After sleeping for a good amount of time (hours, days who knows?) I awoke feeling better and even slightly more human so I asked to be allowed back on the job. Today I would be working alongside Liz and Evelyn for a team leader called Mitch, an Australian and a joiner by trade. We would be making the house windows from rough (often warped) wood. Evelyn was set up on cutting the lengths of wood with a cross-saw whilst me and Liz were putting the frames together. Evelyn was cutting wood like a woman possessed and we made the mistake of not checking every one of the cut lengths but just carried on putting together the frames and between the two operations it turned out that one or two of the frames we had made were wrong. They were not out by much but enough that they needed re-working by Mitch simply to make them fit – it had all seemed to be going so well too. He did not kick up a fuss though he simply pointed out where we had gone wrong and then set to work correcting our mistakes. Sometimes when you are feeling rough these little things, like being given a break when really you should have been hauled over the coals really does make a difference – believe me. Thanks Mitch wherever you are.
I had survived the day though and that in itself was a success for me as we had been working without cover in the direct sunlight on another scorcher of a day which would have been a grueller even had I been feeling 100%. I felt that a corner had been turned.
At night we put ourselves forward to go along to the ‘Little Dreams’ film evening. Little Dreams is one of the All Hands projects which simply tries to keep in touch with the previous project sites that the volunteers have worked on and this is done by going round one of them, a different one every week, and showing the kids that live there films or sometimes playing games with them. So when we got back from work we just had time for a quick bite, shower and change and then we helped load up the movie equipment onto the Jeepney.
The Little Dreams ‘crew’ for tonight was made up of, an American Lady [one of the AH Managers], Dom, an English lad a staff member who publicised AH on the net, Evelyn our workmate from the day [also Dom’s girlfriend], Nadine [a Dutch girl] and me and Liz. There was a bit of a debate in the Jeepney as to what movie would be shown tonight but we finally settled on the Walt Disney film, Mulan. We were actually going to the Barangay we had visited earlier when we had the project orientation trip but this time we were hoping there would be quite a few more people about. We were not wrong either as the minute the Jeepney rolled in kids started pouring out from their houses and shouting and running alongside and after the van. It was great, little kids skipping along with their parents and the older kids helping not only the little ones but also the very old grandparents who were coming out to watch the film too.
Dom set the film up on the laptop, projector and ‘screen’ and the assembled brought out stools, chairs, boxes anything really that they could perch on and watch the proceedings. They do have televisions in the Barangays in Tacloban but it is a bit like Britain in the 50’s and 60’s – only so many TVs per area and when it is on everyone goes round to watch. This means that the Little Dreams movie night is not only well attended but everyone is absolutely rapt possibly like our faces used to be back in the day when we first got a Colour television and all of a sudden snooker started to make sense. It was a brilliant night though, the movie itself was not bad but we actually spent more time watching the audience. We could see parents torn between watching the film and their own children’s faces whilst they watched the film. We, as outsiders, had the privilege of being able to take all of this in – amazing. The film ‘screen’ was actually a sheet lashed to the side of the Jeepney outside and as the clouds started to clear it left us all underneath the stars too, could it get any better? During the film Dom and Evelyn took Liz and myself to see the school and he explained a bit more about it and the difference it had made to the area.
On the door was written ‘the school that love built’ which by and large I would’ve said was quite a crass thing to put if only I had not seen the faces of the kids watching Mulan many of whom would be going to this school – this cynic must be softening! We managed to get back to the film for the ending and the kids cheering and then everyone had to depart. A lot of the kids walking home said thank you and/or goodbye before they went and suddenly all the day’s aches and pains did not seem quite as bad as they had before, maybe this kind of thing grows on you.