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Mixing concrete

Wednesday night was the coldest night we have experienced here, but we awoke to a beautiful sunrise coming up in the hills of the Las Minas Village.  We had our morning coffee with cookies and muffins while we discussed our tasks at hand for the day.

We started first thing in the morning by having a group work on putting rebar together, another group to help mix concrete together in piles on the ground with shovels, and one last group still digging some trenches.  Mixing concrete was one of our favourite jobs as we were working shoulder to shoulder with the locals mixing the concrete together on the ground with shovels. Once we had it mixed enough we would shovel it into wheelbarrows and take it into the school.  To make the base for the walls we would dump a bit of concrete in the bottom of the trench and then place big rocks in with more concrete on top of that.  We would place the rebar supports in the corners and along the walls standing straight in the air, this kept all the men in the group busy as it was very hard to keep up with the pace the locals were going at.  

After breakfast the women of our group decided to go on a new journey. Last year some of the girls were able to go see how they do the laundry here and it was something the ladies this year were also curious about. During breakfast the community ladies were cleaning our tents and we were able to arrange for our team ladies to go along and "help" with the laundry. First all the clothing is put in a big plastic tub and soaked with water and soap. Then on a rough concrete slab the community ladies would set out a single piece of clothing, soap and water on it and scrub. They turn the clothing inside out and scrub again. The whites would get soaked again in bleach and rinsed one more time. Everything is wrung out by hand and hung to dry. It is difficult to explain but we were all so impressed by how fast they were at washing the clothes. 

Noon could not have come soon enough as the temperature was reaching 32 degrees.  We were called for lunch which was delicious chicken Alfredo with ensalada (salad) and sandia (watermelon).  

The early afternoon was spent hanging around our camp playing cards and making bracelets with the children. It is always fun to see that after a few kids find out what we are doing, more and more kids start coming to the tent to get in on the activities.   Later in the afternoon we were taken on a tour through the plantain plantation. It was so cool and interesting to see the communities main source of income and the pride they have in their plantains.  We had the chance to cut down a few plantain trees and see all the hard work that goes into their crop. 

For supper we had a Honduran meal called pupusas, which were like a Honduran version of a grilled cheese sandwich. For desert we were treated to a chocolate cake for Shelley-o's birthday with strawberry or chocolate chip ice cream.  

After devotions, the men played a few hands of cards, and the rest of us headed to the tents to get ready for bed.