Day 4 - Working on a Building

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

5:06 AM the unofficial start to the day is dogs getting into a ruckus in the trash.
5:48 AM the power comes on and once again the ceiling mounted fan starts a slight breeze through my mosquito net.
6:23 AM the power is back off – and so goes the fan.
6:36 AM my feet hit the floor for a quick shower of bug spray and the start of the day.
6:45 AM the Alarm rings signifying it is time to start the day.  And thus the adventure continues …..

We had a wonderful breakfast of sweet potatoes, spinach with hard-boiled eggs, pineapple, peanut butter and jelly, at 7:00 followed by a Centering Reflection led by Scott where he helped us focus our day with a reading and interpretation of Isaiah 61. We are then introduced to Makenzie who is a civil engineer and will be supervising our work for today on classroom number three of the EcoVillage School.

 At the job site

At the job site

As we begin our work, some of the team is moving rock via wheelbarrow and five gallon buckets while others are clearing the foundation of classroom three in preparation for tied rebar.  The day continues with sifting sand to mix with cement for the mortar joints, unloading and stacking a truckload of cinder blocks, and moving more rock for the foundation.  

Throughout the day I was remembering the story of a cathedral being built in the middle ages, and a man watching the workers went up to a man who was downcast and asked his what he was doing? “Laying brick” was his reply.  A second worker was approached and asked the same question.  “I’m building a wall” was his response.   He approached a third worker who was singing and displayed great Joy in his work.  When asked what he was doing he replied, “I’m building a cathedral to the glory of God!”  It was evident through the work of the day that our team knew we were laying the foundation of an education for generations.

We left the job site to return for showers, lunch, and a brief rest period.  As you may recall from yesterday's post this is when we again met our friend the insomniac goat.  He was tasty.

 Goat...it's what's for dinner.

Goat...it's what's for dinner.

At 2:30 we toured the MPP headquarters building with an opportunity to meet with Augustin Josnel of the Solar Panel Workshop where we learned about their creations.  They provide panels ranging from 3 to 120 watts that are used to power everything from lighting and cell phone chargers in people's home to pumps for wells.  From there we went to the Agronomy station and saw bags and bags and bags and bags of seed.  They were in the process of working with GVC, a group of Italian volunteers to sort and support food security needs in two of the surrounding areas.  

 Seeds!

Seeds!

As the tour continued we met many more wonderful folks with a quick introduction to the accountant, the technical team leader, an intern, and staff members working on the brothers of men actions, aids, and the Haitian clinic.  We concluded our tour with the director of Sere Pou Chofe translated as "save it to heat it up later".  This was described to us as a Peasant Co-op Credit Union.  They offer loans on Mortgages, Salary percentages, and Small Sellers loans with interest rates from 1.5% to 3.5% per month.  

As our headquarters tour concluded, we adjourned to a “logistics” meeting at the local watering hole where beverages were enjoyed and the conversation quickly turned to global politics.

As we returned to Sant Lakay, supper was popcorn, peanut butter and jelly, bread and Cassava, and hot chocolate.  A small contingent of the group headed off for a medical meeting with Chavannes and came back with exciting news that we will share with you in a later edition.  Stay tuned for what’s happening next.

- Russ