Day 3

Published: March 31st 2014
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A cement mixer has been rented. We've laid down a chunk of the court with hand-mixed concrete; this will be faster but more rote. Today I've mostly been dipping water buckets from a big plastic cistern, carrying buckets of concrete, and shoveling sand and gravel.

Breakfast was sweet potato, a yucca/plantain mash, and spicy pasta. I added a can of tuna salad later. While I sat on the porch eating, an old man came over and began to talk to me in French. We conversed briefly, then he gestured, took my tuna, and ate it. I gave him the crackers from the packet. He handed back the can and two girls took it and fought for it.

Local lunch: Rice cooked with bits of salty fish, maybe sardines, salad, and frijoles negros. I ate a little of the latter.

They're setting up the generator or motor for the mixer. I will move from my dappled shade and prepare to work more. Later: Jerky, for protein.

Later: I spent some time using a pickaxe to trough under the guide string for the next section to be poured. At Zach's request, I photographed the process he's trying out for volleyball net holders, using PVC pipe sections. I fetched much water and shoveled a great deal of sand and gravel. I also learned from some kids how to screen the coarse sand to obtain fine sand for the man who's using it to finish the court surface. Having translated Kansas's "Dust in the Wind" into Spanish in high school, I had the word polvo at the ready.

We're now more than halfway done, but there won't be sufficient raw materials to continue tomorrow. Zach knows not to get into a conflict about it with the jefe. So tomorrow may be a combo of church, work, and (though the students don't know it), the beach.

The students continue to hand-mix concrete; though the mixer is running, there's not much for them to do other than shovel sand and gravel (which I seem to be the only one to enjoy) or run wheelbarrows, which some are doing. It's a bit John Henry vs. the steam engine. Since I aspire not to die with a hammer in my hand, I continue to work at a stolid, consistent pace. This is really what I'm good at: Hour after hour of carrying and shoveling in the sun. It's a nice break from grading tests.

9:10 PM, at the Community Center. What will become a bachata/merengue lesson, but is now a mixed community/student dance circle while the PCVs figure out how to get loud enough music going. Saturday and Sunday nights are reportedly raucous, with potential payday drunkenness tonight. Therefore, we are to avoid the colmados.

Additional photos below
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Tot: 1.692s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 5; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0185s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb