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Gazebo in Guatemala of sorts


The house that Cindy and I rent has an outdoor area roofed by palm leaves.  The local term for this space is RANCHITO.   It has leaked since we started renting; vines had grown into the roof and it had lasted as long as leaves are going to last.  We could use it during dry season (smile).  We like using the area for discipleship/Bible study  for a group we work with.  SOOO we needed to replace the roof.  We started learning about palm thatched roofs.  There are different kind of leaves and different techniques – none of which are available at our elevation.  The craftsmen that can do this are on either coast, fortunately it is not like we live in Kansas and have to bring stuff from East or West Coast in USA!    Mike Rhea (who has a rancho – a BIG ranchito) and I measured the space, estimated the number of leaves, Cindy and I started saving money, added to the concrete pad and did some roof removal ourselves to help the process along.  We set a date and 2 days before the team arrived they started cutting 300 leaves.  There are about 35 near bald palms in the Rio Dulce area.  Rancho de Esperanza donated almost 100 of those leaves and the guy that gave us the rest gave Mike a deal 1 Q/13 cents US per leaf.  Some of you know the men that work for Mike and Karen.  Pastor Benito, Cheveti, and Brian came and ‘busted it’ for three days.  As you will see in the photo blog they raised the roof, split leaves, tied them on one by one and put a new piece of tin on the top.  The next week we had church in the ranchito.

The Rhea’s and these men are a blessing to us and to the ministry of Vine International here in Guatemala.  You can follow the process with the captions in the photo blog linked here.  Oh yes the family up the street were taking down a dead tree next to the ranchito with a machete… machetes are used for everything here.

Enjoy a little bit of Guatemala.  Cindy and I wish you could sit under these leaves with us.  They smell sweat for a few weeks until they completely dry.  Coffee and Bible study are really nice now even in the rainy season.

Thank you for your support.

In Christ, Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon

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