Thursday, June 14, 2007

Camp Living Water Update

Hello everyone. Sorry for not posting lately, but I've been keeping busy during Dana and Maria's absence from Romania. This is the best way to pass the time! After my previously posted food-fest, I spent the next two weekends with the missionaries of Stepping Forward at Camp Living Water. These photo's are from both weekend trips. During the last week of May a team of very skilled carpenters representing Missouri reformed baptist churches came and built the cabin you see here. Most of the work was done in 3 1/2 days. The cabin is basically 1.5 stories with a stairway going up to a "sleeping" floor. Unfortunately, the sawmill broke down halfway through the week leaving the roof only half-done and the siding not started. The good news is that the team left the missionaries some nice equipment to finish up with including a big generator, compressor, nail gun and tons of nails.

Weekend #1 (June 9-11)

The sawmill remained out of commission during the weekend of June 9-10, but I went up anyway to help with some odd jobs. 3 of Steve's 4 girls were with him and they brought 3 friends for a visit. The group, without me, is here on the right. The guys were in the minority on this trip! Steve had promised his girls that he would work on their tree house, so he was focused on that project most of the weekend. I have to specially mention Steve's daughter Sara (age 15 wearing the blue cap) who prepared (and cleaned up) ALL the meals for the group this weekend. The next photo shows me and Sara (working as usual) carry fresh spring water back to camp:
While Steve was busy, Eli (an intern staying for the summer - back left of supper photo) and I improved the cabin stairs, dug post holes for a future gazebo (another small team is coming in late June to build this), installed shelves in the storage container and whacked some weeds. It was in the upper 80's on both days and the cool creek baths were a real blessing (after the initial shock of the freezing water). One evening, Eli and I went up to an orthodox monastery located about 5 miles even further out than the camp. As you can see, they have been putting a lot of work into it. The white building on the left is the monk's quarters and the chapel is shown below.
Weekend #2 June 15-17

For the weekend of June 15-17, the plan was to get the sawmill working and cut the remaining logs. There is another work team coming from the USA at the end of June to help finish the cabin and possibly make some headway on the Gazebo. It was a quieter camp experience since only Me, Steve and Eli went up. The first task was to get the sawmill working. At first, it didn't go well. Steve and Eli installed the spark plugs they had brought, but it still didn't work. We were a bit discouraged as we got supper ready. For the supper blessing Steve prayed briefly about the sawmill. Then, after supper, Steve and Eli headed back down to the sawmill for one last try. I stayed near the fire until, about 30 minutes later, I heard the sawmill crank. We were fired up! It turned out to be a totally different problem than we thought - just a bad switch that Steve removed and "hot wired."We went to bed happy and thankful!

So, We worked half the day on Saturday cutting the wood that the next team will use. After that, we started the tough assignment of digging around the cabin to correct the drainage situation. The cabin is on a slope and ALOT of dirt had to be removed from the back and sides. This is when I found out that Eli is a digging machine! After about 3 hrs my hands were about to fall off - but Eli kept going and we did too. Finally at supper time, Eli said he was getting tired. With seconds, Steve said "OK, we're done!". (I was already dropping my shovel to the ground when Eli spoke)

On Sunday, we made a few bed frames from some extra wood. After we were done cutting, Eli announced that only two of us were needed to assemble the bed frames and he decided to go dig some more (did I mention Eli is only 21). Anyway, Steve and I said "Great!, Go for it" and continued work on the beds. Well, that about covers it. We actually ate pretty well for just being the 3 of us, and had a good time. Next stop for me is Upstate, NY to visit my side of the family (and of course see Dana and Maria in the process). We'll be back in July!