Today was a "Community work day" and we accomplished in one day what would usually take two. Community work day meant that friends we had made, plus friends of IPI volunteered their time to help. We finished constructing the 9x9 section of the foundation and began to prepare for the slab to be poured. It was once again difficult as we had to collect rocks and soil in order to fill in under the slab, and with shovels, mattocks, mallets, crowbars and wheelbarrows this is a tiresome task. All the volunteers put in some hard work and really helped us along. Some of the younger kids, as is normal, lost interest along the way, but they were good for a smile while taking a quick break. One of JP and my favorites we have met so far is Dennis, a twelve year old with a huge smile and great laugh and was excited to be part of the crew and had more fun than anyone else. Saturdays will continue to be filled with volunteers to come and help, next week we are very excited as some of the orphans who will move into ACH will come and it will be our first meeting.
JP and I were a little scared as our crew didn't seem pleased about the newcomers. We felt they were afraid that their work was being taken away, which in a sense is understandable as these guys make about $3.20 a day. We made sure that at the end of the day we had a meeting where we explained to our crew that we had hired them to work until the first of November and this would not be affected by others joining us along the way. And if somehow we finished the kitchen beforehand, we would find other work for them in order to fulfill our "contract." The meeting went well and our local workers understood. We were especially proud when they said we challenged them to work harder because of our work ethic, so it goes the same each way. It seems JP and I are no longer the sissies who began this work on Monday.
Well our first week has finished we are just about ready for the slab. We are still very excited about what we are here for and have been challenged physically, mentally and all around, something we hoped would be true.