But I really had no idea what I was getting into.
Construction doesn’t mean quickly speeding through all the steps to a finished product.
It’s a ridiculously long and laborious process with repeated steps and mind-numbing work.
Especially in Costa Rica. Pastor introduced us to his office/the youth room and explained (in rapid Spanish) what we needed to accomplish. First step? Clean the walls. Second step? Sand them (by hand).
The sanding process? It took about 3 days. The walls were OLD and whoever plastered them the first time did a HORRIBLE job. In between sanding, we re-plastered the walls to make them smooth. And then we sanded out the lines.
I’ll be the first to admit that I developed a horrible attitude towards this process. I hated sanding. Not because of how filthy I got, or how I could barely breathe from the dust – but because of how endless the process is. But I learned a lot of valuable lessons from sanding.
This is what I wrote in my journal on the night of March 26th,
“Thing that are worth doing, are worth taking a long time to do them right. We spent the past two days sanding and plastering the walls in Pastor’s office….and what I was doing was never quite right, and Pastor would show me how to do it better. It was annoying, but I needed the instruction. After the millionth time of him telling us we had to re-do something… I thought, “ok, seriously, this isn’t the Ritz-Carlton, it’s a freaking tiny church in the middle of Costa Rica. Why does it matter!?”
“But why wouldn’t he want good quality? And why is “good enough” not good enough? I’m prone to cut corners and go for more efficiency over quality… but why do something if you can’t do it well? I’ve changed my attitude and I’m trying to do better and be more perfectionist. And if God calls us to do our best – why aren’t we?”
With that attitude adjustment, I was able to be happier in my work and enjoy sanding for the rest of the week. Not that I still didn’t get bored with it, but I was able to have a better perspective about it.
So like I said at the beginning, I didn’t really know what I was getting into with “construction” – but I learned a lot of valuable lessons from my training from the Ticos. I really believe these lessons have stuck with me this semester when I’ve been tempted to slack off in my senior projects – I’ve been able to shake off the “senioritis” and motivate myself enough to get my projects done. And that’s a huge blessing.