House Dedication

The emotions are high.   We are saying our goodbyes to Geovanny and Yesenia as well as the incredible Habitat staff that has looked after us so well.  We have also made many friends in the neighbhorhood. One of the little girls, Brenda, was such a joy as she never stopped smiling.
We share one last meal with each other that has been made for us daily.  Geovavvy and Yesenia have a small gift for each of us.  It was very touching.  The families here sometimes do not move into their home right away since they have to arrange for water and electricity to be hooked up.  Yesenia says as soon as she has the keys she is moving in.  Hopefully that will be in two weeks.

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I love Marvin photo bombing this picture!

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HABITAT STAFF!!!

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Home away from home

We are staying in Santa Tecla at a small, simple hotel with a quaint courtyard.
The hotel is about 25 minutes from our build site and 1,500 feet higher in elevation.  Mornings start with breakfast at 6:30.  We gather together in a circle around 7:30 and take turns sharing our hopes and fears for the day and an exercise for the group.  The3 mornings often start with lots of fun  and laughter.  After a full day on the job site we return for a much needed shower around 5:00.  Only half of us have showers with warm water.  Mine is lukewarm so I shall not complain.  We either have dinner prepared by the owners of the hotel who set out a long table for us to eat together at or we got out.  Dinner has been anything from traditional meals, to lasagna, to chicken (lots of chicken). Each night they have prepared a vegetarian side for me.  It is very sweet of them to gomoutnof our way.  The day ends with reflections in the courtyard around 8:30.  Jess, our Global Village leader, starts the circle off each evening with injuries and improvements for the day.  This gives us pause to think how we each can help each other out with what we learned during the day.  Next is highs and lows of the day.  Jxoe, who is our Habitat translator and everyones best friend, has dubbed our evening ritual “support group”.  It is the perfect way to bring us all closer and deepen the connection we all are making with one another.  Games and laughter follow afterwards, sometimes a little late into the night!

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Build day – Day three

Hello!  Everyone on our team,  except for me , started their morning out going to visit a school.   I went to the Habitat El Salvador office for a visit which I will tell more about this that later.  It was amazing.

I arrived a little after lunch at the job site.  I joined the group cutting rebar and creating a support column that will be the main reinforcement for the concrete column on porch.

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Build – Day two

It was another amazing day in Central America.  Once again Yesenia and Geovanny met us at the build site, their new home, to thank everyone for their work and traveling to their country to help them fullfill their dream.  Yesenia said her wish is for her children to have an education, opportunities, and as they grow they will help others as we are helping them. They have been married for 12 years and have two boys, 5 and 1 1/2. They left the job site holding hands,

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Tasks for the day were once again hard manual labor. We had a group standing on make shift scaffolding working with the masons finishing the walls.
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Another group brought in 75+ wheelbarrows of sand/lye. Eight wheenbarrows were brought in at a time which then had to be mixed with concrete, spread out on the floor, sprinkled with water and then tamped down so it became very firm. Repeat. Again and again.
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And lastly, one group had to dig up the road to bring a water pipe outside the house for washing. At some point one of the workers hit the main water line so that will now have to be repaired. The worker who did it blamed it on Gary, even though he was far away, so that had become one of our homes.
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