Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Travel Journal Entry #3 - Part 1

The following is an excerpt from my travel journal from our first mission to El Sembrador, Honduras.

January 26, 2009 - 96 degrees; humid
Malaria Medication Night

Today we spent most of the day on our projects, but we did take a short tour to see the boys cutting grass with their machetes. It looks like gruelling work. PK gave it a try, but he was tired after just a few minutes. The boys do it for eight hours straight. It seems mean, but it's how they teach the boys work ethic. It's also a way for the boys to help earn their education and become invested in succeeding. Some boys leave the school because they are not willing to work. Others are chosen for leadership positions because of their good work. If they can stick it out for the first two weeks, the workload is significantly lessened when school starts.

We also saw the farm's herd of water buffalo. They are very protective and formed a tight-knit herd when our van approached. They tried to look menacing. but their very silly hair made it difficult to take them too seriously.

After our tour, we were put to work. PK went with a demolition team to tear down a decaying ceiling in preparation of replacement. The method seemed a little dangerous, but I guess it worked. PK was filthy from head to toe and completely exhausted. He also managed to break a window - which he was extremely embarrassed about. He apologized profusely. Once I went over to check out their progress and met Victor. Victor is a boy working with the demolition team and is shy, but a very hard worker. I treated him to a Pepsi at the store, but we were confused about the break time and went too early. I hope I didn't get him in trouble. Victor is 16 and this is his first year at El Sembrador. He is in the woodworking program.

I was put on the painting crew. It's not painting up to American standards though. So, I think I did ok. Here, the walls are crumbling and decayed. They are just happy to slap some paint on to cover all the dirt. I think I must have painted at least 20 spiders right into wall! The home is in disrepair and filthy. It's hard to see how some paint will just make it livable, but I just did what I was asked. Apparently, we are preparing the house for the Bible School teacher and his family to move into. While we painted, a group of masonry students were busy building a new wall to separate a large room into two smaller rooms.

To be continued....

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