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About a month ago our internet on the Plateau went down.  A week ago I got here to the US with great plans to update the blog right away… then I got sick… again!  Well, no more excuses!  Here we go…

One of the most exciting recent developments is the BLOCK MACHINE!!!  We now have a motorized block maker that can make blocks much faster and much higher quality than the old way.

 The “old way” with one form and one shovel… pounding the cement into the form.

On May 22 we were finally able to crank her up!  We had a trainer from the company that makes the machine come out and teach our guys.

Before they could start we had to get a group of ladies to wash the sand!  It had too much dirt in it so they had to pass loads from one wheelbarrow to the next to get it “clean” enough to use.  
It was great to be able to give these ladies work, even if just for a few days 
(they now get “cleaner” sand from another place).
Another group of guys had to sift the sand and limestone to get the bigger rocks out of it.  
The sand and limestone is then mixed with the cement powder and a little water.
Then… since I am now in the land of super-fast internet I can SHOW you the machine at work!  
This is a video of the first blocks being made.
 Isn’t that amazing!
 They’ve made thousands of blocks and already have people wanting to buy them!

In other news…

 …the girls in the Young Girls’ Group put on a special presentation for their moms for Mother’s Day.

 Let me back up a bit though because I am not sure I have told you about the girls’ group. Back in November I started working with 8 girls between the ages of 13 and 16. 

The girls back in November with their binders and the first cookies they learned to make.
Every Saturday we met for two hours.  The first hour is Bible Study. 
 Part of an activity from one of the Bible studies where they learned that we cannot simply “tie” the fruit of the Spirit onto our lives… just like you can’t tie fruit onto a tree.  The fruit of the Spirit must stem from His work in our lives, not our efforts to “look Christian.”
  During the second hour they learn to do or make something.  Some of they things they learned this year are how to make cookies, bread, and meat filling, how to set a table, and how to cross-stitch.  They each cross-stitched a lady holding a basket on her head.  
 Making and decorating cookies for the Christmas Program.  They gave out plates of cookies to eight lucky winners who found a paper taped under their seat!
Making my favorite cookies!
 Learning cross-stitch
 Working so hard on their cross-stitch projects.

So, to finish out the year, we decided to put everything they had learned together and throw a great party for their moms.  They made rolls, chicken filling, macaroni salad (with a bit of help on this one since they were learning it for the first time), popcorn, two kinds of cookies and acerola cherry juice.  They set the table and decorated the front of the house.  They shared what they had learned through the year and sang a few special songs for their moms.

Manis shared some words of encouragement with the moms and challenged the girls to not just treat their mothers well on Mother’s Day, but to respect them and love them all year round.
The girls then served their mothers the meal they had prepared for them.
 To wrap up the evening the girls each presented a gift their mothers.  In order to be able to give these gifts, each of the girls had to work for me for fifteen hours total (3 hours, 5 times).  
In return I sent to the city to get special gifts for their moms.
  1. June 20, 2012

    WOW! loved the update including the videos! What you are doing in working with the young girls is just wonderful! It sounds like a perfect blend of Godly wisdom and needed skills being taught to them. What a worthy endeavor and I am sure their mothers were proud.
    Praying you find needed rest and healing.

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