Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Further Greetings From El Salvador

Yesterday was another great day on the build site. After our workout the day before, our bodies were more accustomed to the labor and the day flew by. We spent the day finishing the trenching and rebar. At the very end of the day we learned how we'll be mixing the cement for the concrete footing- by hand in a concrete basin we dug into the ground and lined with hand mixed concrete. I'll show you some pictures of that later.
This is little Ingrid, who is 10, helping us on the work site. She is the sweetest thing. She comes around about mid-morning and helps us pick dirt and rocks out of the trenches. No one has asked her to help, of course, but she is right there. She is really curious about us- particularly the American versions of our names. The name Michael puts an odd expression on her face, but when I translate to Miguel, she gets it. The woman helping her in the picture is named Tara. We were wondering why every time she introduced herself to locals by saying 'me llamo Tara' they would give her a look like she was joking. So, today we looked up Tara in my dictionary and it means 'defect.' Sweet. These people are probably thinking to themselves "Why does this gringo lady have such low self esteem?" So now she is saying "Tara like Sara" and they don't wince as much.

At our lunch break, we walked Carlito, the son of the owners of one of the homes we are building, to his school. So, here is another gratuitous shot of how darling Salvadoran children are. Not only are the adorable, they are all sweet and polite, even with each other. We were talking last night as a group about how kind Salvadorans are with each other, at least in the village that we're working in. There are no parents hollering at kids ever. Older siblings willingly watch the younger siblings without fuss. Kids play cooperatively with each other and the hyper-must-win competitiveness that we see in the U.S. just isn't there. Everybody gets their turn to be the winner. Oh, and they are so soft spoken compared to us. We sound like we are speaking in bullhorns. They get their points across with fewer decibels.

The women of the family we are building for are spoiling us with this kind of fare for lunch. That potato you see was the best potato I had ever had in my life. We were all trying to figure out what magic they worked on it.

Here is what we accomplished by day 2 on the work site. We had all the trenches dug to their full depth. You can now get a real sense for how small the home is by the size of the rooms. Three gringo ladies virtually take up all the space in the room on the right. Let me tell you though that the families that are going to be occupying these homes are so very proud of them. It really makes me think again about how much we have and question how much we need.

Another gratuitous shot of cute Salvadoran children. These three stopped by to visit us a few times yesterday. We love it when the kids come by so we can underwhelm them with our Spanish skills and they can laugh at us. They are wonderful kids. I'm still amazed how much can be communicated with gestures and facial expressions.
This is a shot of the trenches we were digging. They are about 28-30 inches deep. You can see the difference between the mud/clay layer and the stone layer. I guess the other work site is having some trouble reaching the stone layer. So instead of getting to stop at our depth, they need to go down a full meter in depth. Yikes.

I was so glad when this truck pulled up to the hotel. We see this brand of bread/pastry in Mexico and I'm endlessly amused by the name.

1 comment:

Mnmom said...

What wonderful photos!!
I'm almost wishing our house had sold so we could move into something simpler and smaller. That's why I don't read home decor magazines - they just create a false sense of need. The only decor I need is friends and family to fill my home.

They must be amazed at your height! I know I am.