Friday, June 23, 2017
Today I woke up at 5:00 a.m. At first I was so annoyed at how early I woke up, but as I lay there, I enjoyed the many sounds of the village; the crowing roosters, the mooing cows and the constant piercing hum of the cicadas. Today was also our last working day. We got there at around 8:15 a.m., before any of the women in the village with whom we usually work. Beginning work without them really made me appreciate how the whole village comes together to finish a project like this. We were still digging, digging, digging, trying to remove one of probably five to eight huge piles of dirt. And, much of the dirt was actual clay or rocks—not easy at all to manoeuver. We worked until 11:15 a.m. and finished our last community work efforts, dirty, sweaty and exhausted. Everyone headed to the showers when we returned to our host home on stilts.
In the afternoon Gavin, Rex and I went to a café where we met two people from an organization called Asia Outdoors. They were very nice and invited us to a free yoga session. Their invitation made me feel welcomed, and even though we didn’t go, I still appreciated it. Throughout our free time in the afternoon, almost everyone in the group got massages from some of the women with whom we worked. When I arrived there, I was glad that they were happy to see us again!
In the evening, we went back to the community center where the children put on a dance performance for everyone. They were proud to dance for us, and for the last dance they invited us to do the Macarena with them. We also sang a song for the community and Tommy, Devon and Paige did “The Cup Song.” As we handed out candy and gum to all the children and mothers, I saw many of the women we worked with and I felt like I was a little part of their community, too. There is an obvious lack of men in the village. We were told that many men of working age leave the village to go work in the cities. A lot of them have jobs in hotels. They come home for extended periods in early June and November to help harvest rice. While they are away, they send money home to their families.
We went to bed once again pretty early – around 9:45 p.m.!