Monday, November 23, 2015

Guatemala: San Miguel Dueñas: November 23 2015


Yay! The sun is shining. The drive to San Miguel Dueñas was busy but we were able to see almost to the top of two of the three active volcanoes in the area. The hills are lush and look like a patchwork with all the different crops planted. Along the route, we also see lots of coffee plantations. The bright red berries are actually the beans which are hand picked and then roasted; the cafe next to our hotel roasts their own beans and our morning coffees are really wonderful. 
There are so many brightly colored flowers everywhere - so nice to see when contrasted with the coming bleak winter in Kamloops.
Joshua is spending the day with Hagan and Blake as they do some filming for the Light Up Guatemala campaign.
At Open Windows, the workmen are on the site but so are the children! Marcia is conducting a knitting class with a small group and many of the children were happy to show us the books that they were reading and pose for pictures in the courtyard. Seeing the books like Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog and The Little Mermaid in Spanish bringing the same smiles to the faces of these children as they did to our own children, is a gift.
On the work site, there are a few more rows of bricks to be laid on the kitchen walls and the plan to attack the plumbing is in full swing.
Over our non-work day yesterday, the team determined that a project they could take on and complete in a few days was to locate the water line, run water to the new kitchen and to the toilet in the nurse's office. There has been a fair amount of grunting as concrete was broken up and trenches are now being dug; I am assured that this plumbing project will be doable. Any of us who have spouses who assure us of the same are also aware that we often need to call in a professional at some point so we will see... Also, the grunting apparently makes the breaking of concrete more effective.
The hot lunches at the work site are much appreciated by all. We have had some really different and delicious drinks including hibiscus juice and rice water. After lunch we took a short walk through town to look at a poinsettia farm. On the walk we saw at least five nurseries with lots of interesting species of trees, bushes, flowering shrubs and bedding plants. The variety of colors is quite amazing. The poinsettias are rich, vibrant hues of red, pink, cream, purple (yes, purple!), and some bi-colour as well in all shapes and sizes. Walking back, we were passed by many trucks full of poinsettias - off to be delivered throughout the country.
The plumbing ditches continue to get deeper, however there seems to be a general consensus that while all is going well on that front it is likely that only the toilet will be connected while we are here but there is a plan for the water into the kitchen which can be completed after we leave. The kitchen walls have reached full height and we are now tying rebar forms for the start of the ceiling (which will not be poured for quite a while).
Joshua reports that they got some wonderful footage of a family with a stove and a discussion about the positive changes in their lives both in health and economics.
We are all off to a local restaurant for dinner and I suspect this might be an early evening; we are all pretty old to keep staying up this late each night and working this hard all day! It has been a great experience so far to share with my board family.

Neville and Marcia swinging lumber.

Janet and Richard climbing the walls for a good cause

Lisa, Bonnie and Marcia digging in.

Students and Volunteers in the courtyard.

Two readers.

Theresa with some of the students.

A circle of girls doing crafts with Marcia.

Poinsettias in a range of colours.

Bonnie Flanagan (photos)
DWC board member
Lisa Lake (blog) 
DWC board director
Guatemala: November 2015

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