abel pressed forward and started working on some of the remaining brick work needed in the upstairs bathrooms. Also, cut a window where there was supposed to be one and that was apparently a big chore ... he owes Lily a few more windows and he says lets do those in August when we return. A deal is brokered! In the meantime, I am still wiring up showers, hanging bathroom doors, shelving, and other odd jobs. Had a dickens of a computer hassle to work out first with my backup service (Carbonite) and then with my virus software (AVG) ... struggles on my funky internet provider down here. Speaking of which he is supposed to come by today with a new router and square up on our billing ... we'll see, as we did loose 8 total days with his down servers last week .. so much for country internet! ;-) Tonight we are headed to town to see some of our church friends at El Shaddai one last time and attend another healing service hosted by a few American pastors who are visiting. They love to see a gringo or two when they come here as they feel so out of sorts without their interpretors. Looking forward to hearing their preaching 'in English'.
Apr 4, Friday - Spent a busy day wrapping up some final items with Abel and crew. They did quite a bit of cleaning up, gathering up their tools, lumber and more. They also closed a temporary opening in the front with Adobe brick. It will be closed permanently when the north coridor wall is completed. They also worked on securing the shaky roof of the next door property (now only half there, awaiting its fate by the owners). They also installed our communication intercom box in the front brick wall. Trying to remember when they did some final brick work in the upstairs bathrooms between the shower and comode stalls. Anyway, these final days were sort of a blend. In the evening we had a movie night, showing the local kids Ironman 3 in spanish.
Apr 5, Saturday - Our last day at the Mission in that we have a 6pm pickup to get the bus station for a 7:30pm bus to Lima. Abel and crew came by and rounded up much of their gear that they gathered the day before. Took a truck load of supplies out and on to the next job. We look forward to working with them again in August. We had the kids come by in the afternoon at 4:30 but the church could not make it so we ran a short session with them, making them popcorn and Cheecha Morada punch as we watched an animation movie on Moses. Love these kids. We will miss them until we come back. Off to the bus, on to Lima .. got in pretty late in Lima.
Apr 6, Sunday - Had a pretty full day in Lima. Went to Surco for church services, at Lazaro Perez and his wife's service. Lazaro is a friend of a fellow friend in Florida who left everything behind in Florida and became a pastor in Peru. We hope to work with him more in the future, getting him down to Ica a few times. Anyway, we met him and his family last year and this was the first time to actually attend his preaching and service. It was a very blessed teaching and Lily was very touched. It was enjoyable to watch his wife lead worship with their children playing instruments, and then listening to Lazaro's message. Also turned out to be his birthday so I taped the cake part and put it on their churches facebook page. The church that he founded in Lima is called Iglesia Chrstiana Casa de Luz. So blessed to see a family so dedicated to the Lord and doing so much to lead others to Him as well. If ever in Lima Peru on Sunday, do check out their lively young vibrant church.
After that, we took a not too long taxi ride to Mira Flores area, near to Surco. Looked up a friend of Lily's that she met a few years ago at a teaching event in Ica. We spent the rest of the day with her, as she is in the process of selling her home in Lima and moving soon to the Basque area of Spain. She is a very gifted teacher on biblical principles and is also an accomplished author. Very enjoyable getting to know her.
Apr 7, Monday - Got up and visited a few friends before we had to leave for the airport at 9am to ensure we were cleared through customs and all before our noon flight home. It was a very long and productive trip and time to go home.
Following photos were received from our neighbor in May, well after the contractor removed the support 'trees' on the constructed 2nd floor:
Photo Gallery of this trip