We were super blessed - through prayer, no doubt - to have Zac offer to help us survey. (Zac is a new employee in the Costa Rica office of eMi. We really enjoyed getting to know him!!) Braden and I brought a total station and a GPS unit. That would mean that at least for part of the job we could have 2 teams going. Zac and Jeovanni went out together on the first day and used the total station. SUCH a blessing to have them there - as we wouldn't be able to get the job done without them! Also - I need to mention that it was incredibly hot. (At least for us pastey Canadians who were there with our winter skin!!) And Zac never once complained - this was not the job he signed up for!
I need to insert some info here about Jeovanni. He is 29 and is from Honduras and friends with Trish and Marlon. He used to be a teacher but was laid off a few years ago by the government as they could no longer fund his position. He went to Trish and Marlon and told them that he would be available to help them with whatever they needed in their ministry. They told him that they didn't have enough money to pay him but whenever they had extras they would give them to him. He ate a lot of meals with us and drove us around a lot of the time! He always had a smile on his face and was so eager to help! I was actually really jealous of the people on our team who were able to speak Spanish and have full conversations with him. Him and I did do our best to communicate with each other in what we knew of each others' language. It was fun to teach each other new things! Me trying to explain to him what snow was proved to be a bit difficult!!
We later found out that he had shared his testimony with two of the girls on our team. When he was 20 he got married and a few years later they had a baby boy. He had many health complications and died at 8 months old on the way to the hospital. Just two years ago his wife passed away as well. Many people in Honduras die of illnesses at a young age since they do not have good health care. Even though all the hurt he has been through in his life, he is still smiling ALL the time! Meeting Jeovanni changed my life. Just to see God working in his life as he is a Servant for him was incredible.
Now - back to our work at the site! Braden and I set out with the GPS unit and our new friend Melvin. (On the other days our friend Omar was there with us as well) We needed to have a Honduran with us most of the time since there are some nasty snakes in the area we were in. Melvin walked with us and carried a machete in case we needed to take out any attackers!! Ick. The first day we mostly did GPS stuff. It caused a lot of frustration for Braden since we were in an area with a LOT of trees. So we kept losing the signal.
The first day we had to walk through super tall grass that was almost up to our waists. It was kind of scary not being able to see where we were stepping!
Over the next 3 days Braden worked his butt off. Sometimes I was a rodman for him and other times I helped him by holding his data collector (so he didn't have to keep setting it down and picking it up again!) Slowly, but surely, we got everything done! I have never hiked so much in my whole life. And that is definitely not by 'cup of tea' but it was an amazing experience. I loved getting to see Braden working and using his God given gifts. It was also great to see the beautiful land that this family owns. I enjoyed spending time with Jeovanni and trying to make conversation with him. It was all around a TON of work, but really amazing. Braden would have liked to get a little bit more done, but we got everything finished that absolutely needed to be finished. If it wasn't for your prayers - we would not have gotten that done!
Lots of the time during the day I was distracted by wildlife. Mostly lizzards. And trying to find snakes. But that never paid off! Although, I did catch a lizzard one afternoon. And when his tail broke off I just about cried! Everyone thought it was pretty hilarious though. I was mortified!!!
Over all.. the work on the site was tough.. but super rewarding!!
Stay tuned.. still not done yet!