DAY 7!!!

By: Clay Lee (Richardson Fire Department)

Dude, where do I start? I guess I will start with the morning. Breakfast @ 0700 of which we promptly showed at 0745, and took off for the station for our last day with the bomberos de 69. When we got there John and Kelcey were on a MVC where a motorcycle ran into the side of a van. The motorcycle rider was cut up with a possible broken foot. They loaded the driver of the van and the rider in the ambulance and took off to two different hospitals.

Our group went many different ways today. First Clay Rozell started by sharing our true purpose of being there today. He gave a short and sweet testimony to the class explaining how Jesus came to save us and how that is the bond in our team. We have built a relationship with the bomberos and there is a trust between on both ends. He explained how we are Christians first and firefighters second. The group seemed responsive, and our prayer is that it plants a seed in their hearts. Brendon, Brad, Shane, and Kelcey finished up the training which went extremely well. Louis drove Hayden and I (Clay L) all over Guatemala City looking for fire gear which is near impossible in this place. Just like the saying goes, “Nobody has the gear you are looking for but knows someone who does.” News flash – that somebody does not have it either. Chase, Mark, and Clay R went to the store to buy dinner for tonight and breakfast tomorrow morning for the orphanage. David “Chaquetta” stayed at the station and cooked lunch for us, who knew beans would take so long in a pressure cooker. Pollo Campero saved the day for us gringos who don’t know how to cook Guatemalan style.

Tonight we had a big fiesta for all who were involved in our stay. We had several members from Casa de Libertad, several firefighters and their families, and our whole team at the station. We had a ceremony to thank the members of the Bomberos de Voluntario, and Francisco from Casa de Libertad presented some gifts which included some rope bags an axe and other misc rescue gear. The bomberos were very appreciative. Then they showed their appreciation for us and told us that we were a part of their team. They announced that our whole team now held the position of “officers” and gave every single one of us a uniform shirt with a badge and a hat (which is sweet) and they all had our name embroidered on the back. We were truly honored. After the ceremony we all got some chow, which was beef stroganoff the guys worked on earlier.

During dinner a call came in. All we knew was that some guys became trapped during a construction collapse. We all loaded up on the engine. All 16 of us loaded on the 1982 Mack open cab. We had 3 riding tail board, two riding backwards, and the rest of us were stacked up on the hose bed. We arrived to a scene I will never forget. In downtown Guatemala they were building a high rise with a 7 floor parking garage underneath it. They had a hole dug for the parking garage, of which words cannot describe. The hole was about 100 feet deep, 50 yards wide, and 150 yards long. The 100 ft wall was half concrete walls and the other half was dirt only! The collapse was a whole side and fell on 5 workers. I will leave out the details due to time, but they let our whole team in the hole for a first hand experience while they recovered the bodies. While in the hole there was a secondary collapse (a small amount of debris fell and no one was injured), but at that time we decided it was safer to be at street level. Upon exiting the news crews were everywhere and interviewed Pepe, Luis, and CLAY ROZELL! That’s right Clay R is famous in Guatemala City now.

We got back to the station said our goodbyes and went to the orphanage. Tomorrow comes early. Love all of you and thank you for following our adventure with us. Peace out!

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3 Responses to “DAY 7!!!”

  1. Joe Ader Says:

    Guys, we had no idea what this type of a trip would look like, but it has been such a great and humbling thing reading all your posts. Even when you start them with “dude” and they include Clay Rozel being famous. Great.

  2. Evy Briggs Says:

    Have really enjoyed reading your posts each day. Glad you got to eat some Pollo Campero! Love that place! Hope you enjoy Antigua too!

  3. Francisco Bendfeldt Says:

    hey guys, just spent the better part of the last hour reading through the blog. I really glad you guys have had a great time while in Guatemala. It’s been a blessing for me and our church to have you guys here and know that we are being light for our local firemen.

    Once again, thank you for giving us the opportunity to share with you and get to know you a little better.

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