Well I slept pretty good last night - better than the night before. No fan blowing in my face! One of the girls got up to go to the bathroom around 1 and I thought it was time to get up, and was NOT happy about it! I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I had plenty more time to sleep! I got up about 5:45, devotional time with Jorge at 6:30, breakfast at 7, and leave for the village at 8. I hopped in the shower really quick to get some of the sweat and dirt off me from yesterday, and while I was washing (not my hair - haven't washed my hair yet!) I saw something moving on the ledge right above the shower...upon closer look, I realized it was a HUGE SCORPION!! I very quickly finished rinsing, turned the water off, and got outta there - all without taking my eyes off that thing hangin out up there! I do NOT need to get stung by a scorpion down here!! Of course I ran out in my towel to get my camera for that! Scary thing is, I don't know where it went while I was getting ready...I really hope it doesn't fall in my mouth while I'm sleeping tonight or something!!
For the "devotional time," Jorge told a couple of stories... (inventor of penicilin, Mrs. Brown/white lightning) and told us that we don't aways have to go out and do amazing things or try and save the world, just showing others love and compassion is what we are called to do. We may plant the seed, others will help it grow, others will see the end product... We don't know Gods timing, we might not ever see what happens in the end, but we need to do our part. He also read Galatians 6: 9 (Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ) about doing work for the good of others. It was actually really moving and a great way to start off our first day of working in the village.
We had breakfast at 7 - eggs and plantanes and rice 'n beans. I had cereal again and another pb and j and some scrambled eggs. We loaded up the van and a big diesel truck with tons of stuff - lunches and water, arts and crafts stuff, buckets - and hit the road by 8.
|Douglas and Angel at breakfast|
|Cindy and Alicia, the other two girls|
|Angel and the diesel truck that likes to break down|
We got to the village probably around 8:30 or so. Everyone started unloading the truck and setting up at the drill site, when I saw a little boy trying to ride a giant bicycle with a big basket thing on the front big enought to hold people. So I mean of course I asked him if I could play with him and ride his bicycle! He wasn't so sure about me just yet, but he let me! The women in the village thought it was pretty funny!
After that, Kenia and I set off (I'm the only one not drilling) to go around to each of the houses in the village and remind them of the hygiene class that afternoon for the kids, and the followig morning for the women. Almost all of them already knew about it because they did this last week too, and most of them said they would come. There was a cute little boy with a green balloon that followed us around at a distance the entire time. That didn't really take too long, the whole village is probably 4 or 5 blocks long, with a main road (aka dirt path) down the middle, and one block on each side of it. A lot - almost all - of the houses are exactly the same, just cinder block structures with a little patio out front. Kenia told me a German mission team came here and built all the houses quite awhile ago! If they didn't have a house like that, they had some poieces of tin and trash bags - literally. :(
|Baby Kevin - one of the first people in the village I met|
|The little boy that followed us all through the village|
|Taking a morning shower!|
When we were walking under a tree, Kenia reached up and grabbed some little clear looking berry thing and said, "Here, try this, its good!" Ugghh...I told her to eat it first. I didn't want any joke on me kinda thing. So she pulled several off and ate them. Siigghh...okay, I guess I have to too! Turns out they really tasted a lot like our grapes, but they just looked so weird! I haven't gotten sick yet, so apparently they weren't poisonous! ;)
Once we had finished reminding everyone about the classes, we were back at the corner of town where the others were starting to fire up the drilling rig. Kenia and I set up shop just across the street and a couple houses down from the well sight. We started digging out what we were going to need for todays craft project with the kids: a fish made out of a paper plate - and our game, reviewing what they had learned last week! (Okay, actually, while Kenia was getting organized, I got out my camera and the kids LOVED it! They all wanted to be in pictures and then see them immdiately, and then they wanted to TAKE the pictures themselves! The camera - somehow - did not get dropped once! Then I asked them of they knew how to read - most of them did - so I pulled out the childrens bible I brought (in Spanish) and we started reading out loud together. I'm about on the same level as the 6 or 7 year olds, sounding out big words and fumbling along! It was really fun and they all loved that too!)
