Thursday, July 24, 2014

Material Deliveries, Nica Style

We are in the process of refurbishing 2 small dwellings for the carpentry shop in the community of El Paraiso.  There are no stores in that area, so all supplies need to be transported 30 miles from Leon.

One lesson we learned, NEVER shop and transport on Mondays.  The buses are already loaded down with supplies.  

After doing the necessary shopping for the supplies we needed to take out to El P., Preston spoke to the bus driver about stopping at the Ferreteria to pick up the materials.  He showed the driver the bill of sale and the driver, said "not today, there is not enough room".

So, home he went to salvage the day with a list of "honey dos".   You know that list - honey do this, honey do that.  I needed the office moved within our home.

On Tuesday morning, Preston along with our "son" Noel and other "adopted" older son, Nelson, went back out to the terminal.  Preston had conversation with the bus driver, the supplies would be picked up that morning and taken out to El P.  The guys helped load the bus for the 1 1/2 hour trip to El Paraiso.  

Once at El P., the supplies were unloaded and placed at the edge of the road.  One board at a time, the boys walked everything 2 blocks down the road to the dwellings.

Work to install new rafters was accomplished in 3 days.  3 days, you say?  Well, the trip to the village takes 1 1/2 hours.   IF the bus is on schedule and the guys arrive out at the village, they have only 4 hours to work before having to catch the last bus back into Leon at 1:30pm.  There were plenty of delays during this work week; continue reading.

On Wednesday morning, all was well, the bus was making good time going out to El P.  Just as the bus was turning left on to the final road to take them another 30 minutes to the village, a pickup truck  decided to pass the bus; there was impact.  The pickup while trying to gain control as it swerved  wildly out of control down the highway, ejected one of 3 men riding in the back pickup bed. The man hit a metal road sign and landed on the road. He was a grotesque sight and there was no clear evidence that he was still alive while waiting for an ambulance.

The bus was delayed an additional 2 hours; all passengers waited on the dusty, sunny, HOT road for another bus to arrive to pick them up.   It is beyond anyone's imagination as to how it is possible to pack an additional bus load of people into another already overcrowded bus.  Once they got everyone shoved into the bus, Preston and the passengers had to wait still another 20 minutes while both bus drivers discussed the details of the accident.  Visualize human "sardines" packed into a hot, stuffy bus.  If Preston's cell phone had rung, he said there is no way he would have been able to get to his pockets to answer it.  

Once at El P, they had just 2 hours to work before catching the return bus of the day.  That was the first week of installing a new roof on one of the dwellings.

The next week, there was roofing tin to buy and transport to El P.   There was a problem with one of the buses needing to change out the drive shaft before being able to leave the terminal, there again yet another delay.   Preston arrived at the village shortly before 11am, only to have to leave at 1:30pm.   Later in the week, everyone was offloaded from the bus at the turnoff and shuffled onto another bus; something about the bus needing repairs.   Each week has it's own unique events that prevent a full days work.  

The final cap on this 2 week adventure, was Preston being hit by a taxi that ran a stop sign.  He was riding his bike to the hardware store to buy his supplies for the next day's work.  A very scared young taxi driver jumped out of his vehicle and ran to help Preston who was laying on the pavement after being thrown from his bike.  There were some scraped knees and nothing that seemed too terribly wrong.  So, Preston righted his bike, put the chain back on and rode home.  Once home, he discovered that he had more pain that he originally felt; some very sore ribs.

For the last year, the other ministry that we have been working alongside in El Paraiso has been very generous to allow us to accompany them in their vehicle.  The problem now is their work schedule is different from ours.   We want full work days, 4 days a week and a visit on Sunday mornings.  Which leads me to say, we need our own means of transportation.   Each day Preston leaves the house at 6:15am to catch the 7:00 bus.  If there are no delays,  once he arrives at El Paraiso he has 4 hours to do the work for that day.  He arrives home at 3:30 each afternoon.  That's 9 hours out of his day to accomplish 4 hours (if he's lucky) of work.  It is time for our ministry to have a vehicle.  Can you help?  We are dreaming big,  we are wanting a new, trustworthy, very efficient vehicle to handle all of our needs - room for passengers and plenty of room to haul materials.

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The dreams and future of several young men in El Paraiso depend on our continued work in their community.  We are there for the long haul, years are in our future at El Paraiso........