Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feb. 8, 2014 (Day 2)

No wake-up alarms needed----if it’s not roosters crowing it’s fireworks at dawn!  Daily Prayer and Reflection led by Rev. Ted.

A delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, black beans, fresh pineapple, guacamole, chips, tortillas, juice and coffee followed.  After a brief money exchange, handled by Candace, we were packing ourselves into our open-bed truck and heading for the hills of San Gregorio.  Our l/2 hour jaunt was better than any amusement park ride I've experienced.

A balloon-decorated street and fireworks greeted us upon our arrival along with the grateful adults and children.  We began our introduction to the community with a meeting of the locals in their newly-built community building (salon).  Candace translated as Ted spoke, and then a representative of the local government of San Gregorio spoke to us followed by two of the local ladies who were instrumental in starting this project.  Gabe began his day of photos with Polaroid shots of the kids, which absolutely fascinated them.  It began a day of non-stop photo requests by the kids, and Gabe quickly became the Pied Piper of San Gregorio.  After a group photo was taken, we headed uphill to our work site.  After introductions, we split into groups, each with a different mason to lead us.  The monumental task began of carrying ‘a ton’ of cinder blocks up the hill to the foundation site.  Amazing the loads our guys carried on their backs!  The gals carried their fare share, just not as many at a time.  A number of us got our crack at wielding machetes (actually chiseling the blocks), and this was an unbelievable task.  The local labor laid the blocks in cement as fast as we could supply them.  Around 1:00, we broke for lunch (Chow Mein, tortillas, juice and watermelon) prepared for us by our hotel hosts.  An hour later, we returned to our work and finished our day of toil about 4:00 (whew!).  Stopped for cola and snacks at a local establishment before heading home for a much-needed shower. 

Candace took us on a short walking tour of our village before dinner.  Once again, Jack led our devotion before dinner.  Tonight it was pasta and a tasty tomato and beef dish which resembled spaghetti sauce.  Tortillas accompany every meal.  After our meal, we shared thoughts of our day together.  Think everyone will sleep well tonight!

Buenas noches!

Carol Malarky

Photos: Gabe Hopkins

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