Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The Stucco Princess
That´s me! Stucco has become my life these days. I eat sleep and dream cement but the classrooms are coming along nicely. Luckily God has blessed me with some awesome teenage boys that do most of the work. For those of you that don´t know what stucco-ing entales let me explain. You make really watery cement and then you through it as hard as you can against the walls of a room, effectively filling in all the gaps that suck up the paint and covering everyone in the vicinity with cement as well. After this initial round I´m told that we will go back through with just cement and water and wipe that on the walls to make it smooth. Today we finished the initial phase of the second classroom, IN JUST ONE DAY!!! I know that´s not terribly exciting to many people but to me it was amazing. The first classroom took 3 days and I really thought I might die from sore muscles after the first day. Chalk one up to experience I guess. The second room looks much better, took much less time, and I can actually move today. The boys are basically relying on my for knowledge on how to do this wonderful project but I´m getting the impression that they are feigning ignorance to encourage the gringa. I did a lot of cleanup work today and pretty much let them do the real stuff and see how much better it went. These kids are amazing. There are 3 of them that help me out on a regular basis, with a few others in and out. Darwin is 14 and working real hard not to become a punk. It seems to be an uphill battle but I love him anyway. Fernando is 13 and the most amazing teenager I´ve ever met. The other day I peeked into the "construction" room, which is actually one of the classrooms with a bunch of junk and a big pile of sand in it, and Fernando was letting 12 of the neighborhood kids, ranging in age from 3-7, bury him in the sand up to the neck. It was precious. He is an incredibly hard worker. Please keep him in your prayers. I pray that he stays the great kid that he is now and continues to look for God´s guidance in his life. Jose is 15 and new to me. I know most of the kids in the area but Jose´s family just moved into the church building office room and I´ve never seen him until a few weeks ago. Living in the church means something bad must have happened to his house. I plan on getting to know the family more as I spend more and more time in Mogote but he is very quiet so I´m not sure that much information will come from him. He is also a very hard worker and a smile never leaves his face. Several times today I asked him if he wanted to rest and he just smiled at me and kept on trucking. It amazes me that God has given these kids the strength to face the things they must face each day, not to mention the overabundance of love they share with those around them. God is great, we so often underestimate his power in our lives.