Day 6 – Shack Experience – “Only One More Day”

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shack-groups-in-doorways.jpgDay 6 of the shack experience, day 56 of living in Mexico and I think that I’ve started to go a bit crazy because I didn’t think twice about the rooster that just walked by me in the yard (we don’t actually own roosters). I’ve started to be able to tell the time by how far the sun is away from the power lines across the road from us and the only music I whistle is the jingle from the gas truck that drives by every hour blasting the music through a speaker on its roof.We got to sleep in, even if it was only till 7am. With our backs trying to stop us with every move, the team managed to crawl out of the shack one more time. On this morning the sun had just woken up itself to give us light for breakfast. We ate quickly as we still need to walk our “kids” to school before meeting the van for 7:30am.We arrived at the beach and met a man with his wife and five-month baby boy who every day comes to this same part of the beach and looks for what ever rocks were in demand. Today he instructed us that we were going to be looking for medium to small black rocks, which need to be smooth and rounded. We thought it would be reasonably easy considering we were on a rock beach, kind of like what you would find on the East coast of Canada. But we soon found out that it was no easy task. rocks-shane.jpgWe got into pairs and picked a spot on the beach, sat down and started looking for black, smooth, round rocks. We dug and threw unwanted rocks out of the way to hopefully find one we were looking for underneath the one being tossed. As soon as you were about to go nuts from not finding anything you would see one that fits the bill. You would quickly throw it into the bucket and keep searching.Lunch consisted of two hot dogs wrapped in tortillas, hard boiled egg, one carrot – and five cookies which were the best part of every lunch we had. Once lunch was over we continued to pick rocks. Mid-afternoon our team combined all the rocks we had picked and put them on a tarp so the man could sort through them to see which ones were good. Our combined effort was only about seven, five gallon buckets full. This is only worth 70 pesos of income. A regular day for the family we worked for is about thirty buckets between the two of them. Even though we worked hard we still didn’t even meet the quarter mark. It was our first day…When we got home we started our routine of going to the market to get groceries for supper that night plus breakfast and lunch for the next day. Some people washed clothes that were in desperate need of cleaning, some took cold water bucket showers, and others wrote in their journals. Around 5pm we started the fire and got the water boiling for supper which was going to be pasta with tomato sauce with carrots, green peppers and onions. Plus five cookies for dessert with some saved for a late night snack; and by late night I mean 7pm.Around 7:30 we all crawled into our spots in the shack for bed and hoped that the bugs will not intrude into our sleeping bags during the night. We all talked to each other until one by one open conversations were replaced by closed eyes, ready for what ever sleep would come that night. Our sleep was not only interrupted by lumps in the dirt digging into our hips and ribs, or a sore arm that has been laid on too long, or the snoring of someone that was getting sleep besides you. But this night was special because it was not only interrupted by all these normal things but this was the night it rained. By rain I mean spraying the hose on the roof of our shack for twenty minutes. The sound of water hitting plastic that is three feet above your head is a sound I will never forget. Its the sound of “please don’t leak, please don’t leak” to “push that low spot up and get rid of the pooling water“. Then came the sound of screaming from the girls side of the shack because the water that had pooled in the corner of their roof, gave out and flooded their room. Its also the sound of Shane and Matt talking to each other saying that we were thankful we put cardboard and strips of wood across under the plastic to reinforce the roof. No leaks for the dudes, but for the dames it was another story. After it rained the girls dried off as best they could and went back to sleep. As we closed our eyes to get back to sleep, all that was in our minds was that there was just one more day in the shack and we could pull through. We also thought about all the people who deal with this every time it rains, which is more than you think when you think of Mexico. I’m thankful for just having to go through it one time, and will never forget that night.Matt and Shane, School of Leadership Students living in ‘The Shack’

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 28th, 2010