Another huge breakfast fueled us for our first work day and we were off to the build sites at 8! Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

Site #1: Lee’s Team

When we arrived at the site we saw that the foundation was layed and some rebar was up.

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The site is directly next to a school and across the street from a little shop. The morning was chilly with overcast skies and the wind blowing us away up at 8,800 ft. But by the time we broke for lunch the sun had come out and it was a gorgeous day. We were loving taking in the sunshine that we’ve been missing in Maine! We got to talk and practice our Spanish with all kinds of people passing by the site, including the school children and the precious family running the shop across the street.

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Maria Louisa, the woman who’s house this will eventually become came to visit and brought her beautiful baby, Wonder. She is so sweet and was not shy about wanting to jump in and learn to help with our work.

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Maria Louisa’s husband, Wilber, also stopped to meet us during his lunch break from work. He works with metals, cutting and reconstructing to make doors for houses. He was so appreciative and wanted to meet us but couldn’t stay long as he had to return to work. We’re hoping we get to spend more time with them throughout the week!

We spent much of our day cutting rebar, bending C-clamps, and tying them together to make columns (and for some of us learning what these things even are). Meanwhile, our team captain Lee was helping the Mason lay the blocks and start the walls. It’s amazing the progress that was made in one day. Normally the Mason, Manuel, and his one assistant would have 45 days to complete the house. The work that we are here doing this week will help to shave 14 days off of that, allowing the families to get into their homes sooner as well as the Mason and his assistant to move on to their next project sooner.

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Our bathroom for the day, a.k.a. a hole in the ground, kept us feeling adventurous and more grateful than ever. So, filthy from the dust but feeling accomplished, we headed for the hotel around 3:30. Needless to say we were all more than ready for a shower and as always a delicious homemade meal!

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Site #2: Dave’s Team

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Fanny’s house came to us not quite as far along. Arriving on site the team could see that some of the trenches for foundation were started. The mason’s assistant continued to dig and our main job was to haul the dirt away from the site to another dumping spot. Some of the team also spent time putting tog wrt her rebar columns like the other half of the team. Standing in the trenches, they came up to our waist, so you can imagine it’s not an easy task to dig them even deeper and keep the dirt from collapsing in. Found buried in the dirt we were responsible for moving was an unbelievable amount of trash..among other random things we found shoes, broken pottery, a bucket, a spoon, and a doll arm!

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After lunch we got to take a stroll around the town. Our most interesting stop was a local Catholic church.

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Unlike the other half of the team, we got spoiled with a fully functioning toilet. And got to visit with lots of extended family members. Fanny and her baby boy Andres were there for part of the time; and all of her sisters and brothers-in-law were in and out all day since her mother-in-law’s house is connected to the work site (it’s her bathroom that we used). It was nice to be immersed in with the family while we worked. We got to experience some of their home life and watch the women do their laundry.

Can’t believe how fast this day flew by; we’re sure it will be Friday before we know it! Keep us in your thoughts for our second day tomorrow, here’s hoping were not too sore!

P.S. we are definitely not attached to our devices..

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