Monday, August 22, 2011

August 20th: Goodbye Guatemala

The last day was a riot. We started it off by delivering stoves to a couple grateful families and purchased a piƱata for the children at the coffee plantation and then we, the Gallo Gang, ended the trip with a couple fun, competitive soccer games with the Finca children. How many Canadians does it take to beat shoeless Guatemalan children at a game of soccer? More than eight!
How many Canadians does it take to finish Maria's house? Eight plus Chon and Oscar our Guatemala masons. It was so cool to finish the house and see Maria and her children's reactions. A tearful goodbye to Teresa and the children at Open Windows...Rachel cried a lot and then Moki and Bryan jumped onto that bandwagon, soon it was a complete snot fest. Who would have thought that we all would feel so strongly after two weeks! Especially as we are tough farmers and engineers and post office workers(at least a couple of us anyways) plus we are the Gallo gang! This is our last post as a team but Guate is in our hearts for good!

Peace out xxx
The Gallo Gang
(DWC Guatemala Team)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18th: Building and Colouring

Building a house. Such a massive project in our minds, but in reality, it is a 12 x 14 room. Hardly enough room for a 7 person team. The project may be small but will be a significant help to Maria and her children. Three of the four rooms consist of cracked concrete and dirt floors. By pouring a cement floor in one room and painting the other it will create a brighter, more enjoyable place to live.

Being the small workspace it is, there is often not enough space for each member to work productively. However, it has given us the opportunity to aid other parts of the community.

Colouring. Something we learn and enjoy as children. Something the Finca children have never experienced but were able to do so today. This morning we brought crayons, colouring books, materials to make bracelets, and candy which to us is normal to us, but is a rarity for the children. Seeing the smiles and excitement in their faces was a rewarding feeling for all of us. Children are put to work at such a young age that many of them have never set foot in a school or library. Imagine turning 10 and already having the responsibility of caring for your siblings when you have never had the opportunity to get an education.

The Gallo Gang
(DWC Guatemala Team)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16th: Thoughts and Mortar

Concrete Pouring
Almost Flooring
Dirty Work
But never boring

Paint the walls
Raise the roof
For Maria
And her youth

Stray dogs roam the streets
Quite used to blistering heat
You see their ribs,
See their bones,
But you can´t give them a home.

Education is a plus
Kids come running without a fuss
Lucky to learn
Lucky to live
Lucky for teachers willing to give

A window opens
Bright, Yellow, Oasis
Turning frowns to happy faces
Nurture hopes, encourage dreams
Opened, Opening, Open Windows

The Gallo Gang
(DWC Guatemala Team)

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15th, 2011: Working hard and experiencing surrounding areas

Hello DWC fans,

The project is near completion. Our beloved, hard workers, Oscar and Chone (aka. Tron) have been working hard along side the DWC volunteers. Our tallest member, Brian has recently been promoted to brick layer. Monique has been stirring the concrete mix while the others paint and move rubble.
This past weekend, our crew traveled to a far away paradise, Lake Atitlan and scaled the dangerous, active "Pacaya Volcano". At the lake we were able to experience many parts of the Guatemalan and Mayan culture. Loyal and respectful. Volcano Pacaya was a grueling but an exhilarating climb. The view was impeccable! Our first week was full of adventure, battling sickness and lack of sleep, but we were able to contribute a considerable amount to the project in San Miguel Duenas.

Your dear amigos,
The Gallo Gang
(DWC Guatemala Team)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 9th, 2011: Our first couple days...

We are having an amazing experience so far. Today was the first day we got to get some work done on the job site. We brought in all the bricks, cement, and gravel. The work space is very confined, therefore making it hard for everyone to be working at the same time and we have to remake the foundation before we start building the house back up. Because of the little space and not enough work we have been having some people come back to the school to work with the children and prepare the walls for a new paint job.

On our first day we toured Antigua and had a lot of fun in the market. Now, because we are not all able to work, we also toured San Miguel with the host partner, Teresa. We bought candies to handout to all the children and families at a coffee plantation home. Few families were there and we cannot imagine how full it would be with 500 families in the one area. It is funny because in Canada if we were to drive down the street and handout candy from a white van we would be shunned instead of loved.

Even though it is just the start of our trip, we have had many amazing experiences and cannot wait to have some more!

DWC participants
Taylor-Rae Harvey & Moki Slingerland