Day#5 in the Shack Experince

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Today was day 5 of The Shack Experience. We went out to the community where we have been working in a lot lately and do some work for the school that we built a few weeks ago. The first thing the students did was finish digging an 8 foot deep hole for a Bano (toilet). They also painted the bano and did some touch up painting on the school as it had been vandalized right after the school was built. They did that till noon and then went to town to do some cleaning at a seniors home. We have done volunteer work there many times before, but these students haven’t been there before. They washed floors and walls and spent time trying to communicate with some of the seniors. This whole week has been a great experience for the students, so I got them to write down some of their thoughts.”The Shack has been quite the experience, We thought going into the shack that we knew how the Mexican families lived and the life they lead. Although we never had that ahh-ha moment, we still had our eyes opened to many experiences and challenges, its one thing to the and observe the actual day to day life in Mexico, but its another to actually live it. First of all, this week we have done lots of jobs that would be normal for a mexican worker, like working in the field, rock picking, and clamming. These jobs were all physically and mentally draining compared to what we are used to back at home. Rock picking by far, was the hardest work we had to do because of how brain numbing it was. After our hard day of work we were usually paid about half of what we made due to bills and the other half went towards meals. The money issue became stressful at times and opened our eyes to the daily struggles of the people we work with. Because of this struggle, we realized we had adapted some of the traits that we had previously noticed Mexicans do. For example, sharing one single granola bar between 5 people, and sharing 2 clams with each other and not to mention the excitement we had over the free plate it came on. After we ate some well deserved dinner, we curled and crawled into our humble shack, sitting in a circle, playing cards, laughing and debriefing ourselves, we began appreciating and were proud of what we had and gave us some understanding of why the people we help build for are so proud of what they have.Although we have had challenges and frustrations, this experience has been a positive one and has taught us many things we will never forget. Now we can say we have lived, worked and breathed like a Mexican. We are Mexican!”They have grown a lot in the last five days, but they have two more days to make it through. Sunday is a day where there is no work and they have to make it through the day with no computer or Xbox or any other entertainment items to spend their time. This may be one of the hardest challenges. We will see how they do.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 10th, 2010