Today was amazing. Humbling. Eye opening. Awesome.
We got up around 7 30 am and had some breakfast, some of us more than others, my stomach decided to flip flop on me again. Paco picked us up around 8 30 am, and from there it was to the job site.
We stopped first at the community center where Paco works. Classes are taught there, there is a dental office and a small medical clinic, modest but enough. We met some of the kids who go to school there. Got a tour of the facility and then it was off to ACTUAL work.
We grabbed wheelbarrows, shovels and buckets and treked a short way to the first location we would be working at. We met the families we would be helping and got to take a look at their homes. It was a shanty town. The air was thick with the smell of burning trash. There were chickens, some pigs, a few very sweet dogs, and some great cats and kittens. It amazes me how different the animals look here. More angular and thinner. A little more sad maybe.
Then it was training time. 2 buckets of water. 5 buckets of gravel. 4 buckets of sand. Half a bag of concrete. Mix well. Dump into wheelbarrows. Rinse and repeat. Sisco coordinated the troweling inside the homes. He was awesome! Donna and Lisa did a ton of shoveling. Toby, Channy, Christopher, and Steve manned the wheelbarrows for the most part. Walter and I manned the cement mixer and muscled the ingredients into the mixer. It was great when we got a system down. I think we finished faster than even we thought we would.
After taking care of our tools, cleaning up and taking some pictures with the families. We trucked our supplies down the steep hill and headed back to the community center for lunch.
You ever want to try soemthing fun... try rolling a huge cemennt mixer down a hill by hand. It´s awesome for the adominal muscles and forearms.
When we got back to community center we were early for lunch. We played soccer with Jose, an awesome 12 year old boy and a member of one of the families we did work for. He was a huge help, loading sand into buckets and getting water from huge 50 gallon drums. I played a little but I cuold tell he was going soft on me. I told him I knew he could ¨school me¨if he really wanted to. Walter had to explain what ¨being schooled¨meant. That was fun.
Lunch was awesome. A home cooked meal. Super simple. Super filling.
After lunch we had to wait for our ride. Which meant more time to play basket ball, hang out with the kids, and pet the dogs. Walter, Donna a Sisco played a game of HORSE. Explaining the ¨rules¨HORSE was interesting... but like all things, it worked itself out and people had fun. Great pictures to come soon.
Driving home, the van stalled going up a steep hill. Paco had to turn the van around and go the wrong way down the street because the van just couldnot make it up the hill. No one honked. Some other drivers look confused. But all in all, we needed to do it... so we did it.
Now we are back at the hotel. Showered. Freshly clothed. Drinking a beer or two. Soar and tired but some how I feel better than I have in years.
I got into my room. Took my shower and then couldn´t stop crying. Might sound kinda funny. Ian in Recieving may make fun of me when I get back to work... but I am glad for what I have at home. I am glad that my work gave me the chance to do this. I am glad that we all work so well as a team. The kids were amazing and the people smiled and were so gracious.
What a day.
Seriously. What a day.