Miriam Brooks- Today was our first day working out around the mountain. In the morning we split into two groups- one group put tarps on houses and the group I was in went around and delivered water filters. We drove around the mountain and at each house that got a filter, they had to repeat to us the instructions for correct use. At each stop, we grabbed a bunch of filters and hiked around to several at a time. One stop required us to walk a total of two hours up and down the mountain to deliver five water filters. The whole way, kids kept running out, grabbing our hands and joining us on our hike. My favorite part of today, was by far the smiles we received from the little kids along the way. Thank you for keeping our team in your prayers!
Libby Maddox- The most striking part of my day today was interacting with the people. Our job was to cover their sleeping huts with tarps to prevent rain from seeping through eroded holes in their corn stalked roofs or, if they were fortunate enough, tarps from former mission groups. The work we did was important and I’m thrilled to be apart of it, but I think the affect the people had on me was even more profound than the affect our tarps had on them. The innocent smile that emanated from every child’s eyes and their infectious joy filled my heart with a sense of tranquility. The one thing I hope to take home with me is an attitude similar to theirs. They live in such a simple manner relative to me. I gain perspective in their content joy, which shows through their seemingly dire situation.
Leanne McWain- Today we got to cover the corn stalk houses with tarps and played with the children. It was an amazing experience meeting all the people. We hiked up mountains to get to the different houses and some of the children walked with us. They loved taking pictures with us, holding our hands, and playing with us. My favorite part I would have to say was at the second house there were two children that I danced with. They would run around through the large rocks and every time they would pop out from behind the rocks I would start dancing and they would laugh and do the same dance moves as me. They had the cutest laughs! Another part that really hit me in the heart was at the last house I was playing and holding a little girl and the father came up to me and offered me the child. It was so sad that he would say that, but also it was like he wanted his child to have a better life. Today was an amazing day and I can’t wait for what is to come.
Sophie Vachon- Today I was in the group that delivered water filters to families throughout Seguin. The houses we traveled to were in various parts of town so that meant a lot of hiking throughout the mountain. We saw many children, and I loved when we were able to interact. It was very humbling to see how little they have, but how much love and happiness they offered to their environment. Something that struck me was the fact that barely any of them had functioning- or any- shoes on. Witnessing two year olds with missing toes and blistered soles made me wonder how much I “needed“ a pair of Uggs two months ago. Mr. Ryan mentioned that his daughter is collecting shoes for the community down here; and when I get back home I hope to do something like that at Catholic Central. Thank you for your prayers, but please continue to pray for those that will still live here even after we leave.
Emily Ivie- Today I was in the group that went and covered corn stalk houses with tarps. We also played with the cutest little kids. We were hiking throughout various places on the mountain and the little girls walked with me holding my hands. All the little kids had the cutest little belly laughs. The dad at one of the houses said to us that he had five kids and wanted to give us one of his little girls. She was the cutest thing, and I would have gladly taken her with me if I could. I love all the cute kids here. It is so sad when we have to leave them. Can’t wait to see what else there is in store.
Stephanie Kaminski- Today I got to deliver water filters with a group. We went to the school first to bring some of the water filters. A lot of the kids ran up to help us bring everything. I also met a lot of the children, most of them followed us from the rectory. While we were in the mountains, it was so cute how a lot of the kids ran up and either hugged us or grabbed our hands as we were walking. It was a lot of fun but very tiring walking up and down the mountains. I kept thinking that I was going to fall. There were many little children that ran after the group and followed us up the mountain. They ran up to us when we started at the stop, and left us when we were done. It took forever to bring everything, but knowing that I am helping them is an amazing feeling. As we are driving by in the cars, we will wave and all the kids wave and smile back. Sometimes the kids will even run after the car. Having an amazing time here, but also miss everyone at home. I do love it here! It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
Patrick Truskowski- Today I put tarps over people’s houses. They were very joyful to see us there helping them. The best part of the trip though was seeing the children. They were so adorable, and I wanted to take all of them home with me. I got a lot of pictures of them and they had beautiful smiles. Then we showed them the pictures and they all huddled around and laughed. I have never seen kids so happy in my life. They followed us everywhere we went and held our hands. After we were done we went back to the rectory and played soccer. I got tired quickly but it was well worth it seeing the smiles on the children’s faces.
Chris McWain- Well, today we delivered water filtrations buckets to different houses throughout the mountain. Our first stop was the school, where we had kids who were outside the school come and help us carry the buckets, and they held our hands. Their learned English was broken, but they mostly asked our names and if they could have a soccer ball, which I could understand. After the school, we headed into the more spaced out mountains. The roads were hardly there, and the path was difficult. Little kids spotted our cars, and ran alongside them until we stopped. They walked with us for our paths to the houses, each walk with different kids, some even 2 or 3 years old, and they were soo adorable. They seemed to just walk with us and not care for where they were or where their families were. The longest period of time we had to walk was about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The view while we walked was gorgeous. Looking down at the view lower down on the mountain, and the rocks that seemed to be carved by water, all were astonishing Everything about the mountains seemed to be in some artistic manner. The beautiful view and children’s faces made the service today completely worth it.