May 2, 2019

April 30 – May 2

International Block Learning Trip - London & Toronto HANDS Team:

Hello readers and listeners (for those of you who can’t read), you will be reading about the past few days from the perspective of yours truly… William Vrolyk. As my writing skills have gone severely downhill in the absence of the classroom, you may find the following rather short and to the point. I am already surprised that I have accomplished this much.

            On April 30 we painted at the Juan Calvino school that is located right beside our current base. We painted with the students that were our age and which consisted of more time talking than painting. We had some fun arm wrestling with them and communicating the entire time on our own with the small Spanish vocabularies that we have acquired thus far.

            On May 1 we traveled to a small community that was in the middle of nowhere (we drove for an hour and a half to get there). The village consisted of 63 people who all have Haitian backgrounds. They used to be part of a sugar cane plantation but were all forced into smaller farming when the government removed themselves from the sugar cane industry. The village had no running water, electricity, or any sort of heating/cooling. We were there to start the foundations of a church that they were building there. What seemed cool to me was that the members of the community thought that their money would be best invested not on electricity and other infrastructure, but on a church. Their existing church building consisted of 2 rooms that were 2 wingspans wide by 3 wingspans long. Half of our team worked on cutting and placing rebar while the other half played with the kids at the school inside the community. The teacher drives 45 minutes each way to the community rain or shine, all to teach 14 children ages 5-10.

                On May 2 we made our way back to the village to mix and pour concrete that was being used for the foundations of the church. We used our amazing teamwork skills to move sand, gravel, and concrete in long lines of people. We perfected the art of adding the right amounts of water to the cement and mortar and the mixing techniques that we used. We got to eat fresh mangoes, passionfruit, and coconut, and we got to walk alongside some cattle that were roaming outside of the pastures that were located on either side of the road. We finished off our work day in the refreshing rain which cooled us off. I can confirm that it has rained every single day that we have been in our new base, and there is forecast for rain tomorrow as well.



May 4, 2019 at 6:50 pm

I love the expressions on all three girls’ faces, with Jenna saving the frog! Awesome picture.

Mom & Dad
May 4, 2019 at 7:50 pm

Love all the details, Will! So great that you see what's really important. Miss ya, but thankful you are learning first hand about life.

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