With 18 volunteers and 20 job sites, it’s pretty safe to say there won’t be a shortage of work for us to do this week. The community welcomed us with open arms and we really enjoyed the ceremony and the kind words everyone spoke that allowed us to get to know our hosts better. We are going to have lots of tea breaks the next two weeks, as Sri Lanka grows the world’s best. Most Sri Lankans are Buddhists and the village monk came to give us a blessing and then it was off to work!
Since Habitat Sri Lanka has started making microloans for various home improvements a lot more families are in the pipeline. So far we have mixed lots of concrete, most by hand. If you’ve never tried it, you can quit your gym memberships, because it’s the only workout you’ll need.
We’ve been able to finish pouring the floors in two houses and poured a footer to build a new wall in another house. Another team sifted sand (try doing this by hand with a large screen for 5 hours) to get the fine texture needed to make mortar to plaster walls. Our fourth team of volunteers were working on the foundation for a new house which includes packing dirt and mixing concrete for the foundation footers.
It’s only 2 days of work so far, but we end the day tired, sweaty and very very dirty. Which is, after all, why we came.