Last night I crashed at 9 pm. Literally I crashed.
Martie and I went into our rooms after dinner and laid down for a second on our beds. My plan was to read some more of ‘Cutting for Stone’ but before I knew it I was sound asleep.
When I woke up an hour later I was confused as to what happened. I figured I best put my pajamas on and crawl under the covers. Between the physical labor, being outside in the elements, the time change and just all the emotions of this experience we are all exhausted by the end of each day.
Jonnie (arrived late due to graduation) experienced Ethiopian bananas for the first time today and before he even took a bite he said, ‘It just peels like a dream.’
It’s nice to have our complete team here now. This morning Gill remembered that she packed Beaver tattoos. Naturally we all showed up at the worksite, including the Holt workers, sporting our Beaver pride on our cheeks.
Today at the work site we really got down and dirty. The wooden frame and boards are in place now and we began preparing the mud mixture.
The work was much more physical today as we shoveled the dirt and collected the water needed for the mud. Obviously there are no taps to just turn on for water so we had to walk down to the well, fill up the 20 liter jug and lug it back to the work site.
Then it was time to mix the dirt and water. Two of the local boys got it started and eventually we rolled up our pants and took off our shoes to help them by stomping around.
Things were mixing up nicely when Julia tackled Seshia and the mud fight was on. I went for Lauren but she got the better of me as I ended up on my stomach in the mud.
Naturally I got her back and before we knew it we were all covered head to toe in mud. I have never been so dirty in all my life!
The local people gathered around and were cracking up over us rolling in the mud. Cleaning up at the work site was difficult but once back at the hotel we jumped into the shower and I even had hot water pressure today. I officially ruined the clothes I was wearing today but it was more than worth it.
The women on our team have been breaking local gender stereotypes left, right and sideways, especially today. Sarah, who has over 10 years of experience in Africa, says this is a good thing for the members of the community to see women working in traditionally male roles.
We’ve seen completely new things (like young women fighting in mud and climbing houses) and so have they! It was translated for us the one of the men said he’s been impressed with our work ethic and loved how we were able to make such a tedious job like mixing the mud into so much fun.
Limited Internet access prevented Stephanie from posting these blogs while she was in Ethiopia. The trip was completed in late June 2012.