I'm more than halfway through my week in El Progreso, Honduras. It's hard to believe that the time has gone by this quickly. It feels like yesterday I was flying into the airport in San Pedro Sula.
The time here has been incredible, to say the least. There really aren't words for everything I've experienced thus far. Yesterday we mixed concrete for several hours and began to lay the foundation for the library at Villa Soleada. We finished the entire perimeter, which was more work than any other group has ever done according to Ramon (the village head patron) and Russ (one of the SHH staff members). I was so proud of all the work we did and how much we accomplished. It was incredible watching everyone come together. We had a lot of the men from Villa Soleada helping us, but some of the women and many of the children helped as well. Everyone was shoveling and mixing and carrying buckets of concrete. This one woman (who is probably twice my age and half my height) carried full buckets of concrete while I could only carry half full buckets. I couldn't believe how strong she was. She kept cracking jokes in Spanish, too, as if we all understood. I just smiled and laughed whenever she did, but it definitely made the work easier and more fun. I was surprised at how hard all the kids worked, too. It was definitely a rewarding day.
I've learned a lot more while being here, too.
I've learned you cannot throw your toilet paper in the toilet, because the sewage system here can't handle it. This is something we learned the first day here, but it's been hard to remember, resulting in a not-so-fun attempt to get toilet paper out of the toilet and into the trash can. I've also learned that there are lots of of other critters besides frogs in bathrooms. Tarantulas are prevalent at Villa Soleada, along with skinny dogs, chickens, and geckos. The only ones I have a problem with are the tarantulas. Those aren't fun to find, especially when you're digging a trench. I'm beginning to pick up words of Spanish here and there, as well, so little by little I can understand more of what the kids and other people are saying... although it's mostly only words and then guessing the rest of what someone is saying. But I'm ok with it. Communicating is fairly easy with hand motions and my phrasebook. The kids don't care that I can't speak Spanish either.
We're heading out to a market today, and then to an orphanage. It's going to be different from Por Venir, the school we've been working at, but it'll be interesting to see how different.