Once again we were up for breakfast at 6:15AM, then afterward, we were given a talk on animal husbandry and agriculture by the agriculture manager for the Ranch. They keep 85 head of cattle and use artificial insemination. They teach good practices throughout the valley. They have found that the Brahma cross does not help with the milk production, but it is more for beef cattle. They are working to produce more Holstein-type or Jersey-type cattle. They can’t just import them because they do not do well in the conditions in the valley. They have to cross-breed a valley cow with a milk-producing bull or cow. It was a very interesting talk. After returning back to our dorms, we did find that Gerald had shingles. He did not sleep well last night and did not feel well enough to join our devotional. We left for La Esperanza without him.
We were greeted as always by the children and many of the villagers. The VBS continued today in the morning as always and the workers heard that there were 3 floors to pour. Me, Danny and Johnny were put on one detail and we found that we were going to do Orlando’s house. We had plenty of help, but it was a big job – 10 bags of concrete. We had Edwin, who is Orlando’s son as our mason and we had Franklin Fabian as our mason and worker. He can flat make some concrete. Orlando had told us that he had just built the house, so the mud had dried and looked like tiles. We were told that they would come behind and fill it in again. The interior was 2 bedrooms and a hallway, as well as a living room. The entire house was to be concrete, except the living room. The Cucina or kitchen would be on the open porch. We tried to talk him into doing a latrine inside in the hallway, but we are not sure if he will do that. We had 11 workers total — the 3 of us, Orlando, Edwin, Franklin Fabian, Carina, Nora, Dixieanna, Jose and Tao. I butchered the spelling of the names, but this is the best that I could do.
We finished the house at noon and Orlando gave us a ride in the back of his truck to lunch. It was like being a kid again when we used to ride in the back of the neighbor’s pickup truck in Atlanta. Before we left, though, Nora gave me a beautiful little vase.
We ate lunch, then headed backwards to the school for our fiesta. The music was loud and we played outside with the children. They had all their gifts and were running everywhere. It was a happy day for all of us. We went inside the school and everyone danced for quite a long time. It poured down rain so hard that it was hard to hear anyone. They sang their national anthem and we sang ours. We exchanged gifts, then left. We went down to the house that had hosted us for every lunch – “grandma’s ” house and thanked her for our hospitality. We found out that she was 97 years old, but was getting around very well. She spoke to me in rapid Spanish and I was happy that Marta was there to translate. We left about 3:45PM and came back to the ranch.