These are basically my journal entries form Monday and Tuesday
Such a long day. Today we went to the Refuge site for our first work day. First, as we got near the site there were men digging a trench in the road (basically cobblestones laid in a path). We got out and walked the rest of the way. Our jobs were to finish digging a trench and take all the dirt from that trench down into another part of the property - down a hill. It started out kind of interesting - maybe even fun. But the more we pushed wheelbarrows down and back up the hill the harder it got. It was really hard not to complain, so I tried hard to only do it a little if at all. Other times I would think about the children we say yesterday, and that this hard work would be changing their life. I would switch off to shovel dirt into wheelbarrows and before lunch I helped pick the dirt. (using a pick ax). THe dirt was hard . . super solid.
I have forgotten something. During the morning, because of where we parked the van, it got stuck. The guys tried to move it, but then we all needed to go up to help move it. We got it down fast then, and it was a great reminder that we are a team here, and that we are all in this together (please break out in HSM now).
Lunch was great! It was just ham (learned later it was actually chicken) and cheese sandwiches, chips and apples, but it was so great. We then got back to work (after a little break time). I feel like the afternoon went better - we were just more in sync and willing to help. I switched all around - my favorite is probably shoveling though. I don't really know why, but I love it. The afternoon went by quickly, and then Nathan showed up for a team project. We had to carry 3 10ft long rebar poles bundled together down the mountain. We tried 2 to a bundle, but it was so heavy the girls only made it about a 1/3 of the way before having to leave one and finish one all together. We were determined to finish it though- and made it back to the site. Mini-break, Nathan broke a pickax, and then back to work. I switched between wheelbarrowing and shoveling until we headed out. Right before, Nathan shared with a few of us that the wall in the trench needed to be built before the rainy season came in 3 weeks!
Dinner was waiting for us when we got back, another one of Claudia's creations. After dinner I helped do the dishes - reminded me of home :) I then waited for a shower. It felt so good to be clean. We then just hung out and had team time
(Forgotten again - Remigio (a Guatemalan worker there) would be waiting at the bottom of the hill for us. Every time I made it down he would teach me a new word (tiera = dirt, careta = wheelbarrow). At one point he clapped at me for making it down, and we both agreed that I am slow. but all in love )
Team Time was fun. We each shared why we were here. It was interesting to hear the different ways God brought people to this trip. I loved hearing Kory's (intern at Engadi) story. He was ready to go pro at BX racing, but clearly felt GOd telling him to give it up to come to Guatemala. I really appreciate that.
~ Getting an email from my mom this morning was a great encouragement, as were Susan's letter again~
Another long day, but not quite as long. The premise of today was basically the same as yesterday. I started out wheelbarrowing, but after about an hour, Nathan called me to help him. I was put to work making these cylinder block of cement. The process was to take a cut of PVC pipe and lay it on a board. Then take the cement and jam it into the PVC pipe. Once it was full, we stuck a curved wire in it and shimmied the pipe off.
We had to make 300!
We kept doing this all day. It was kind of weird to be sitting while everyone else picking or shoveling or wheelbarrowing. It got me thinking. God will always want us to be doing something to bring Him glory. It may not be the most glamorous or intense job, but it is something that needs to be done. The blocks needed to be made, they would act as the true foundation of this guard houses - between dirt and rebar. We worked a little through lunch, because we couldn't let the cement dry up. Lunch was just as baller, then back to foundation. Me and Rebecca talked while doing it, which was great - just hearing part of her life.
I also really enjoyed when the workers came over to give us more supplies they would teach us some SPanish. I learned about school here, and the seasons all from Hugo (silent H). These men just screamed Guatemalan hospitality. We finished all the cements, at 140 blocks. It was then back to the wheelbarrow. It was incredible to see the progress the team had made - Daniel by the end of the day had gone 72 times. I got super sunburnt, from my forearms to the tops of my hands (with my passion band giving a great tan line). I also didn't use gloves when grabbing the cement and had some really cut up fingertips by the end of the day. It was really fulfilling though
Back at the house while waiting for dinner, I took my shower. It was Cold, but amazing. Lasagna a la Claudia was marvelous. Her two boys, Levi and Caleb, are precious. Levi reminded me so much of my oldest little cousin, Carson. We stayed around chatting and had team time again. Team time today was words of affirmation to and from everyone. It was probably my favorite team time thus far because words of encouragement speak to me, and I love encouraging others. I then went to bed :)