The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday: Monday the 22nd

My weapon of choice on Monday morning was a 14 lb. sledgehammer that I used to break up the concrete floor at the Cacalote church. Luckily for us, the floor demolition went pretty quickly. The existing concrete wasn't very thick so it broke very easily.

After we finished destroying the concrete floor, we took all the broken pieces up off the floor and hauled them outside. Some of the team helped Manuel even out the floor, but most of us hauled dirt in to fill the stage area up.

We filled a lot of dirt into the stage area. We hauled it into the church using wheelbarrows and five gallon buckets. (Quick sidenote: the most ingenious thing that I have seen in the past 5 years is the way the workers had innovated their buckets. Instead of using the wire handles, they ripped them off and cut small pieces and nailed them into the top of the buckets. This created a sturdy handle and made the bucket much easier to pick up.)

We filled the stage up with dirt in layers of about 4 inches. After each layer, we would stop and water the dirt down. Then we would tamp the dirt down with tampers. Kent decided that "tamping" didn't sound like the right way to describe what we did, so he invented a new word to describe it. The word did not catch on.

We worked hard that day. There isn't really much poetry to filling a stage in with dirt. It is simply hard work that has to be done.

The women of the Cacalote church brought us agua fria and agua. Agua fria is cold water. And though you would think that agua is just plain water, it isn't. Agua was in fact blended water and watermelon. It was quite delicious and quite refreshing.

Every so often, I would go over and get a little more agua fria and talk with some of the locals. I introduced myself not as "Lafe" but as my first name in Spanish. It translates really well and everyone seemed to remember it.

Joshua. Pronounced Ho Sway in Spanish.

A few of the women said that the nickname for Joshua was Che. So some of the women began to call me Che.

There was a little boy at the church that was playing with his mother. His name was Daniel and he became one of my buddies. We played machetes for a while and then I showed him my best trick. I can play my face. I beat on my cheeks and make up songs. I always top every song off by popping my open mouth. Daniel was fascinated by me playing my face. For the rest of the trip, my little buddy Daniel would holler at me and then start to beat on his face. It was really funny.

While hauling dirt, Kent, Reagen (called Presidente by a few of the locals), and Casey talked a lot of business. They discussed different types of bank accounts and all types of business ideas. Since none of that talk interested me, I helped Arturo as much as I could. He told me a lot about his little daughters and his house that he had built. Arturo had to slow his talk down so I could translate it, but he stuck with it.

After we had hauled enough dirt into the stage and tamped it down, we were about to head back to the base to get cleaned up for the worship service that night when Arturo pulled me aside. He wanted me to go visit his house. We walked over to his house and he showed me everything in the world that he owned. He showed me his guitars and his stove. He was quite proud of his kitchen and it's few appliances. The kitchen was an outdoor room that had been constructed with tree limbs. The house was concrete and two rooms. In one room he had a small couch and a CD player. He got out a little CD case and pulled out a CD. He gave it to me with such an amazing smile on his face. Though I tried and tried to refuse, I knew that Arturo would accept no such refusal. There were two beds in the other room. I could only assume that one was for him and his wife and the other was for his two daughters. His wife was outside washing clothes and I made sure to tell her that she had a beautiful house because it was. It was simple and it was beautiful in it's simplicity.

We loaded up the tools and headed back towards the base. We were all filthy and dirty so we took showers before the regular Monday night worship service.

We all got up and introduced ourselves during the worship service. Everyone in attendance seemed quite excited when I introduced myself with my Spanish name. There was a worship team from the states as well that had come down for the week and they were leading worship that night.

The worship was very exciting. People were jumping around and dancing. There were a few people that came out and danced with flags and capes. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but I was still quite dazzled by the performances.

It was amazingly hot in the worship building so I made my way outside for a minute or two. I walked back in and hung out against the back wall. Everyone had formed a massive chain by holding hands and running around the building. I didn't join in because it wasn't really something that I was into.

After the last song, one of the women from the worship group got a microphone and began to preach with the assistance of a translator. After a few minutes of preaching, the lady searched out one of the ladies that was interning at the base. She began to speak in some sort of tongues. Then she told her that the Lord had given her a vision. She said that the intern had many, many questions for God and that she hadn't gotten many answers. But that she would and when she did get those answers that she should write and write and write and write. She then put her hands on the woman's forehead and the woman fell back into the arms of a few men.

I decided to leave the worship service at this point. I walked around the base and found Matt sitting next to a coconut tree. We talked for a little bit. I think that the worship service had freaked him out a little but too. We talked, but I tried to let him do most of the talking. Since he was going to be staying down at the base for the next 6 months, I knew he needed to be listened to more than talked to.

After the service ended, we walked over to the patio for a snack. I think everyone was taken aback by what we had all just witnessed. After the snack, our group went out to the back porch and talked about the worship service a lot. Everyone said something, and it was good to sort out all our feelings while they were still fresh.

After the meeting, Reagen, Matt and I walked back to the Cacalote house. While Reagen was taking a shower Matt, Aaron and I talked about the worship service a lot more. Aaron answered a lot of questions for Matt and told him that the Monday night worship services were not typically like that.

After reading a little but more of my book, I put my earphones on and went to bed to the soothing sounds of Snow Patrol and The Fray.


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