This is my first time in El Salvador and flying!! Boy, it has been SUCH a life changing experience already!
Today we started our service work today, and I chose to do the house build, and it has been such an experience!
We treated the beams with spent motor oil (which is a waterproofer and a bug repellant)that will be the post for the walls and the inside of the concrete drywall called wonder board, which is special board made of screen and concrete that this flexible and a good construction material for this area because of the rainy season and the earthquakes. We didn't get a lot done at the site today because there was a lot of foundation work (which means measuring-- and translating the measurements from Spanish metric to English). Also Skylr, Taylor, a Salvadoran boy named Kevin, and myself made concrete!!!! It was so much fun to interact with the kids of the community that had stopped by. Our project coordinator's son, named Carlos (Carlitos because he is a little boy), was our water boy and photographer. :)
I can't wait for the house to be finished because the family seems so thankful for us to be there and are excited to meet us and talk to all of us.
Some things that make El Salvador VERY different from the U.S.:
~The traffic here is outrageous! Here the cars have the right away and are very aggressive drivers. I fear a little for my life every time we get in that van (although I totally trust George our driver). The safety town rules do not apply here!
~Time is not a tangible function here. The people are very content oriented and are interested in socializing rather than sticking to a schedule.
~The amount of wild and feral animals in the streets here is overwhelming, and it breaks my heart as a person who wants to love on all animals. It was painful for me to not feed a stray dog at lunch today. It was a nursing mother who was so emaciated :'(.
~There is trash EVERYWHERE!!!!! The culture here is to just throw trash out of the car and out into the road or into the yard. When you ask them to clean up they will sweep and pick up sticks or leaves but leave the trash. It's so weird.
I have so much more to say but there's too much to say in one blog!
So I'm signing off for now :) see you when I get back! And keep praying for positive and eye opening experiences for everyone who is down here.
-Kenna M. Reynolds
Student at ODU
Psychology and Criminal Justice