This morning we had a special treat - las mañanitas - which is a morning birthday wake-up. We celebrated the three birthdays for Drew, Sarah L., and Sam by waking everyone at 5 a.m. with singing and a man playing the concertina. We dragged them out of bed as quickly as possi ble, which was not fast at all. They all groaned about losing that extra thirty minutes of sleep, but I know it will be a neat memory for them later. Many of them scrambled for their beds as soon as the three songs were over. This evening will have a bit more music and a big cake at 6. That will be a real treat for everyone.
When we put the thermometer in the sun today, it went to the top. That was 120 degrees, but it was only 92 in the shade. We have been pushing them to drink to their limits and beyond. Tomorrow will be a good break from work. Three days of hard labor is tough on everyone. Today a group of people finished carrying the bricks to the top of the mountain. Everyone else dug trenches and shoveled out dirt. We made a lot of progress, we felt. Our trench is just a few feet short of the top of the mountain.
As soon as we finished, all missioners and villagers of La Florida posed for our group photo. That allows us to print out the photos with a small camera printer we keep in Esquias so we can leave a booklet of photos with our friends in the village. As I type this, Linda is printing photos for our 100 picture booklet. We will present that booklet to the villagers at our little celebration on Saturday, our final work day.
You might wonder what we do when we are not working in La Florida. Well, we do need a little time to just rest and possibly siesta. We sort the goods we brought for others. Some people do laundry. That is a bit more difficult than throwing it in the washing machine. You use something called a pila, pronounced pee-la. It looks like a big vat of water with a cement scrub board on either side. You wet the clothes and scrub a cylinder shaped bar of laundry soap onto the piece of clothing. Then the real fun begins. You scrub and you scrub and then scrub some more. If there is a Honduran around, they typically laugh or take over at that time. If you are alone, you finally rinse by scooping water out of the pila and wrining the clothing by hand. Then you hang it on the line. The heat dries the clothes in a few hours, even if it was dripping wet. If a Honduran helped with the laundry, the white shirt is white. If not, the white shirt is usually a tannish color. We all do our best at laundry, though.
The students all have chores to do at the compound. They vary from dusting the pop bottles and stocking the fridge to emptying the waste baskets next to the toilets. You see, we are not allowed to put paper into the toilets, so that job is one that is avoided. They also refill water jugs from the five-gallon jug, sweep the floors, wash tables, set up for our nightly meeting, and clean sinks. In the evenings we head for the park and have a meeting
Gotta go. The battery is almost dead.