Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Busy & Productive Day (Wednesday)

by Patsy Carlson

What a busy and productive day we had! The weather was perfect, except for a brief rain shower around 1 pm as we ended lunch. Again, we had students helping who were there to practice English and also to learn about service. It was a crowded work site with many tasks. Mostly we laid several more courses of cement block, continued hauling the different mixtures for concrete, and finished leveling the ground for the latrine.

There are two mixtures of concrete. One is very "chunky" in substance and it goes inside the blocks to hold the rebar in place. The other is smoother in texture. It goes between the blocks and requires a steady and experienced hand to fill the cracks. There are not enough trowels for all of us, so we take turns and partner up to hold the bucket and push the concrete in with our hands when it won't go! Our other big job is to sift the pebbles out of the chunky sand for the smoother concrete. It's a dirty job, but less back breaking.

We also spent time with the children in the family, providing crayons, drawing paper, paints and coloring books. The children are delighted at the attention, and the parents are pleased as they provide the sweat equity on the home.

Yasmine drawing and coloring with supplies we brought
We left the site at 2:30 today so we could take in an historical site. Not far from our work site and our hotel is a monument and museum dedicated to the Salvadoran people who were massacred in 1981 by their own government. Over 600 children alone were murdered. We were all moved by the very recent history of the area. The country continues to heal and move forward from this difficult period.

Monument of the massacred Salvadorans

We only have two days left to get these walls as high as possible! We have been invited, a few at a time, to tour Delphina's existing home. The floors are dirt (which means very muddy during the rains!) And the roof is tin with many holes. Yet it is neat and tidy with bits of color and beauty. We are humbled and want more than ever to get this build as far as possible.

Hasta maƱana!

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