Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tower in the jungle


It was a good trip, long, hot, really humid and successful.  Last Tuesday my co-worker Wim and I packed our stuff and departed for what we thought would be 4 days in the jungle to provide technical assistance to the community as they built their new water tower.

Despite a long delay in leaving Shell, we departed after lunch and arrived safe and sound in Inayawa.  We stayed in the old school house, a one story, raised wood floor with a tin roof.  In reality, it’s a really nice place to stay.  Clean, dry and plenty large enough.  

From my last experience, (this is my third time in Inayawa) I had a better idea of what to bring along to make the trip a little nicer.  We were gifted a new water filter from Sawyer to see if we could use it in the jungle for our personal needs.  It worked well and we are glad we had it.  I also brought along a hammock, although I barely got to use it as Wim and the hammock got along really well.

The weather was hot, really hot, even for the jungle.  We did not have a temperature gauge, but we suspected about 95 degrees with near 100% humidity.  It was very easy to sweat while sitting in the shade under a tree.  The bugs were really bad for about half the days we were there.  I am not sure where they all went on the other days, but they definitely came and went.  The people are constantly bothered from insects and sometimes oppressed.  We saw a 6 month old child that looked like one big bug bite.  Ouch!

The people were a joy to work with.  They really had a heart to work and complete the tower.  They worked through the rain, hot sun and bugs.  One of the men was bitten by a poisonous spider on his hand.  The people made a jungle tourniquet out of vines and removed what they could of the venom.  I was able to pray over the bite, but was amazed by my own fear of how the people might react.  God is good and the man’s hand was better by the next morning – I learned an important lesson also about myself, and how to address the constant fear of stepping out for Christ when it really matters.

After several days of working on the tower we were getting close, but it became obvious that we were not going to leave on Friday as planned.  We revised our plans, made contact with my family and ended up staying three days more.  Saturday the people worked the longest day yet.  We worked all the way until dark and everyone was really tired.  We rested well despite the heat.

Sunday was a really good day.  We were asked to give a testimony and to preach in Church on Sunday.  Wim had prepared a Bible lesson and I gave my testimony.  I found it hard to give my story  using references that would be understood by the people. With God’s grace I think I did OK.  I am continually convicted about how I need to improve my Spanish.  I still lack nearly all the subtle aspects of Spanish.

Sunday was also our best “community development” day.  We were able to walk around to some of the homes, visit the people and just “be”.  I think I got a better picture of the people over the weekend than I did the other three days previous.

Monday it rained all morning and we were blessed to be able to make contact with the plane's base station and schedule the flight for the afternoon.  This allowed us to work with the people for another half day and complete the project before the plane arrived.  It was a great trip but it is also really nice to be home.

Typical home
Cut notches to receive horizontals 

First floor

Temporary floor
First beams of second floor

2nd floor being assembled


Chicaw break

How we made our connections

Adding in the cross braces

Finished tower less the roof

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