How many medical professionals does it take to repair a rural road? We found out: Quite a few! The roads in Bolivia are not always solid, thanks to crushed stone meeting rain and water runoff from the mountains. On Monday, when the hospital was closed, the Solidarity Bridge team took a trip into the countryside. The adventure REALLY began when the driver tried a shortcut home. In one spot, the road was impassable and they had to stop. A concrete ribbon reinforced a curve where a small waterfall ran beneath the road, but one side had collapsed a bit – like a sinkhole in a Chicago street. The dangling outer curb framed a view of the steep drop down the mountainside.
The twenty or so missioners got out of the vans and quickly broke up into groups with different plans. One was sure that trying to cross was too dangerous and started to walk back to town (unfortunately, it was miles away!). Another group eyed the deserted hostel on the mountainside, imagining they’d be stuck for the night - maybe days? A few others began hauling logs, sticks, stones and pieces of discarded slate, laying them across the gaps.
Finally, it was time to test the work of the instant civil engineers. What would happen if the road “Band-Aid” didn’t work? The drivers got back into their vans, put them into gear, and gently drove across. With just inches to spare on the outer edge, the makeshift repair held! The Solidiarity Bridge team is building all kinds of bridges in Bolivia.