“One, two, three, lift!” – Mexico Hero Holiday

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BUILD BUILD BUILD!!! These past two days have contained nothing but, nailing, measuring, cutting, and painting. We arrived at the work sites around 9am Saturday morning, to see two separate slabs of cement and two piles of lumber awaiting our assembly. After a quick safety briefing we split into two teams, starting an instant rivalry. The first task included measuring and cutting the lumber to begin the layout. Team 1 (Heather, Kelsey, Kalia, Dylan, Brent, Ali, Keara, Isabel, Chelsea, Brooke, Robbie O, and Roberto) quickly split up into painters, cutters, and ‘layouters’. Working in our small groups we powered through and even got the family, as well as the neighbors, involved in the painting.  The girls hopped on the chop saw and skill saw showing up the boys.  Everyone couldn’t believe that we were finally building a house for the caring and deserving single mother and her three kids.  By the end of the day we had almost had all the walls framed and painted, revving for more Sunday.  Team 2 (Hannah, Emma, Madison, Lauren, Daniel, Giuliano, Mark, Megan, Mahsa, Alex, Andrew, Michelle, and Santi) quickly divided off into measurers, cutters, painters, and people in control of layout. We managed to get all of the family involved with all the tasks. Efficiently Team 2 managed to get all the trim painted, all the wood cut (the girls manned the power tools!), and parts of the roof painted. Getting to know the family, we played with the little girls, acting like monkeys we taught them their first English words “monkey lady.” As well, we played some soccer with the boys (wow they are good!). Despite the language barrier we managed to communicate with each other by actions, smiles and lots of laughing. We ended the day with applying the paneling onto the frame, prepping to raise the house Sunday morning. We still couldn’t believe that we were in Mexico building for this hardworking and passionate family. Some local families showed up to set up their markets, where many of us bought funky ponchos and local Mexican goodies.  After a hard day work we went to relax on a beach close by, mainly washing off the paint and the dirt. What many thought were tan lines…were dirt lines! Back on the bus we headed home to clean up some more. For dinner we went to “Smokies” one of the local taco stands, all of us agreed that they were the best tacos we have ever had. Many of us having 4! For dessert we headed to the HUGE candy store next door having 4ft pinatas hanging from the ceiling, walls covered in Mexican candy, no one left empty handed. We also bought a Cinderella pinata for one of the little girls who’s birthday is tomorrow. After stuffing our faces with candy on the bus ride home, we were greeted by Abraham, a teacher from a local school, who has dedicated himself to teaching, this past year he has gone without pay from the government hoping to finally be payed this August, due to the complicated education system. Isabel kindly acted as our translator, many times forgetting which language she was addressing in. After a long day of hard work most of us chilled while others stared their chores. This contained Mahsa and Heather spilling the mop water EVERYWHERE!!!!! Hannah and Don quickly moved to rescue the new stereo, while Ali ran for towels.  Once all the commotion died down people slowing started trickling off to bed, to prepare for another long and exciting day of building.Today was resurrection day. Both teams raised their houses before lunch, racing to see who would be the first.  Team 2 succeeded with Team 1 not fair behind, as they had already painted their outside paneling.  Throughout both work sites you could hear the phrase of “One, two, three, lift.” After all the hoisting and grunting the fun guns came out.  Everyone was involved in the nail gunning of the houses, with many villainous and concerning laughing cackles.  The houses were now in sturdy condition ready for the roof panels, but first came lunch.  Once our bellies were full both teams set out to secure their roof paneling.  Team 2 succeeded in also sheeting the roof and beginning to paint their exterior walls, which led to a huge paint and water fight.  On Team 1’s job site we welcomed yet another kind helper by the name of Jonathan, a 16 year old boy, who thankfully spoke English. Yes!!!!  As well as tickle fights began between the two girls and young boy.  Before leaving the job sites both teams reflected on what they had accomplished in the past two days.  With the houses now standing, it seems that as our houses grow so do our bonds with both families.  Many smiles and laughs are abundant throughout the trip so far.  Laughter is most definitely the universal language.  Covered in paint and dirt we headed back to the home base again for clean up.  One group has gone to the beach as the rest of us sit back and chill to some tunes, looking forward to our dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs.  Construction = HUGE appetites.  What an incredible two days it has been so far.  All of us agree that we feel this trip is already too short.  We are all itching to start again tomorrow.Until next time.Hasta luego.Hannah and Heather

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: July 4th, 2010