To answer your question. I'm not sure exactly why God wanted me down here. The biggest thing that I've noticed since being here is how egocentric we are as Americans. Living in a world other than the States has opened my eyes to the rest of the world. It bothers me how in our news we don't hear anything unless it pertains to our country. Why? Is there nothing else happening in the world? No, but we don't think it applies to us. I feel vastly under-educated while being here because I'm not bilingual. It seems there are more and more people willing to learn english in the world than Americans willing to learn other languages. I've already seriously considered trying to teach myself more spanish if we come back next year. I mean they are teaching kids in 1st grade down here some basic phrases in english. We didn't get any spanish until high school. So basically, I'm as bilingual as a 1st grader in Costa Rica...kinda sad. Another thing that I've really been opened up to is all the vanity that we have in America. When we flew in we flew over rusted tin roofs. And I remember thinking to myself, "These poor (as in poor in spirit, not wealth) people, they have nothing." But since we've been working with them and interacting with them, it's not like that. It's just how it is down here. And it's not bad that maybe their roofs are rusted (which is more likely because they get 14 feet of rain each year) or that the cement isn't as perfect as we see in the states. It's just how their society is. They don't have the "Poor me poor me" attitude, they're content with what they have. And actually they are VERY family oriented. The other day in church there were a few small children that were literally being passed around from mother to mother. Older mothers to younger mothers. Younger mothers to old mothers. And the kids embraced each mother as their own. I truly think that their community is stronger than most of America's because the neighborhoods are so closely connected with each other.
Ok, today's events...simply put...I poured cement...all day. I did a little of the re-rod work later this afternoon, but only for about a half hour before the day was over. Tomorrow we're to the orphanage. I'm really looking forward to it.
A shot of the finished wall cap. They pulled the forms off this morning.
They did finally finish digging the trench today. You can kind of see the small trench within the trench. About halfway up in this picture they have a form that we were filling concrete on the outsides of. The brown concrete we were using was just a leveller so we can lay a good slab maybe Thursday or Monday.
Barry, Phyllis, Ron and Clyde working on more wall cap rebar. On the left is the rebar mesh we're going to put in the bottom of the trench. There are vertical pieces of rebar that will be tied in once we get it in the trench. But eventually it'll make it into the trench and be covered with concrete.
This is what I'll most likely be looking at our last three work days...cement mixer.
We had Dr. Ingemar Hedstrom and his daughter come and give a short presentation on their work. Dr. Hedstrom is an ecobiologist working in the rain forrests in Costa Rica. He talked breifly about the dangers of losing the rain forrests. But for me the more interesting part of the whole ordeal was his daughter's work. She's an anthropologist that works with the Cabecar Indians in Costa Rica. She has been here for 15 years, from Sweden, trying to educate the Cabecar tribes. The problem is that the tribes are not modernized. They are very isolated from the rest of Costa Rica and live in the rain forrests. It's not that they don't want anything to do with education. But to get a teacher from the state school to come out and teach takes about two days of travel through the forrests. BUT, Dr. Hedstrom's daughter (and I refer to her as that because I forgot her name...Mirian or something) has finished (with help) writing reading and writing books for the Cabecans for grades 1 through 4. The problems that she's had through the years is that the Cabecans are very much an oral history tribe. They have never had the need for writing and reading because all of their stories and history has been passed down through storytelling. So finally they're starting to get educated on reading and writing.
The most interesting part is how both Dr. Hedstrom and his daughter were very adamant about bringing up good, uncorrupted leaders in Costa Rica. And how in order to do that they're going to have to come from the Costa Rican church. The problem is that because of different politics, the leaders have been coming up from outside of the church and have been corrupted by outside influences. And when they were saying corrupted and non-corrupted, they were talking about the current leaders in Costa Rica have many special interests that fulfill their needs. But good, uncorrupted leadership that leads to better the country as a whole instead of just for a certain people group. It was interesting some of the parallels we can make with our own country.