Today was again packed with making adobe bricks and digging trenches, but I got to experience something that will likely be a highlight of my trip. I got to go with Raquel and Claudia to get some of our lunch supplies for the week. Gordy, Claudia and I took a taxi over to Gordy & Bear’s apartment where Bear gave us the list of things we needed, Raquel met us there, and we took another taxi to the huge open market. It was incredible. The colors, smells, sounds, etc were almost overwhelming. It wouldn’t have been safe to walk around with my camera snapping away (though I wanted to!), but I did get a picture of the cookie stall, which was an incredible array of sugary treats! After we found our way out with our purchases, we next drove to the fruit market, where we bought bananas and mandarins. Claudia was so helpful explaining the different kinds of fruit, and even had me try some! One was an orange banana (delicioso!), a tiny mandarin (fantastico!), and a granido (sp?), which you had to peel open to get to the juicy seeds, similar to a pomegranates’ seeds, but very sweet. It was certainly something unusual to try, but it tasted sweet and wonderful! After the fruit market we went to the regular supermarket to get loaves of white bread (Bimbo brand!), Pepsi, and, of course, Inca Cola (which is a yellow soda that tastes like cream soda but smells like bubble gum – I think it’s great! Claudia and I also decided to share a few small bags of Yucca (You-ka) chips (I’ve loved the cooked yucca we’ve had with meals), and two types of fried banana chips. The yucca chips were mostly just salt flavor, and we haven’t tried the banana chips yet (maybe tomorrow!). It was such a fun morning, and I really am thankful for them asking me along!
We then took the food to the job sites, and after lunch started working on adobe bricks and making mud. Again, very hard work, but we really had a lot of fun, especially between Claudia and Pat trying to coat each other in mud!
After getting back to the hotel and a quick jump in the shower and a absolutely wonderful meal (my favorite so far – but more on that later in the week!), about 8 of our team members, myself, Lori Clapham, Jon Cronce, Jim King, Steve Williams, Andrews Oliver, Lane Kirstetter, and then our translators Emily, Claudia, Dave, and Christian went to a youth event, with junior high age students, with some indoor games and a presentation a psychologist with the mission set up about domestic violence (which is a huge problem here). It was fun to meet with the older students, even after a very long day of work!
Now I am very ready for a good night’s rest, with lots more work tomorrow! Please continue to pray for health and safety, and especially team unity.