June 6, 2009
(Written June 7, 2009)
Yesterday (Saturday), was a BIG work day. Everyone went to the widow/divorcee's site. First thing: break up and level the HILL by the back wall.
The men got picks and the gals got shovels [but we got turns with the picks, too] and soon everyone was exhausted and covered in a fine red dirt film. Even our teeth turned red. Hope it's not toxic! Haha!
(Popular sayings: "Eh, it's Morocco.", "Just don't think about it.", and "Maleesh" (Whatever/no worries in Arabic). These are useful when...things take a long time, you see cockroaches in your bed, you inhale strangely colored foreign dirt, etc...)
Yesterday was BAD for allergies. Maybe had to do with the dust? No? I had to take both normal pills and Sudafed and was out of it and STILL sneezing all day. Sigh. I had to take lots of breaks.
We also gathered tons of rocks. Joey directed us to climb up high and throw them down, then assembly line throw the rest of the way. I saw another Charlotte and lots of eggs. Ew.
We worked until 4pm (instead of the usual 2pm), because Joey offered the staff a day off if we get the roof poured by next Saturday, which means the floor had to be done TODAY. I was so tired and annoyed at the volunteers who were super gung-ho about working longer and delaying lunch. The Lord gave me strength, and it was actually really fun. ;)
We took wheelbarrowfuls of gravel and mixed in wheelbarrowfuls of sand until we had 50 total in a huge pile. Then they added the powder, and about five strong men made like cement trucks and mixed in water with shovels. We drove barrels of water up from the stream in the van and buckets up on the donkey.
The floor was, you know, first dirt, then they laid a puzzle of stones on top and we gals filled cracks in with tons of little rocks.
So. Many. Rocks.
A breaks up a rock so it fits in perfectly:
Then, the men shoveled cement into two wheelbarrows on the foundation and two buckets manned by girls, and dumped it evenly over the floor. J (aka the Moroccan Johnny Depp) smoothed it out with a piece of wood.
Horror of horrors--we didn't have enough gravel. Joey took Amy, Susanna, and I to get more. His pickup was still broken, so we shoveled it into the van. Nice. Finally, the foundation was FINISHED, and we ATE!!
Dee always brought really good lunch, and that dog adopted us because he got scraps:
One of the hardest parts about being here is being so DIRTY. We were all red and filthy and smelly, and arrived home to...no running water. ARGH! The situation was made worse because we all (the two teams) were off to spend the night at Melodie, B, and S's up in the hills, which just doesn't have running water period.
Ten sweaty people kinda cleaned off, packed sheets, pillows, and blankets, and drove an hour up to Melodie's. It was gorgeous up there in her small village--from her bedroom, you can see the sea, and from the roof, the view of the mountains is amazing. It's so peaceful. You see a farm or mosque here and there, the occasional donkey or sheep--but mostly it's red-brown hills dotted with green bushy trees, and blue-blue sky. It smells so nice, too. Fresh and earthy.
We had tea, and posed while waiting for it:
We went on a walk:
We hung out on the roof and practiced our Rifi-women-greeting:
We had hamburgers and french fries for dinner. HA! Rick and Sarah grilled them on the roof over new "shaweylas" purchased at the hanout in Izemmourren.
W is S's sister. We met her other sisters (she has five) and her mom! S speaks pretty good English and has eaten burgers before, but it was fun introducing everyone else to them. :)
Some girls slept on the roof, but Sandy, Sarah, Anna, and I deemed it to be too cold. It's very breezy up in the mountains! We slept in Melodie's living room; Anna and I shared a comfy couch-bed.