Saturday, January 10, 2015

In the Sunshine State!

We are now on the NOMADS project at ECHO and have finished the first week. The weather has been wonderful even though a couple of days the natives were complaining... the morning temperature was 55 which was like summer time to us! We are in a wonderful campground and Linda has been enjoying the swimming pool.
Our site is level and has a nice "patio" where we can relax at the end of the day. We are also located near the laundry facilities and the swimming pool so that makes it even nicer. We are surrounded by campers from Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana, sort of the Midwest Gang. The campground company has a wonderful $3.00 breakfast every Saturday morning which makes it nice!

ECHO is the acronym for Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization. This organization is a non profit organization that has developed many ways to provide food for people who are in need. This includes issues relating to sustainable farming in tropical countries as well as urban gardening ideas that can be used by city dwellers every place. The organization has several missionaries in training that will use what they have learned to help people live just a little better in many parts of the world. ECHO has locations in Florida, East Africa, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, the areas where hunger is the greatest problem.

When we arrived we were met by a couple that had worked with us on other projects as well. It is always great to see a familiar face after a long journey!

The NOMADS team consists of 14 members. The team members are from New York, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Our daily routine is to start each day with a devotion, then proceed to work on our assigned projects. Breaks are taken as a group so we are able to enjoy some fellowship...the spiritual growth opportunities and the fellowship opportunities are just as important as the work we do!

So what are we doing you may ask. Linda has been assigned to do power washing of the facilities. This includes washing buildings, sidewalks and other structures. I am glad she is getting this experience so she can wash our house this summer and not be on me to do it!

One of the houses where the interns live while on site needed more cabinet space in the kitchen, so the first idea was to just add a "lazy Susan" in the corner cabinet. The problem is there was no corner cabinet but a counter top over an open space so the project evolved into building new cabinets for the kitchen. The space was such that standard cabinets would not work and the budget did not allow for the purchase of cabinets from Loews or Home Depot, so I was given material int he shop and told to build something, including making the counter top. This is certainly not going to be a one week activity, I am sure I will be at least another week building the base cabinets for the kitchen.

During our fist weekend we did relax! I took Greta for a couple of long walks in the local forest preserve and she really enjoyed the outdoors. We managed to see the movie Selma, visit a flea market, and observe the matinees, Tonight we will attend a meatloaf dinner at the Tice United Methodist Church.

So far this has been a wonderful trip...lower gas prices, dry pavement, warm weather, we are just hoping the weather up north changes before we have to start back!

Linda:  So far I went swimming 2x even though I am wet most of the day power washing sidewalks and buildings-the green and black mold of Florida is very difficult to remove.  On our days off, we like to go on nature walks and do some exploring.  we did see the movie, SELMA.  Very moving.

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