As most of you probably know a tropical storm has moved into the area……and with it that tropical storm brought lots of rain! Nonetheless we loaded up the bus and headed out to a local village called San Miguel. Once there our team split up. The guys and a couple of girls went off to build yet another house while the rest of us stayed behind to set up a store. The plan was that we would use the local day care in that area to set up a store of the donated clothing, blankets, toys, hygiene items, etc. Ideally we thought we would set everything out on tables and allow the people from that village to come in and shop from what we had.
However, as I said that was the IDEAL situation. When we arrived at the entrance of the village we realized that the road into it was FAR to muddy to drive down. Making it impossible to get to the day care. After a few minutes of discussing our options we decided we would bring all the donations into the bus and separate them into black trash bags. We would then hand those bags out the door of the bus. As the girls started to sort out the stuff J.T. and I headed out into the village to let the people know they could come and purchase a bag. We ended up making close to 70 bags and selling them out of the bus. We made close to $75.
By allowing them to purchase their items (at a cheap price) it allows them to feel like it wasn’t just a hand out because we feel bad for them but instead it is like they earned it. By doing a store they are able to keep their dignity and we are able to make money to donate back to their village. In this case the money went to a local soccer program in the area. Kids have to pay to play in the league and some of them can’t afford it. Our money from the store went to allow those kids to play. The more we get them involved in a league like that the less time they will have to do other things.
Due to the change in plans our store went way quicker than we had planned. Therefore, we asked around to find out what else could be done in that village. We found out that there was mud that needed moved. The village we were in is located on the side of a mountain and every time it rains the mud just rushes down the side of it ….taking everything in its path with it. So 7 of us made the trek up the mountain and spent hours hauling away mud.
Despite the rain the other half of the team headed out to the house site. And as if the weather wasn't bad enough the house site was VERY difficult! The site was barely big enough for the size of house we build and was surrounded by brick walls on 3 sides. The guys ended up having to make the first wall with it laying down on the ground and then raising it up to put the posts down on into the ground.
The rain stopped for a while but by the afternoon the rain picked back up and it poured for the rest of the day. We were all soaking wet by the end. Yet no one uttered a single complaint all day. The team was amazing. I loved watching them work together for a greater cause.