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helping with construction work

May 12, 2016

We’ve been back in our village now for a few weeks. The village often has community work days. Often, the project for the day is working on the new church building.

Work days can be really fun. Kids are welcome to join in. Even though they might slow down the work, it lets more parents participate and teaches kids how to do different types of work. Sometimes a neighbor teenager takes care of Baby G while the others of us help with work day or do other community activities. On work days, “neighborhoods” in the village take turns cooking lunch for workers. We enjoy having lunch with a group of people in a casual atmosphere.

It’s very informative for us, too–on linguistic, cultural, environmental, and social areas. As part of work days, we’ve gotten to see how the women carry sand in large bags from the beach to the new church building, where the men then mix concrete on the ground using shovels. We’ve seen them cut down tall trees with machetes to clear an area for a garden. We’ve seen people use chainsaws to cut felled trees into lumber to use for construction. John and many other men have stood on scaffolding made of logs and vines while nailing boards to make the church ceiling.

Work day projects, like many activities here, are pretty clearly divided into “men’s work” and “women’s work,” though I feel welcome to stop by a “men’s project.” I have to say, physical strength is enough of a factor in work days that it does make sense. Plus, it’s fun to have a group of ladies to laugh with. It’s like hanging around in a friend’s kitchen after supper while the men sit in the living room. Except working really hard instead of drinking tea. I just wish I could understand more of what people are saying and doing!

One day last week, one of the projects was helping fix up and add on to one of the school teacher’s houses. John helped hammer in some of the walling for a new room underneath the elevated house. Little M worked there too for part of the morning. We live close enough to the church and school that now Little M is confident walking back and forth by himself. The gentleman in this picture is one of the church elders and village elders and was perfectly happy to have Little M working by him. Little M was proud to tell me later that he had helped this man hammer boards.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Donna permalink
    May 12, 2016 10:12 am

    You are having so many interesting experiences. We admire you always living in an area where language is difficult and general living does not have the conveniences you were accustomed to. We pray for you to be a blessing to those around you and know God has placed you there for that reason. I love the way children are so included in the activities. Micah is so cute and energetic. I’m glad he has a hammer instead of a machete! God bless you, keep you all safe and well. Lots of love to all!

    • May 16, 2016 3:58 am

      Thanks for reading! We are for sure having many interesting experiences, and the boys will always have plenty of stories to tell about them.

  2. Don & Michele Hardie, Maplewood Reformed Church permalink
    May 14, 2016 12:04 pm

    Always enjoy “hearing” from you and seeing what you are up to. What a different life you are living, yet all people share the same common denominators of love for family and helping out friends in need. Praying for your safety, wisdom, and Christian impact upon the lives around you as you serve God so far from home.


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