Okay so anyways, back to work... Kenia had 8 review questions and 8 prizes to give out for correct answers for later that afternoon. First we started wrapping up the prizes (little balls) in tissue paper and decorating them with markers. I couldn't do anything without the kids tugging on me, so yea, I let them help! I gave them scissors and told them to "cut here" in spanish - oooh they LOVED to help!! Instead of saying, "Me! Me!" - they say, "Yo! Yo" which is, "I! I!"
After the prizes were wrapped, we had to cut up pieces of paper in to little strips - we needed 50 of them. Kenia wrote "pregunda" (question) on 8 pieces and the others were blank. Do you know how long it takes to cut up 50 little pieces of paper with 6 kids yelling, "Yo! Yo!" and waving scissors in your face?! ...It takes a LONG time! I think Kenia was getting a little frustrated that I kept letting the kids help me because it was taking forever, but they're just TOO cute and sweet to turn away! Some of them have those big dark eyes with looong thick black eyelashes - oh they're just beautiful! I can't help but hug and kiss them all - snot nosed and coughing or not!! :)
|Oswaldo, the little boy I took for a ride on the bicycle|
NEXT we had to fold all 50 of those little pieces of paper in to tiny little squares and put them in a paper bag that each of the kids would pick one out of later. Yes, I let all of the kids help with that too - even the little little ones! Ya know, I don't necessarily think I know that much more Spanish than everyone esle, I think my hand gestures as a means of communication are just superior, haha! ;)
After a little play time, Kenia asked me to sort out only the circle sequins from a whole big bag of random shapes. Ugghh - it got real old, real quick, so I of course enlisted the help of my new little friends! I dumped some out on paper plates, told them to find circles, and they went to town! Oh they just LOVE to be praised! Any time you say good job or very good, or thank you, they just beam from ear to ear and get right back to work, even more fervently each time! Too cute :) One of the little girls discovered that since I was so sweaty, the little sequins stuck quite nicely to my face! I was covered in them eventually. She even had me shut eyes and put them on my eyelids! Crazy girl...
That actually took most of the morning - all of those activities and some playing with the kids (frisbees and jump ropes that I brought) - and then it was time for lunch! We had the choice of ham and cheese or pb and j. TWO pb and j's for me, and some prinles and some plantain chips. Mmmmm, I was starved just from being outside in the heat and sun and playing with the kids all morning! I didn't sit for lunch long though, because a couple of the girls were trying to jump rope at the house right next to where we were eating, and they needed another person. They were tryting to tie one end of the jump rope to a stump! I thought I would be way more fun than the stump! ;)
I honestly can't take that much of the heat and humidity though! I need shade and water! Its gotta be at least 90 degrees and at least 90% humidity - seriously!! You kinda just constantly feel sticky, and if you're outside for any length of time at all, sweat starts dripping. I learned that yesterday and wore a bandana today!! :)
Okay, so after our lunch break and jump rope session, the drillers went back to doing whatever it is they were doing, and the kids started showing up for their afternoon hygiene class at 1pm. We had to take the 8 pieces of paper she had written the review questions on and folded up, and stick them inside a balloon and blow it up. I literally could not blow up this balloon. I have no idea why - I mean I can blow up balloons!! Well of course there were kids all around me begging to do it, which I thought was kinda gross since I'd already slobbered all over it, but I eventually gave it up and let a little boy blow it up. Kenia put the rest of the pieces of paper inside the balloons and handed them straight to the kids, laughing and teasing me for not being able to blow up a balloon! Then we tied the balloons to a piece of yarn and hung it from two trees out back - with kids running and begging to help and touch the balloons! ;)
