Whew! Sorry about the lack of a post last night – but its been a busy two days. Essentially, in two days, we built two houses – so as you can imagine its been a little crazy and tiring. It’s really been an awesome two days for the entire team – let me give you a few highlights.On Monday, we set out early and headed towards Bubba’s house (he insists he was the original Bubba). Bubba had donated a bit of land to an aging gentleman named LeRoy where we built a 20 x 10 home for him. The site was just outside of Highgate and in a neighborhood where there were lots of families and children. We worked at breakneck speed throughout the day to take the house from a simple foundation to one that was essentially complete. Usually it takes three days to complete a house, we did it in one. It was crazy, but the team worked incredibly well together. Everyone seemed to find their niche and get into a stride. Also, there were lots of opportunities to interact with the Jamaican people in the neighborhood and we were surrounded by children the entire day. Many of our team members took time out to play with the children and spend time with them – something we were told later would likely be the highlight of the entire summer. Everyone walked away from Monday a bit tired and sunburnt, but feeling a great sense of accomplishment and a great deal of gratitude for the time we got to spend with the Jamaican people.
Today, we set out early again to the home of Eli – a man who works here at the CSI mission home in the kitchen and has done so since he was a young boy. For him, we were adding a 10×10 extension on his brother’s home where he is currently living so that he could have a place of his own. Once again, we worked hard over the course of the day to take a simple foundation to a complete home. The day was even hotter than Monday, and we had a much longer walk to haul equipment to the work site. It was also a day that experienced more challenges but saw the team really come together to get through them and get the job done. Many people got a chance to spend time with locals that stopped by throughout the day as well. The evening was also a chance to experience local Jamaican culture after dinner at the mission house (Pinto’s famous fried chicken was a huge hit by the way). The team headed into downtown Highgate for ice cream at a local shop and then to a local pottery maker known as the Cormel Potters. Their stuff is famous throughout the island and we had the opportunity to see how it was made and purchase some of our own.
All in all – an absolutely incredible couple of days. Everyone is holding up well and seems to be getting a lot out of the experience. Everyone is using their spiritual gifts and personal talents to the best of their ability. Also, many are getting to try their hand at something new – like construction. So far, we’ve really had a great week and are looking forward to finishing the houses tomorrow, dedicating them, and going to a local orphanage tomorrow.
Look for more tomorrow –