Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Construction 101

Yeah……….and you thought all I did was hold babies. The past two days have been a bit of a crash course in construction as I talk to Nate (missionary), Dan (CDA volunteer), David (CDA’s new administrative assistant), and now as a last-minute surprise, an adoptive father who leads construction projects. We’re all putting our heads together to build a much-needed, multi-purpose room behind the Baby Home. It’s really exciting!!

It was kind of a hard decision to make but after much consultation, prayer, letting the plan mull a couple of months (the idea birthed only a day or two after Gabriela’s death, as we brainstormed how to have more round-the-clock attention), and all the consultation of yesterday, I made the executive decision to go for it. Although we don’t have the cost estimated completely pulled together yet, I’m praying it’s amazingly surprisingly low... Miracles can happen, right?

But already God has given me some “road markers” that we’re on the right path. About once every six months, a certain couple visits us with their young adopted daughter. They bring some donation and also ask about adopting another child or two, so that Jennifer does not grow up alone and spoiled. Today of all days, the father stopped by with oranges for the kids and when he asked for me, was brought to the back of the house where we were deep in our brainstorming and planning session. He jumped right in with all sorts of helpful advice and decision making. This guy has done construction in Afghanistan with US AID but now to stay with his family, he oversees construction projects in Bolivia. He also owns a dump truck that he says he'll use to bring us the supplies. I get the impression that HE does not do the hard work—he orders one of his men to do it! And he is ordering some to help us. I just stood in awe as I watched all these people fall over themselves to serve us.

We were actually supposed to have a large team of guys help us in May but they fell through when they couldn't make the deposit for the trip in time, so.... We're going with Plan B as far as free labor!

And on the funny side...

It’s been an interesting stretch for my brain to learn so much at once… Spanish AND in English. I’ve caught myself nearly saying “little cart” instead of wheelbarrow or "cube" instead of cubic, but when you’re using an ear for each language and making sure both parties understand what the other is saying, yeah, things get interesting! On top of it I’m clueless about much of what we talk about, so I’m trying to explain something that doesn’t have an exact word in the other language (or might not even be available), when I have to first get an explanation of what exactly we’re talking about!! Then there's the matter of translating Dan's inches into centimeters, or David's meters into feet. Somehow with all that barrier, we’re all catching on fast to the ideas and cultural ways of the other. For some reason I didn’t have to talk about pouring foundation or setting window frames with the house (building, really) we first constructed outside the city in 2003-2004. I just remember all the decorating terms, ha!

Hopefully we won’t run into issues between the shall I say very different Bolivian and US ways of doing things, most especially in construction. If Dan is doing the most [back breaking] work on the room, does he win, or does the country we’re building in win….? Well, stayed tuned for details on that one.

When Dan started today:

And a few hours later, a good beginning underway!

The better picture would've been one point, when three of us were kneeling on the ground talking about exact measurements in proportion to the building we're attaching to. For some reason I was holding the youngest baby (taking a bottle), Dan was holding the next to youngest (sound asleep), and David was sketching in a notepad as toddlers ran around us.

SOO...actually at Casa de Amor we CAN do construction and hold babies at once, how about that! ;-)


Shonni said...

I love reading about your work!

Laurel said...

Sounds like an exciting project.

One of my daughters is a translator for YWAM in Argentina, so I loved hearing about your translating challenges. I spent 2 weeks in Argentina with Carissa, and so enjoyed hearing/watching her translate.

mama of 13 :)

Anonymous said...

very cool! wish i were there to help build...would be cool to learn the Bolivian style! how did I miss the fact that you had a new administrative assistant? guess i've had MY head buried somewhere.