June 4th, 2017
This morning we had our first breakfast from the Kitchen Crew. They made us scrambled eggs, bacon, and fruit. It was a great way to start off what was going to be a long day. After breakfast we had our quiet time. I wanted to do my bible study because I was almost done Exodus, but I really did not want to fall behind on my journaling. Towards the end of quiet time I loaded my backpack with mine and Alex’s work gear and then we were in the vans and on our way to the site.
When we arrived it was a very humbling sight to see. It was literally a dump. There was trash all around us and other than a small concrete patio (hence us being the “patio site”) there were piles of broken wood, plastic, and concrete. Despite not really knowing what to do, we got right in there breaking things apart and clearing them. Our goal for the day was to clear and level the site as well as lay wooden 2x4s to create a frame for concrete day tomorrow. The beginning of the day was a lot of pulling, breaking, and sorting through materials we could and could not use.
While clearing we found a toilet broken down, but still full of poop. Drew picked up the toilet without hesitation and threw it to where the other trash was laying. It was impressive that he just went and did something no one else wanted to do without a second thought.
As we got closer and closer to lunch time, some of the leaders on our team began laying the wooden frame and tying rope between stakes to figure how much fill we would need to get our site level. Right around 11:30 we encountered a problem (our first of many on the trip). With where our strings currently were we would need a bunch of fill that we did not have. In order to fix the problem we would need to go deeper and break through a decent amount of concrete. Lucky for us, the other team was ahead of schedule so they sent some guys over to help us tear up our concrete.
My highlight of the work day was when everyone was gone filling up wheelbarrows and there was a random sledge-hammer lying around. I had been eying it and I guess Chris and Dave noticed because they looked at me and said, “See that concrete slab over there… go for it.” There’s about a thirty-second video of me just taking out any frustration I could have had on the slab. It was probably one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.
On the car ride back, Alex and I had an enjoyable time holding Drew’s head down on the speed bumps so he did not go through the ceiling. I think we may have enjoyed it more than he did. When we got back to the orphanage a group went downstairs to play basketball. We decided to play 21. I was slightly intimidated playing with the guys but I actually held my own and was winning for quite a while until “the accident.”
I had been walking around with socks on and I was going to run up the five flights of stairs to grab shoes before we started playing, but I was told that I’d probably be fine, so I decided to conserve energy for the game. It was working pretty well until I jumped up to grab a rebound and came down fully on the right side of my right foot. My first instinct was to say that I was fine (clearly my pride coming out), but when I went to walk off the court I realized I was in more pain than expected. Dylan carried me upstairs and we quickly had my foot iced and propped up.
Dinner was beans, chicken tenders, fruit, and salad– a hit with the entire team. Katie grabbed me food and Drew got me a drink, but the whole not being able to do things for myself thing was very frustrating. In between dinner and chapel Nikki looked at my foot and gave me her opinion that it was just badly bruised. This helped because it is a lot easier to power through a bruise than a sprain or a break.
During chapel the groups had a chance to share parts of their day, with the focus being on where we could see God. When it god to the word of the day, I chose “humbling” as mine. Obviously the site was humbling, this family is literally living directly next to a dump and get they are so excited to just have a nice place to call their own. Even beyond that, my injured foot was humbling. When Katie offered to get me food, or Rachel offered to carry me, my initial reaction was to say no, but I had to push my pride aside and accept help.
The end of the day once again consisted of first playing cards, tonight Exploding Kittens, and then talking to the girls downstairs until we finally went to sleep.