Saturday: 31 August, 2019

Well, I was right. Yesterday afternoon filled up even further than I thought.

Alberto wasn’t quite ready for us when we got there, so he asked us to come back in an hour. We went to Rafael’s store to pick up the cabinet estimates in the meantime. Rafael thought the estimates were too expensive (simply because we’re gringos, he said), so he took us up the street to another cabinet maker.

That fellow thinks he can do the project for considerably less. He plans to come out to measure stuff up the first of next week. If we have two options, perhaps we’ll be able to negotiate a reasonable price. He thought he’d be able to start the project in a couple of weeks.

After that, we talked with Rafael about getting crushed stone to put on the drive in front of the church building. He said he’d do it this morning (and he did). We then asked if we could rent his truck to move the church benches from our house to the building in Izcuchaca. He said it would work best for him to do that right away; we arranged to do it after signing papers with Alberto.

We got back to the church location an hour later, and Alberto was more or less ready for us. The floors were very wet from having been mopped, but he insisted we walk through the room to see that all the lights work and so on. We messaged the ladies afterward and told them we’d need a mopping crew when we brought the benches back.

After the papers were signed, we met back up with Rafael and headed to the house to get the benches. During that time, Lamar heard from Alicia’s son Walter who was visiting for the weekend from Cuzco. They wanted to come over, so we invited them for supper

It was 6:00 p.m. when we started loading the benches. The pizza wasn’t quite ready to pull out of the oven, so Lamar waited behind with the mopping maidens for it to be ready. Rafael, Joel, and I went on ahead to get started unloading. Lamar brought pizza for us to eat at the church building.

After the benches were placed and the floor mopped, we headed back home, pulling into the drive just behind Walter’s family at 7:00 p.m. Walter and Evita have three boys under six years old. He is a pastor and works in administration in an orphanage in Curahuasi. We thoroughly enjoyed their visit, but we were tired when they finally left at 9:30 p.m. We hope to see them at church on Sunday.

This morning the neighbor who allowed us to lay our water main line through his pasture asked to meet with us to discuss several issues. His renters, the lecheros, are upset that we won’t let them use water from our farm for their cows. We explained that the president of the water committee specifically forbid us from doing that, with the threat of cutting our water off if we did. That made sense. They are going to go through the water committee to get their own permission.

They are also upset (understandably so) that Lamar’s house has a sewage drain line that exits into the ditch. We discussed options for fixing that. It won’t be easy or fast or cheap.

The neighbor also brought up that the drive that goes down to our house is on his land, and he would prefer for us to make a driveway in our own field. Okay, so that means hiring an excavator to put in a drive; it further means that we must do it within the next few weeks because the rainy season is upon us, and we won’t be able to work in all the mud.

It’s a test of our love not to be frustrated with these neighbors after chasing their cows and pigs and sheep and dogs out of our yards how many times. We must exercise forbearance and forgiveness over the damages their animals continue to cause as we do our best to show compassion to and cooperation our neighbors.

Both the drive and the sewer will be large expenses. We’re not sure how we’re going to finance those. We’ve been praying that our house will be able to come to closing to free up some dollars for a vehicle; perhaps, we will need to change our prayers to ask for the money to be available so we can get these expensive projects done before the rain comes.

At least we won’t have to worry long about what we should do with the money from the house sale. Silver linings….

I just finished burying our rooster and one pullet. The rooster developed a respiratory disease. I tried saving him, but he didn’t make it. The pullet died for undetermined reasons. Three other pullets died from the neighbor’s dog snacking on them. One hen disappeared; I suspect she is laying eggs on a neighbor’s farm, as we found no feathers indicating the dog had been back. So the flock is down 16% in one week. I hope that rate slows down.

Now we men need to run into town to level the pile of gravel in front of the church location. I still don’t know what to call it: a building, a location, a facility–it’s just one room on the bottom floor of a six-story building. I’m sure the owner will be glad he has someone to take care of the street now. We have plenty of opportunities to be servants. Can we do it in a way that makes the Father smile?

Hasta luego!