Keep in mind that these beams were set over the course of several weeks. Although we have months of no rain, when this river is nothing but a trickle, funding and scheduling problems (not stuff that was in our control) meant that we didn't start this phase of the work until the rains had already started. So, during all of this work, we had one eye on the cranes, one on the water level, and one on the sky. Yes, I know that's more than two eyes. I watched the sky from home, as our place is up high with a commanding view in all directions, while the bridge is down in a valley. When I saw storm clouds approaching from any direction, I called Allen with the weather report. I called again with updates as any potentially wet weather headed his way. Because of the mountains all around Gracias, and because our rain tends to come in sudden torrential downpours, flash flooding is a common occurrence, and we needed to be sure to keep the cranes and other equipment (and the workers!) safe and able to get out of the riverbed if necessary.
We were so relieved once the beams were all up in place! There is still a lot of work to do on this bridge, but none of the rest is expected to be as stressful as this part was. We've had several visiting mission teams during the summer (including one right now), and we have Rachel's wedding coming up in two weeks, so there hasn't been much happening at the bridge since the beams went up. I'll let you know when the men are back at it!
|Placing the final beam!|
|Prayer gathering, giving thanks for success and safety, after the final beam was up.|
|Cranes packing up and getting ready to leave|