Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Saturday's Mystery

Saturday morning dawned as early as the day before, with our usual wake up calls. We groomed and occupied ourselves until breakfast was served about 7:30am. Steve and George left for a pastor's meeting a couple of hours away while the rest of us reported to our stations of work. There was heavy, clay dirt to dig and remove, boards to cut for framework, and earth to pound and pack into the floor area of the new building.

George provides boots in many sizes.

While we were taking our morning break, Gabriel, a cute little tyke,belonging to one of the cooks,
unexpectedly threw up on the cement between the buildings.  Only a few minutes later Taylor, one of our youth, was assisted into the sleeping area to lie down. She had also gotten sick. She was up again quickly to try and make it to the toilet, sick again. There was a flurry of activity as the van was fixed up to take Taylor and Gabriel to the clinic. As they boarded the vehicle we could see that Eduardo, our driver,  had joined them, bucket in hand, also struck with the mysterious illness. What was happening? Who would be next?

Lunchtime was called.  No one was too hungry or certain about eating, but we filled our plates and sat down around the tables. As we were finishing the meal, Geiselle, one of the cooks who had come from Grecia was led out towards the toilet. She and another young lad, not from our group, were then taken away in another vehicle. Oh, no!  More fall victim to what was seeming like an epidemic.

George sent word that all work was to stop. No one knew what was causing the sickness.  He and Steve were still away.  We had not seen them since they had left in the morning.

Our somber group gathered atop, around and between the mattresses of our sleeping quarters to hold hands and pray. We asked God for protection and healing.  The local pastor and the food prep crew joined our circle.  There before our Almighty God we raised voices in English and Spanish, blending our hearts in prayer and worship.

We waited, then.  To hear some news, trying not to imagine our stomachs churning or worrying about someone else being carried away. There were half -hearted card games started to pass the time, while others rested or read.  We began to take our showers.  Steve was staying in the local pastor's apartment, which had a bedroom with a double bed and a bathroom with a large tiled shower area. It was directly behind the dining room. He had offered the shower to us women to use.  A nice gesture on his part and a little piece of comfort for us.  Little things do mean a lot!

Surely, we had seen the worst of our stay.  Things would have to get better. But little did we know what a rainforest thunderstorm was like! Our troubles were not yet over.

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