Today we started working early and were done by lunch time.
There are about 25 rows of bricks in a completed house. We got through row 13-almost the top of the doorway and windows.
We also smoothed out the floor in the 2nd house and painted the outside of the "bathroom" (not quite an outhose, not quite a port-o-potty, they call it a latrine). For an extra touch we bought Habitat green and blue to make it look pretty on the outside. Thankfully I can't describe the inside of the bathroom in any detail because even though I went through about a gallon of water a day, I never did have to go to the bathroom while at the work site.
That was the physically exhausting work today. But really today was more emotionally exhausting than physically. After lunch a few of us headed down to the the river to cool off, relax and wash of the grime. Then we headed to the "fiesta" where we played games, danced and laughed with the community. We gave away candy and chocolate milk and they taught us how to dance, do the limbo and hit the piñata.
Afterwards they took turns saying thank you and telling us how much it meant to them that we had come to help them. They hoped that we would come back soon. Then 4 of us went up and read in Spanish the speech we prepared last night. It seemed to be meaningful to them-at least I hope it was.
At first, I definitely felt like we were slowing them down. Like a dad that let's his young son beat him at a basketball game-they could out carry, push, pull and lift us. But we caught on and were told that this was the fastest they had ever gotten a house up.
I felt proud of all that we accomplished this week and I feel like we, as a team, contributed in such a positive way to the community. But honestly, it was probably even more rewarding for us than it was for them. They got a house (or part of one) and we got a new perspective. We got to see just how lucky we are to be American and we learned first-hand that money does not mean happiness. These people were so loving, happy, caring and generous-and they live on about $1 a day. It was a very good lesson to learn.
Tomorrow morning we head head Grenada and then we fly home on Sunday. Hard to believe it is already over.