Kenia had little squares of construction paper with holes punched in them for the kids to wear as nametags, and told ME to find out what their names were and write them down and tie them around their neck with yarn. Ummmm...excuse me?? I'm the gringa here! Haha... So off I went, with more and more kids streaming in every time I looked up. It was actually really fun :) I could get most of the names, I mean some of them were like Kevin (well, he was a 2 month old baby, who I ended up hogging and carrying around most of the afternoon while I did everything else!), Jennifer, Caroline, Billy, Justin, Jonathan...but they don't just say Jennifer like we do!! It sounds COMPLETELY different when they say it! Lester and Edwin and Maribel and some other ones I couldn't even figure out! Sometimes Kenia would have to tell me what they were saying, and sometimes she'd still even have to spell it to me! If she wasn't around, one of the moms was there and she was so sweet, she would do her best to help me by spelling it, but I had tp remember when they say E it means I and when they say our A sound is their E, etc! Sometimes she would just draw the letter in the dirt for me when I really wasn't getting it! So yea, THAT took forever, and kids were still walking in after we had already started our activities! There were DEFINITELY over 50 kids there! It was so cool to see! :)
So we did our review, each kid (well most kids) picked a piece of paper out of the bag, and the 8 that got the piece that said "pregunta" had to come up front and pop a balloon on the string and answer the question inside before they could get a prize! All the kids got the questions right! :) Then Kenia read some scripture about Jesus eating fish?? I'm not exactly sure what all she was saying or what verses she was reading, but then we all got to make a paper plate fish! Man was that an ordeal! The kids were going nuts just to get a paper plate! Then we had to help ALL FIFTY SOMETHING kids cut their fish and then we had to pass out the crayons... Kenia said to make sure they only took one, but what kind of fish is one color?? We had two huge gallon size bags full of crayons, so I usually let them take two. And they always brought them back when they were done! THEN the messy part came! Kenia put some glue on their plates and rubbed it around with her fingers while I gave them some of the circle sequins we had separated out that morning. Ooohh they LOVED the sequins and followed me around asking for more - but Kenia made sure I didn't give them any, haha! They were all SO proud of their fishes!! One little boy showed me his at least 10 times - seriously - I think just because he loved to hear me ooohh and aaahh and tell him how beautiful it was and how good he did! He would smile REAL big and run and sit down and then run up to me again a couple minutes later waving it in my face again! Silly kids...
Oh yea, and I did all that while holding a sleeping baby! His momma wanted to make a fish too - which would have been quite difficult with a baby! He's just a little guy and he slept quite comfortably in one of my arms for a long time this afternoon!
|I took this one myself!|
So it turns out helping 50 little kids make paper plate fish takes forever. Like, most of the rest of the afternoon! That was the last activity and the kids started to leave after that. Kenia and I just sat down in the chairs and relaxed for a couple minutes - it was an exhausting day - before some kids came back to play some more. :) I took a video of them running around and being silly little kids - I'll have to get that uploaded to YouTube when I get home!
Link to YouTube video of kids playing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6ycL5dKPTY
We eventually loaded up the van again and headed back to town, after lots of hugs and "hasta mananas." When we got back to the house, we decided to go ahead and make the crosses I brought for the kids to make. There are only 24 crosses (purple styrofoam with little stickers that say G O D going down and L O V E across, with the O in the middle) - and there are WAY more than 24 kids in the village! So we will give some out as prizes and leave the others with Kenia to do whatever she wants with after we are gone.
Dinner was some super good chicken, rice with corn on it (also very good) and some salad and fresh papaya juice. They've got some GOOOOD fruit juice down here! Every day its something new!
After dinner we hung out outside (more sweating even with the sun down) and Jorge told us the story (the long version) of how Living Water got started. It was really interesting and it was grown SO much recently! The first LWI mission trip was in 2001 and there was only 1 that year and 2 the next year! Last year, there were 150 in Central America and 21 in Nicaragua alone. This year there are almost 50 scheduled in Nicaragua and well over 150 in Central America! That means over 150 communities will now have clean water to drink! LWI has experienced 40% growth over each of the past 5 years, even during the recession...pretty cool to hear. :)
Okay, that's about it for today. I took a shower tonight and actually washed my hair! I figured 3 days was enough ;) I'm really excited to get back to the community (or, the kids) tomorrow!! :)