|The guys chosen sleeping arrangements|
Last night we had another awful night’s sleep on a concrete floor. If that wasn’t enough, there was the frustrating sound of cockerels crying out as early as 5am; they seemed to be mocking us as we tossed and turned while trying our best to sleep (Ed. What he’s not telling you is that he went to bed at 8 pm and slept the whole way through until 5 am when the cockerel started, that’s a full 9 hours). The night before, the heat in the room was immense, which made it seem like we were sleeping in a sauna as we woke up in a pool of our own sweat. (Ed. again what he is not telling you is that they have pitched their tents in the room and are sleeping with them fastened up, no air, no oxygen, lots of heat! The staff suggested they sleep outside but this fell on deaf ears.)
|Pre breakfast jobs/tasks|
We decided that we would get up earlier to start our project work an hour and a half before breakfast. This was actually rather easy as the majority of us were up in the early hours of the morning due to the challenging conditions faced while trying to sleep (Ed. early hours like 7.00am hahaha). Our kind hosts once again treated us to a marvellous breakfast and this set the challengers and the staff up well for a long hard day of work, which turned out to be rather rewarding.
|The concrete being prepared for the new gate posts|
|Paddy showing the locals how its done...not sure what colour those shorts are supposed to be though lol|
|The never ending 'fence painting'|
The tasks for the day were discussed and decided over breakfast. For some this was good news but not for others who had the task of axing bamboo for hours; this proved to take both physical strength and a level of skill. (Ed. it was frightening to watch! ;-)) The locals found it rather funny watching challengers attempt to split the wood, which they seemed to achieve effortlessly. It took the boys a long time to get the hang of it but eventually they got there.
The boys that were working on the fence had some encouraging results as they showed that a combination of hard work and determination allowed us to finish nailing the fence before lunch. This morale booster encouraged the boys to work hard until the finishing time of 4pm, which was also fuelled by the enjoyable lunch the hosts provided for us. Certain individuals proved that they had an artistic side in their arson, as they painted the school crest along with our names and the World Challenge logo on the side of the school wall. This was great to achieve as we have left our hosts with some artwork, along with the set task of constructing and painting the fence. Once these two tasks were completed the boys helped the locals make concrete. This was an educational experience which I’m glad I was able to take part in. Other challengers had the opportunity to pick up the paint brushes and decorate the fence in the Ecuador colours; some proved to be better at than others.
|Our new friends, William, his wife and Pastor's wife|
Overall, the boys and the staff put in a great effort, which has left us in the position of only having to make the final adjustments tomorrow morning. I think the boys have enjoyed the project experience thus far, whether it be by playing with the local kids, seeing our handy work come to life or enjoying some traditional Ecuadorian food which our hosts have kindly prepared for us. We look forward to what is in store for us next. (Ed. Chill timeJ)