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 Belize Diary- Friday A Tired, Hungry Group Arrives
The Story of the Day

The Sonora SDA Church group arrived on Wednesday, along with several of our group, to work to finish the San Antonio Adventist Church for meetings that begin this Saturday night. Reg King had agreed to let them use Howard (concrete finisher) for one day, as they had the church built, but were pouring the floor last. This is the hard way to pour a floor, Reg said, but the roof would protect the concrete from the occasional heavy downpours.
     Howard looked at the floor to be poured and said that they would finish as much as they could today. Reg said that Armondo Ramirez (a mission group coordinator from Punta Gorda) and his group intended to mix the cement and pour the entire floor today (Friday). . . The only question that remained was whether Howard would be able to finish the concrete after they poured it?
     By noon, amidst some mechanical problems, all the concrete had been mixed and poured. Now it just needed to be smoothed and finished. By around 7 pm, Howard and Armondo's group had completed the floor. Sabbath morning they will hold church on some pretty 'green,' but firm, concrete. By tomorrow night, meetings will begin in the San Antonio Church.
     Rather impressed with the accomplishment, Reg King says that the Sonora group, along with Armondo's team put in a long, hard day. A lot of the concrete mixing process is by hand, with a mixer mixing the water, sand and concrete. It took a lot of muscle and just plain hard work by their team. Howard is to be congratulated for his hard, long day finishing the concrete.
     Knowing that the church floor must be completed for Saturday evening's opening meeting kept everyone working until the job was done.
     The Sonora Church group will continue to work on this church during the week to complete painting and other tasks.

(that's a soy, papaya, banana smoothy, --no sugar. Nancy Henderson supplied the soy powder. Its a favorite! For the kid's benefit, we call it a 'shake.')
The Group Arrives at Belize City Airport
After flying out of San Francisco at 1 am and arriving about 9 am, it was a pretty tired group that arrived at the Belize Airport to continue their journey south to Punta Gorda. While about 15 people flew the 45 minute flight over the country of Belize, most went by van, with a school bus carrying the supplies, equipment and luggage

    Upon checking into the airport in San Francisco, we had about 123 pieces of luggage too many and were well over our weight limit. Andrew Chang and David Filipps whittled Taca Airlines to less than half of what they wanted to charge us. But it was still pricey.

     The Charleston Inn (left) is valued for its low price, constant flow of breezes and easier walking distance to restaurants and stores.
     The SeaFront Inn (below) overlooks the sea and offers a little bit larger rooms, especially for families. It offers a beautiful walk to town, along the sea front, taking about 10 minutes.

  Outdoor Plumbing!

This picture is of the side of the Charleston Inn, but it could be any number of buildings and homes around town. We're not sure if the building pre-dates interior plumbing, or the concrete block and poured concrete structures make it too difficult, or if this is just the way it's done here.

Toilets are often on platforms about 9 inches high with little platform out front of the toilet. It makes use a challenge for all.

On the school we are finishing in Punta Gorda, they had to cut out a section of floor in the bathrooms to enable Bill Fox to put the plumbing in the slab.

So the cause or purpose of this method remains a mystery.

This beautiful indian mom says she has 3 other children at home. Large families are likely common, although we noticed a women's health and support clinic on the street corner.
     We are not the only church here. The Methodists have a nice church and large school on Front Street overlooking the ocean. The Catholics have the largest school in town, I was told, but it is still believed that you build a Christian school here and people will come. The desire for Christian education, particularly as opposed to government schools was heard surprising often.
    Friday evening, we had our first opportunity to see the Maya Indian people we came to work for. They had spread out their wares for us to purchase. They are quite persistent about trying to find out when we are going to buy their baskets, wooden bowls and simple beaded jewelry.
     On Sabbath morning they even said that our pastor told them to go and sell us their items.