Today was to be our second to last day in the field and we were signed up together to work with Maria and Oletta on the site called Decio. We were there working with a new roomie from New York called Rachel – who did not actually stay in our room but just woke us up early every morning trying to get to her stuff into or out from her locker there. No it was not because there was stuff in the way that she woke us up, she was just one of those people who needed to make you know she was in the room – ASS! The last of our merry band was a lady from Belgium called Stephanie who once again I had a great time with pretending I did not understand what she was saying and the like – oh these Europeans can get riled.
We were digging out the footings (foundations to me) and the mother from the house that had been destroyed actually sat by to watch our progress and would, when needed, help with various bits and bobs it was really great and the first time I had seen this. I do not think that generally people did not want to help the work All Hands were doing but feel that they were quite proud even though the places they had formerly lived in sometimes were little more than hovels – at the end of the day we would see just how much it meant to one of the families though.
The digging was hard work, especially as Rachel kept picking bits that she wanted to do and then moving on to find other things to do when the going got tough leaving the rest of us picking up the pieces. Me and Liz were well going for it and to be fair I actually began to feel that we were getting the hang of it. Like I said it was hard but we simply cracked on all day long – as they had told us at the beginning you do actually get used to it but it would have been nicer if this had happened a lot closer to the beginning though … lol.
As I said earlier we all stopped towards the end of the day to go and see the handing over of the Moya completed build to a lady with a good number of kids – the family name must have been Moya as that is how the sites were named and she and her kids (at least 3 I think) were living in no more than a shed besides the house that now stood ready to be given over. Liz tells me she had done some joinery on it, on the porch I believe – which fell down soon after, killing all the occupants of a passing Jeepney – I am writing this as I know she will be looking over my shoulder … lol … ouch!
The lady was in bits as the keys were handed over and the kids were simply stunned and running all over the place. Back home in England I am not even sure what you would call the place – a one up, one down with an outside bathroom – but here this was luxury and the family were loving it and we were loving the fact that they were loving it. It was all very emotional, Liz shed a tear or two and even I had teary eyes from a very loud sneeze I had had just a few seconds earlier – honest.
It had been a great day, back at base we were the old hands, us amongst them were welcoming the latest batch of volunteers and telling them things would get better (which it does) and other such stuff – the All Hands thing really does take its toll but in a very good way.