I missed putting a post up yesterday, mostly because it was a crazy, busy, great day. We spent some time going over cultural and cross cultural info. Then the Awareness Tour.
Our first stop was the graveyard, it is a startling picture, right there in front of us, the reality of child mortality rates in developing countries. There were rows and rows of children’s graves, a rare site in Canada. At one point, I looked out, and there was a boy, around the age of 4, running on the road on the other side of the rows of graves. My voice caught in my throat. It was a split second picture of how lucky we are, free, unconcerned, not threatened with the reality of a high child mortality rate.
After that we moved on to meeting the families who the group has quickly befriended today. We had introductions all round and a check to make sure that the supplies were there. There were some moving moments with some of the students who have not been exposed to poverty before. As well as some of us who have been exposed to it on a regular basis. Sometimes seeing it through eyes of innocence changes the perspective.
The beach in the afternoon was full of sun, waves, one dolphin and one low flying yellow bi-plane that I swear waved hello to us. A bit of time to unwind and let the mind catch up with the heart.
Today was the first day of building. Within a half hour we were down two out of three generators and just outside of an hour we were back up to full force. The different teams reactions to challenges was… splendid. Why do you really need to worry to much if you can’t run a chop saw, grab that hand saw, park a couple of butts on the 2×4’s to keep it steady and off we go! I was impressed with the adaptability, but again, that is one area where ‘grown-ups’ can take a lesson from teens.
Work was accomplished and relationships began to grow. Friendships deepened amongst the group as the team work rolled on, and communication was started with the families. Beyond the accomplishments and satisfaction of hard work, a couple of high lights were definitely the grandmother on site #1, she is tiny, a bundle of energy and wore those bright red socks like nobodies business. In the afternoon on site #3, we were all invited into their house that is made of tarp and pallets. It is likely 10 feet by 10 feet, and holds a single bed, a table and a line crossing the room where the clothes were hung over. The 14 year old daughter helped the mom serve tamales, delicious chicken and chipotle tamales, and I had a chance to chat with her. She has a primary education, which I am guessing based on her age goes to grade 8 here. This will be her first year out of school, they can not afford the $50 a month that it cost for high school. The older brother who is 16 has been working for a couple of years now, since he finished grade 8. Site #2 had an unusual welcome this morning as they got there, nothing like a herd of cows grazing free right next to your project. But all it took was one Mexican man on a bike with a whip and that problem was solved, site #2 was now free to move around without bovine interruptions.
I am eager to get some pictures up here, I have tried 4 times to upload them online, with no success, but keep checking back in, I will have them here as soon as I can.