Housekeeping, Pictionary, and MUD!

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The past two days have been so incredible!  As a returning LiveDifferent participant I made it my goal to fully put myself out there this week and to experience everything I can, as well as to try my hardest to make connections with the people in the villages.  The past two days are helping my goal for this trip to shape itself.  Yesterday we were given the opportunity to not just view the homes within the village as outsiders, but to partner up with a mama in the community and go with them to their home where we helped cook, clean, and do other household tasks.  

The mama I was partnered with was only four years older than me and because of this I think we really connected. I was so intrigued by her lifestyle which is so opposite from mine.  As a twenty two year old mum of two amazing children, she was incredibly strong in character.  She showed my friend Lindsay and I around her house proudly.  She told us how she was so lucky that she and her husband had won the lottery six years ago because it gave them enough money to build a house (unfortunately it was not enough to completely finish it, so they experience a few problems whenever it rains outside).  Lindsay and I tried our best to help with the cooking, and it became very comedic when our mama and her friends saw us trying to cut up chicken at a turtle pace.  Lindsay and I do not have much experience with cooking, so for me to imagine being four years older and cooking and cleaning for two children – it was difficult. However, I was so impressed by her confidence, amazing personality, and her constant smile.  This experience was so positive for me, and even though our mama lived in a very small home without a lot of money, she was so grateful and proud of everything she had and she really gave me a new outlook on how I view my life. 

Today was also another unforgettable experience.  Our day was split into two parts: in the morning we taught English at the local school, and in the afternoon we worked on building the house.  Our English lesson was about animals, and we used games like Pictionary as well as making animal noises and flash cards to teach some basic English words to the children.  I was a little anxious preparing for the English lessons because I knew there was going to be a language barrier, and I wasn’t sure if our lesson would run smoothly.  We started off with a rocky beginning, but by the third classroom we went to the kids were picking up the words and energetically engaging in donkey sounds or pig oinks!  I’m really glad I got to try and teach English within the classroom today, and I hope to learn some more Spanish phrases so that I can communicate better with everyone I encounter this week.
Our afternoon can be described in one word… MUD!  I was working outside today shoveling dirt and laying it on the side of the house so that water will not run into the house.  When the rain started, what was originally really hard work ultimately became really hard work that was so much fun! All of my team members including myself were covered head to toe in mud.  We were giving it all we could and were getting right into the work, not once even questioning how dirty we were.  After the amount of pick-axing I did today, I think I could compete in a body builder competition hahaha!  I am really proud of every member of my team today because everyone worked at the building site and put their full heart into the work they were doing.  Today was a really successful work day and as we get closer to the House Dedication Day, I am getting even more excited to give our family the keys to their new house.   
– Rhiannon

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: April 26th, 2012