Today we got started working right away when we got to the village. We finished the front wall of cinder blocks and the three walls on the school all the way to the top frames. Breaking cinder blocks on an angle with a hammer is very interesting. We broke block after block. I am pretty tired, I think that today is going to be a pretty short passage. I will leave it at, "This was a very productive day!"
Last night there was a huge storm. I had a tough time sleeping but Derek slept right through it! It made for a gigantic muddiness in the village. Derek continued to build the classroom walls today. He worked on the arch of the roof that the metal roof can go on. They had to hand cut the blocks with a hammer so that their blocks could be at the slant it needed. No electric tools for them!
I worked with VBS again. We had a MUCH bigger group of kids than yesterday. We even had to come up with some new crafts since we ran out of the planned ones but the kids loved what we had for them. I found myself going into teacher mode as I held a few little ones hands to help them with coloring.
I had a moment of frustration today with a few members from our group. It was hard to watch some people just sit there and not do anything while many of us were sweating to death in the church working with the kids. After awhile I ended up walking over to them and said I needed someone to sweep for me because I needed some water. I was very pleased to come back and see that the floor had been entirely swept while I was gone. Occassionally, I need to remind myself to step back from a situation and evaluate my expectations for things. Even within my own classroom I have learned that I can't expect my students do something if I have never made them aware of the expectations I have for them. The same can apply to a trip such as this. We all came in with our different ideas of what was going to happen and of course we all think differently so our expectations are all going to be different.
After VBS I was talking with another member of our group about things like picking up trash are not part of the every day manners in this village. Why would you put your garbage in a trash can when there aren't any in your village? The last few days we have noticed that the kids and adults simply throw their trash on the ground when they are done with lunch and the amount of trash was increasing around the church since we were providing meals every day for lunch. With a little thought and some broken Spanish I was able to convince a few little girls to help me pick up the trash. They would count the number of pieces of trash we pick up in English and I would count in Spanish. They were impressed or maybe they just found my accent funny and giggled the entire time we went around cleaning. It may not seem like such a big deal but for these little girls it was a time to have a one-on-one and just feel loved by someone and shown that their way of life is important to us and we want to see them have better lives.
After cleaning up the village I taught what started as a small group but then turned into a much larger group of kids some new games. With what Spanish I know I was able to translate several different games to them. We started with hot potato (with our own homemade clapping music) and then went on to ring around the rose, dodge ball, London bridges, and head shoulders knees and toes. The kids loved it! I'm hoping over the weekend I can come up with a few new games to teach them on Monday.