Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Flash Goes to Guatemala Part 6 – Breezeblock, Salsa and Tears

After embarrassing Linda immensely at breakfast, all three groups headed to our groups site to see what work we had done in the previous days. On arrival we gave the other groups a tour of our site, explaining each role we had undertaken during the build and showed how far we had come. After giving everyone else the tour of our site, we got back in our busses and headed to the second site to see what Team 2 had done. I call them team 2 because they were really called Team adtfjlfciyuriuytliuyblgoiutyviot or something along those lines equally impossible to pronounce.

The second site was very different to ours. Whereas our site was in the countryside this sit was in a small busy town, and the site was a ramshackle affair. I was secretly quite glad that this wasn’t the site I was working on because it looked quite dangerous working there.

The build was for a young couple who were expecting their first child and currently lived on the site with the husbands parents in a small hut/home. Living with them was also their pet dog who the mother loved nothing more than to make dance for our entertainment.

After looking at the site we branched out into the town where you could play a good old game of “eye spy the book of Guatemalan clichés".
A man on a donkey: Tick.
A woman carrying stuff on her head: Tick.
A man driving a tuktuk: Tick
Oh and of course a painting of Spongebob Squarepants brushing his hair on a wall: Tick

Actually spotting a man with a donkey had brought about much high-jinx throughout the trip. On numerous occasions Lisa and I had failed miserably trying to capture a picture of a man with a donkey as we drove past in our bus. On one occasion Linda gave us a tip off, “is that a man with a donkey ahead” I wasn’t sure and replied “it’s either that or a bloke bent over” I honestly wasn’t sure but the whole bus fell about laughing, turns out it was a donkey and I missed it.

We headed back to our site and once again we worked hard and once again the mason’s assistant didn’t show. My main job for the day was chiselling holes into breezeblocks and once done, we had to move large amounts of the said breezeblock into the rooms that were now really starting to take shape, so that the mason could continue the build after we left.

As we finished the build the Father and two daughters from the family we were building for arrived to see the work we had done. It was quite emotional as the father was constantly telling us how blessed from God he was for having us there to do this for him. I struggle to come to terms with the notion that a fat bloke from Manchester like me could be seen as a blessing from God, and I reckon if my mum were to hear someone calling me a blessing from God she would rupture something inside laughing.

I’m not saying my mum hates me, far from it but she has a novel way of showing affection. Recently at a dinner table with guests I asked my mum how disabled you need to be to qualify for a parking permit, her reply was “more than just fat and lazy so don’t worry”.

We took some pictures of ourselves our finished work and the family. I even managed to get a picture with Eric the driver who by now had a look in his eye whenever i came his way of please don’t leave me alone with this mad Englishman. After which we clambered back in our bus and headed to the final of the three sites, for a closing ceremony.

On arrival I noticed the third site was very different again, it seemed to be in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere, even though it was in the middle of nowhere it was surrounded by the most beautiful of landscapes.

The team on this build, the rowdy team Fuago had been digging and laying foundations for a house for a married couple with two boys. Our site was the only one that didn’t have the family living on site at and at this point I was starting to grow envious of the relationships the other groups had built up with their families.

The whole group and all the families gathered in the field in a big circle and we had a closing ceremony. Each family spoke to the group about how grateful they were for our help and how much it meant to them. Members of our party were also invited forward to share with the group their feelings and experience. By this point there was hardly a dry eye in the field. I slipped my sunglasses on to hide the fact I was getting so emotional. I was trying to give off a manly steely Roy Orbison kind of look, whereas if anyone had been brave enough to whip off my glasses they would have been confronted with a Gazza Italia 90 look.

The ceremony grew to a close; we had some cake, said our last goodbyes to the families and then headed back to the hotel. To get ready for an epic night!

The title of this part of my Guatemalan adventure does mention Salsa but unfortunately I have wittered on long enough about breezeblocks and tears so you will have to wait till..

Coming soon: Flash goes to Guatemala Part 7 – Awakening and Blessed.

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