My day began at 6 am when I woke up to Harry sitting up in the bed beside me (the bunk beds here protest noisily whenever their occupants shift their weight). Soon after an invigorating shower (a polar plunge!) we enjoyed an excellent breakfast of eggs, rice, beans and toast.
After cleaning up, our transport van arrived and the twelve of us piled into it with two EduDeo staff, Lester (our driver) and Nilda.
As we pulled up to the school (our work project) we were greeted with sounds of passionate Spanish preaching coming from what we soon learned was the church adjacent to the school. Lester guided us to the church entrance where we were warmly greeted by the principal of the school after which we continued into the building. The welcome we received melted our hearts. Most touching of all were the little kids who came up to each of us and hugged us with huge smiles on their faces. As we finally left to begin work, Lester said to us, "You have no idea how much you guys coming here means to these people".
Then it was time to get down to work. Over the next week and a bit our team is tasked with helping to build two classrooms that is very much needed for the preschoolers of this Christian school. Let me tell you, our first day of work was no picnic! We have come at the very start of the project, meaning that today we had to break the first ground. Today, in addition to starting to dig holes for the foundation, our team also prepared and tie rebar for the concrete footings and hand washed (with soap and water) steel purlins that will form the roof structure (to prepare for them for painting, which we will do later next week).
My job today was digging holes along with several other team members. We need to dig 13 holes 1 m wide by 1 long to a depth of 1.2 m. By the end of the day we completed the digging of 5 holes.... (I feel I have made a very good start of developing a relationship... with soil of Nicaragua!). One of the best parts of the day was that we had a bunch of kids visiting and "helping" us as we worked. So indeed, we are actually establishing relationships!! It was very fun communicating using our few Spanish words, animated facial expressions, pantomime skills and our desigated translator (Bethany).
We finished our work day, quite spent physically, and have just finished an excellent Nica dinner at the Nehemiah Center and a very good team time devotion with singing and great discussion. All in all, our first full day here was fantastic! Thank you for your prayers and for your comments on the blog - they are wonderful to see!! (Patty, Tim is contemplating bringing a rocking chair home for you......:) We are looking forward to sharing our experiences with you in person!!
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