When Matt and I found out that there was to be a time of sharing our experiences at the EMM office, we joked that our presentation was probably going to be quite dull compared to the stories of the other returning short-termers. We wanted to share our hearts, but we didn’t know how interested people would be in the physical work that we did on the island. I included a few before and after photos of the property and was so encouraged by the reactions from the staff. Since we have been home we have received several photo update requests from others.
All of the tin was removed and we were able to recycle most of it for use in other projects. The cement board siding, and the new plywood underneath it, will do a much better job and stopping the cold winds of winter. The roof was also painted and several areas that we leaking were repaired.
The vision behind this little apartment is to create a space of refuge and retreat for couples or families. We did some serious scrubbing and painted everything. Matt and I worked together to create the furniture. We wanted a cozy place to sit, so we designed a couch that is the same length as a bed so it could be used as an extra sleeping space if necessary.
We used an old beam to raise the height of the sink and to serve as the base for the recycled countertop slabs. We built shelves underneath to store food and kitchen supplies. We stained the wooden base and all the furniture with a can of tinted varnish that was left over from another project. I loved the dishes that were donated, and we decided to display them on the walls and on open shelves to add some color to the space.
In the other bedroom, Matt built two bunkbeds. We designed them so that the rungs on the ends are close enough to serve as ladders. The room is tight, but we think it will be great for the families that visit since they will not need to put mattresses on the cold floor.
The bathroom was also rearranged. As it was previously, you couldn’t use the shower because the ceiling was too low. By moving the tub to the inside wall where the ceiling was higher, the bathroom became a little more functional.
We also totally rearranged the storage area in the back of the building. Now, the tool shed area of the building is accessed from an outside door and the narrow entrance to the apartment area is lined with shelving for linen storage.
We had this area in a wreck for most of the time we were there with building supplies and piles of stuff that had been in the rooms were working on at the time. Finally, we were able to paint the ceilings and the walls and put things in order.
Matt built a table and shelving to store the dishes used for large groups.
It’s so clear to me that God provided over and over again by giving us materials to continue working on the property. We were not the first couple to put our energy into this place, and we probably won’t be the last, but I’m thankful that we could be a part of the transformation that is taking place on Isla Tenglo.
About a week after we left, Ricardo and Eliana posted the above photo of people crowded around the new table with their Mother’s Day crafts. My heart filled up to the brim.