Construction is hard work in any language.

Day 3 of our mission trip was the first day of construction at the Jungle Kids campus and it was work for sure… but totally worth it indeed.

The day started early, with breakfast at 6:30 and a bus ride at 7:00 to head out to the property.  We started by looking over the work area and materials, examining the building plans and making some calculations, and quickly got to work.  Our construction foreman, Jeff Hunsucker, did a great job managing the project as well as getting in the thick of it and working hard himself.

By the end of the day at about 5:15pm, we had taken what was just a collection of concrete posts sticking up from the ground and transformed it into the shell of a building with more than half of the floor complete.   It was a massive job done quickly and well by our motivated volunteers.

Mid-day our hosts from the hostel drove out to the Jungle Kids campus and brought us something we weren’t expecting: PIZZA!  They arrived with a cooler filled with individual plastic containers filled with plenty of food for each person to eat and half of a peach for dessert.  We also got to drink some sort of juice that had oatmeal mixed in with it, a delicious and nutritious treat indeed!

One thing that made such progress possible was great foresight by our host, Roberto Davalos.  He and his team hung a large black tarp over the entire work site, providing us with an effective shield from both the sun and the rain.  Again and again, those of us who have construction experience remarked how wonderful it was to have a “roof” to work under.  Thanks Roberto!

From carrying wood from one place to another to cutting and fitting pieces together, from hammering nails to cleaning up the work site, the team was exceptional and it was a day of great productivity.

After finishing up the work day, we hopped aboard the bus to head back to Misahualli and get cleaned up for dinner.  The jury is still out as to who was MOST in need of cleaning up, but we had some pretty messy and smelly clothes to change out of. All of us were grateful for the showers at the hostel.

Finally, dinner was a delicious dish of well-seasoned fish of some kind, with rice, beans and a potato spinach soup on the side (surprisingly delicious!).  We ate and enjoyed, spent a little time walking around the town of Misahualli and watching the monkeys in the square (yes, live monkeys) and turned in for another early night at around 9:00pm.

This time the power stayed on all night and the air blew cool through open windows as we slept to the sound of an all-night rain.