There are a lot of villages up in the mountains around Cubulco. Some are quite small and I suppose can hardly be called a village! Los Encuentros is one such village. Three brothers and their families who live close together on a mountainside, recently approached Ken about getting a teacher for their community. Their children normally had to hike a few kilometres to the nearest school, however, during the rainy months of the year the size of a large river between them and the school makes the trip impossible. Ken hired this young man to teach the kids! He spends four days of the week there.
The trip to the village is beautiful, but rugged. After an hour in the car, it is a two hour hike, crossing several rivers. The river nearest to the village is the largest and the people have built a raft out of gourds to ferry people across. Wilf choose to swim :)
At first, the school met in one of the houses. When the rains came, members of Los Encuentros, as well as members of some of the other churches, put together their money and built this building. The government donated some desks, and they were all set!
(keep in mind that all the desks, wood, sheet metal etc. had to be carried the two hours to the village!)
A few days ago, Wilf and I went over to Odilia's house (a lady in our church) to make mountain cheese. Mountain cheese is really delicious with tortillas! Wilf and I are hoping to buy some of the enzyme tablets needed to make it and try our hand at it when we get home!
In the picture above, Wilf and Odilia are warming the cheese with their hands to consolidate it.
Squeezing out the whey.
Kneading in the salt! Wilf is now an expert :)
Odilia and her family are fairly well off (compared to most people here). However, her husband drinks a lot and her children don't show much interest in church.
Another project Ken started is the after-school Bible program-or Centro de Educacion, as it is called here. Our kids have been going three three days a week since the beginning of June. They really loved it! For three hours, they would do singing, crafts, and games.
Unfortunately, all schools and educational programs have been cancelled until July 1st becuase of the influenza pandemic! We are so disappointed. It means that our last two weeks here will be pretty quiet!
Kristen's friend from school also came to the Bible program!
Ken hired three teachers to run the program. Vilma (pictured above with Kris) is the "lady in charge"...I'm not sure what her official title is :)
We were very sad that the schools were cancelled because it meant the kids had no playmates for the next two weeks! So far though, Kris's friends have been dropping by almost every day and a large group of Nate's classmates stopped by yesterday as well. I suspect our trampoline is a BIG draw....
Although she isn't fluent, Kris manages to get by quite well with these girls! Nate and Brad rarely speak Spanish and seem to know only words used during a soccer game! :) We suspect they know more than they let on!
The pool is very warm right now and we make it over there almost every afternoon to cool off before dinner. The kids can stay in for hours! It is great to see them improving so much.
Ryan loves his waterwings and I love to watch him swim!
Above he is preparing for a dive....
And away he goes!
And so the days fill up and pass by! We are thankful to the Lord as well for the class Wilf taught the obreros over the past three days. It was a really great opportunity to talk about the future of their churches and their plans to continue on and further their work. Wilf has plans to visit all the aldeas once more in the next two weeks and the kids and I plan to finish up our school!
Please continue to pray for our family and the work here!