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Today we started our work in the village of Granadilla. After a 90-minute bus ride from Coban, that felt very much like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, it was fantastic to be greeted by the children of the village when we arrived at their school. The community members and leaders met with us and graciously welcomed us. They wanted to know about each one of us; our names, where we came from, and what our families were like.
We ended the meeting with a prayer and then watched the children perform a dance routine they had created for us to the tunes of Lady Gaga and a medley of other pop artists. Cheerleading pyramids, gymnastic flips and somersaulting through hoops was the grand finale. Needless to say, it was awesome.
After the welcome ceremony we got to work. We split up into 2 teams and in just a half day we completed stoves in five homes. At each house we were welcomed, with the parade of children and other community members who traveled with us. In one home there were at least 20 community members and children, along with our team and the family in a space about 10 feet by 20 feet. It was challenging to navigate through them all to put the stove in place but the excitement they brought with them was contagious and made the work fun. Families helped with the building and installation and offered us food and drink in thanks for our work. Even though it was difficult communicating, their faces said it all. How fortunate the team felt to be in this community surrounded by beautiful nature and people.
Carlos, a three-year-old boy who was very excited to participate in the project, led us to our last home. He walked next to Marie and taught her a new song to encourage her up the hill of 300 steps. The view and the smiling family at the top made it all worth it!
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