Day 8: Mortar, mortar, fast, fast!

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More dirt, more sweat, more giggles and “More mortar!” Mortar is a mixture of sand, cement and water – one of the key materials used when building with blocks. Creating the perfect viscosity is important, and so is ensuring an abundance of mortar is always available to our head mason. “Fast, fast!” he often cried out. With the urinal almost complete, today we started work on constructing the toilets, which we made significant progress on. We salute the children and youth of Smile Child Foundation (SCF). They recognize this structure being built as their own and are eager to aid in its completion even if it involves fighting us for the wheelbarrow and shovels. Gently, of course.

We recognized more traits of hard work in a young lady named Ruth. At the welcome ceremony (see yesterday’s blog), she had led a large group of pupils from SCF in a vigorous ten-minute dance routine. The dancers listened for her voice, introducing a new shoulder thrust into the routine at every “aaaah.” At fifteen, Ruth is not only responsible for her dance troupe but does her best to support her family as the oldest female. She begins her day by weaving mats, a trade she does wholeheartedly and is also a source of income for her family of nine. After school, Ruth works on even more mats. Her eyes beamed with pride as she informed us that on the next market day, she and her mother would be taking over twenty-five mats to the market! In what is a rare happening, we see her smile.

It is an honor to be able to be involved in the life stories of people like Ruth – whose lives scream beauty and immense potential.