Hola! Como estas? Me llamo Zak... And that's about the extent of what I was able to say today...
I'm a sophomore at BC studying business management and economics.
Today we did a variety of things ranging from mass to dancing and everything in between. We went to a spanglish mass this morning at Sacred Heart parish her in Santa Ana, it was great because we all thought we knew the mass but it is actually very different down here as far as when you stand, sit, and kneel. We definitely made fools of ourselves being funny Americans who had no idea what was going on. The readings and gospels were in both English and Spanish but the rest of the mass was only in Spanish.
Afterwards we went to La Communidad Manuel (where we will be building the houses) in order to get to know the families we will be helping. The family I am helping to build for is a family of 4, two parents (which is very rare), a 9 year old son and an 18 son. The 9 yr old goes to school while the older brother goes to work. The father collects recyclables in order to make a living, the mother also sews to make some money while acting as tailor for the community and fixing all the clothes that need it.
After yet another amazing home cooked meal for lunch we went out to some Mayan ruins in order to learn a little bit more about some of these communities through a presentation that was given by some of the kids on scholarships. This consisted of a couple of skits and dances. The dance ended in all of us volunteers being pulled up and swung around in a ridiculous attempt at Salvadoran salsa dancing. Jake Scott was king of the dance floor with a young gentleman who was tearing up the dance floor (videos to come later)!
After the dancing and getting to know another community we were able to walk around the ruins a little bit and take some pretty awesome pictures and get to know each other better (again pictures to come later). We were able to experience a Salvadoran market place outside the park that the ruins were in, some people bought stuff some people are waiting for Saturday when we will be able to go to a much bigger market.
After a pretty full day we came back to the new CFCA facility in Santa Ana and ate a little not quite ripe mangos (very tart yet very good). We had once again a great home cooked meal! The food so far has been fantastic! Yes, I'm a man so that's what I notice... Don't judge me... =)
We have great staff here at the facility, "Mama" is making sure we're taking care of ourselves and eating enough. Mario and Jessie don't speak English but most of us have had at least some spanish and can quasi communicate with them, we also have 3 english speaking staff and 3 fluent speakers on the trip.
We're all excited to start building tomorrow and get our hands dirty. Being a construction worker it will be interesting breaking about every code in the book but it'll be awesome to work with my hands and love these people at the same time! Some of these people are so broken and simply in need of someone to love them.
Being the second oldest of 11 kids I also have a love for little kids and they're super cute... I think there's a rule or something that says hispanic kids are automatically super cute. A lot of them will follow us around and play with us constantly. We played hot potato with a boy in the street today, many of them borrowed our cameras and started taking pictures of everything.
We're all super excited for the rest of the week!