Juntos: Creating Ties

Sustainable development through meaningful partnerships.

Journal Entry #2: Adelaide Agyemang

981715_4214543021665_2063269982_o23, May, 2013

8:45 pm, bunk bed at Don Augusto’s

Adelaide Agyemang

Today has been long, full, surprising, and exciting for everyone, I’m sure. I am definitely a list person, so I’ll start by listing what happened today, and trying to write as much as I can before {losing conciousness}. Nothing I write will be spelt correctly, by the by. Ironic…

-Bathing in the river!

-Breakfast

-Splitting up

Latrines (Me, Sara, Molly)

Kitchen Conversations (Juan, Jacki, Jess, Jenny)

-Preparing for workshops/downtime

-Workshops (split again) – computers and art

-Dinner – Yummy!

-Group reflection (so nice!)

This morning, Juan, Molly, Sara, Jacki, and I decided to try showering in the river. We got our supplies and made the very very short walk there. It was our first time really walking through Rosa Grande, as our time last night was very much contained to Don Augusto’s house and settling in. The landscape is really breathtaking: Rosa Grande is this small community of simple homes nestled inside a tropical forest. Bright green leaves hang languidly everywhere, and the town happens on either side of a long, rocky road… I mention this only because I’ve really never seen a town that things are arranged in a linear way, yet you’ll find homes that dot the land…like the house across from where we are staying; it is on top of a hill, but the steps to the house are carved out of the clay on the hill. I just realized that it would be totally okay to stop by and say hello. Oh dear, I’m afraid that I am absolutely exhausted at this moment, and hardly keeping my eyees open. I’m certainly not finished though (haven’t even gotten to the river!) however I’m just writing about trees because all I can think about when I think of today is their color, and looking down the length of the road, rivers and bridges. So I’ll be sure to continue in the morning!

— 24, May, 5:37 pm, Don Augusto’s hammock

Alright, here is the rest of my version of what happened yesterday (I cannot believe  it is already Friday!):

Bathing in the river was as amazing as it sounds. We found a spot right near the bridge, and struggled at first with the slight chill and maneuvering how to bathe fully clothed, with people watching in curiosity 🙂 Jackie had the best response – she shimmied half naked in the water and ended up swimming pretty far in pursuit of a rogue slipper! we all had a great time splashing around together, and the bath was so relaxing. I hope we can continue to try waking up to go together!

After breakfast, we split up into two groups to start our Bridges Service Projects. I was paired with Molly and Sara, and we started building the iron foundation for two latrines. The work was tedious and difficult, not because of the labor itself, but because we had to manually do everything. Essentially, we cut iron bars and tied them up using strips of wire to make a lattice like this [small drawing].

The work was made more tiresome by the relentless heat. When we started the second one, I started thinking about how quickly this structure would have been finished with welding. I think someone made a project that required a cage in the welding class I took freshman year. But at the same time, it was awesome to learn how things are done – really done – without tools… it made me excited to try woodwork without a chopsaw (although Don Luis was tearing away at his!) since I can’t afford one (I really wanted to make stretcher bars for canvas).

The earlier part of the day was, again, difficult but I think very rewarding. Plus, I really enjoy doing that sort of repetitive labor using materials and tools.. it’s so much more fun for me than actually working out, haha. Even since I’ve been old enough to help my dad build stuff, I’ve loved construction, buying hardware, all of that stuff.

After that we had a delicious lunch and then drove in separate cars to the community center to deliver our computer workshops. Jackie and I had a crash course the night before for our workshop on Microsoft Word. Trying to create a program and organizing how everything would be taught was extremely difficult, because we had no clue about the experience our participants had with word (or computers in general) or even the number of people we would be teaching. We only knew that they would be primarily professors, and that they were interested in learning  MS Office. So we tried to prepare something that started off with a very very basic overview, and then got into more advanced things (such as adding pictures, bullets, sections).

When we got there to teach the workshop, however, we found out that several of the people we would be teaching had either never sat in front of a computer before, or only knew how to turn it on or off. We had to quickly deliberate to figure out how exactly we would teach this workshop. We started from a more basic place for everyone, and since the participants were grouped in twos and threes (we had 3 computers for 7 people). We were able to individualize the workshops. Wonderfully, they were kind of arranged already by skill. I think that considering our lack of information on the people we were teaching, we did an incredible job of improvising and tailoring the workshops to each group.

At the end of the day, we reunited as a group, and reflected about our successes, challenges, potentials, and the things that made us happy.

Juan introduced the gushers in Nicaragua, and gave me the sweetest and most thoughtful appreciation ever. There was a lot of really amazing moments during the workshops, where people were beginning to follow and understand. For now though, I am finished and this journal goes to Jacki.

Love,

Adelita

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2014 by in News.