Finally having both the time AND the energy to post an update – although even exerting the energy to lift fingers up and down is almost too much to ask for after the last two days. We have had a phenomenal first two days, working on 4 different houses. The house I worked on with 5 others was that of a husband, wife and 3 kids. Their extended family was also there to help. But before I get to that, let’s start at the beginning.
On the way to the build we stopped so that one of the team members could see the family whose house she helped build 6 years ago. They have kept in touch over the years and to see the reunion would bring tears to your eyes. Every day, the mom and dad wait by the road to waive to us as we go to the website and return.
When we went to the village the first day, all the partner families held a welcome ceremony, the village Monk was there to both greet and bless the work sites. Everyone gathered for prayers from the monk and some opening statements, followed by tea and wonderful treats.
We then broke into 3 groups to head off to work. The site I worked on was getting a foundation for their house. This involved moving A LOT of dirt, mixing concrete by hand and pouring it by hand. Needless to say, I am so glad I have been working out prior to this trip! Thalita and I also had the task of stamping down the dirt as we worked – good jumping workout and we accomplished our tasks.
The other two teams were working on pouring the concrete floors for their homes – one home actually had the use of a concrete mixer – the others of us were quite jealous! J We had a huge rainstorm the first day starting at 2:00 so our afternoon was a bit of a washout, but we worked through the rain anyway. We managed to get two more concrete floors poured.
Staci was geared up and ready for the rain!
Once we got back to the “lodge” it was time for “front porch” happy hour…….AFTER Staci had a little time for a nap 🙂
And now time for happy hour – amazing how one can rally for a little adult beverage.
Today, because of the rain, the group I worked with yesterday returned to the house we worked on for half a day. “Dad” (our name for the patriarch of the family) was happy to see us return. Working with them a 2nd day was even better than the first because everyone was comfortable working around each other. These builds always amaze me in the ability to communicate with one another when you know only small words and phrases – we did use a lot of hand signals and gestures and figure out what we were trying to say,but it worked! We had a lot of laughs and “dad” gave me the nickname “the joker” as the morning wore on ,,,,,,can’t figure out how he came up with that, ha ha
AJ was the concrete king and impressed all the locals with his mixing abilities!
Nearing the end of the 2nd day, we gathered with our partner family and their extended family – one of whom spoke fairly good english. We took pictures together and it was amazing the bond that formed in the short time of two days! It was already emotional leaving them that 2nd day.
This was a great first two days to the build! Can;t wait to see what the next few days have in store!