Great teamwork laying pavers

Message of the Day: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human races.” – Calvin Coolidge

Our day started with an egg-less breakfast, but good coffee (thanks to Josh & Darcy). We arrived at center #2 after a quick drive through a clean landscape of tall mountains and urban chaos. For the first time since we have been here, no clouds crowded the skyline. Upon arrival we all went to different jobs. Delia with Kathleen went to help Tía Paty feed (or force feed) the babies downstairs. Mati, a 15-month-old child with one ear and big melancholic eyes, welcomed us with a smile. I couldn’t believe Tía Paty was eating the same unidentifiable substances the kids were eating. The morning went by very fast, punctuated by libros time, music, and dance. Both Kathleen and Delia had to sing to the kids who unknowingly were exposed to fragments of Japanese and Italian children songs. Since there was a little bit of time left after the kids’ lunch, Paty instructed us to help move the cement blocks at the construction site. After lunch as soon as I entered the room, Patty gave me a bunch of instructions, filled my arms with clothes and ran downstairs to attend the English lesson. Here I was left alone with the kids (who said “a tía is always with you”?). I did what I was told to do (chanted clothes, sprayed and combed hair, changed diapers, etc.) and let the kids play freely in the room, and yes let them take all the toys out of the boxes. When Patty came back, the first thing she said was that I had to put all the toys back after the kids left.

Hey, but we all survived, no injuries, no crying! I did it.

Meanwhile, out back, work continued on paving the courtyard. Whereas yesterday had consisted of moving junk around to clean the space, and hauling it up to the roof (for future Global Volunteers to haul back down at a later date), today’s work was much more satisfying. We started with a level dirt lot and a big pile of sand. Using buckets and a rickety wheelbarrow, John, Peggy, Isaac, Leo, and I together with the local volunteers hauled the sand in and spread it around. Under the watchful eye of master Rodrigo and with the mangy dog barking orders from the rooftop, we formed a human chain and passed the pavers from hand to hand into the lot. Four truckloads of pavers. By the way, this was a great lesson in teamwork. None of us can keep up with Peggy, who is twice our age and works twice as hard.

After mercifully stopping for lunch and a brief respite from the hot sun, we continue dropping pavers into place. By this time we are a well-oiled machine and making quick progress. Leo especially enjoys placing the pavers just so and knocking them into place. Why can’t I get him to be so meticulous when it comes to cleaning his room at home?

By 3:00 p.m. we are finished paving for the day. We are dusty, sore, sunburned, and tired to the bone, but satisfied with the progress we’ve made. We can see our work progressing and speak of plans for tomorrow. The boys have stopped complaining, probably equal parts exhaustion and satisfaction with a good day of work.

Entry and message submitted by: Delia & Aaron

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