Thursday, June 14, 2012

Physical labor, happiness, and more beautiful babies...

The last few days here have been INCREDIBLE! We went to Bunabuyoka Monday-Wednesday. I don't know how to accurately express how beautiful and fulfilling the past few days have been. We go to this village at the beginning of every week (usually just Monday and Tuesday however) to work on the construction of a medical clinic. We share twin mattresses, eat posho and play with the darling children in any down time we have. I posted a BUNCH of pictures and hopefully a vid (if it works) so here's the latest and greatest of the medical clinic at Bunabuyoka.

This little girl is named Damalie. She's beautiful. I can't get over how beautiful she is. She's pretty shy but she warms up to you. She has a tiny little voice and if you start singing a song that she knows, she'll quietly sing along with you. She knows my name and called me "Mallo". I love it.
This week went as follows:  Carrying huge rocks (in a Ford-style assembly line) to the medical clinic site, hauling sand in buckets up the mountain or moving 20 pound bricks down to the site.  Lots of lifting and plenty of assembly lines!  I learned that carrying heavy objects up on your shoulder (like the chap pictured below) is actually substantially easier.  Life lesson right there.  The end of every day produced tired, dirty, sweaty, and usually sunburned white peeps.  While we were tired, the happiness and satisfaction so easily outweighed our exhaustion.
On the third day, we were tired and sore from the previous days of carrying heavy goods and just when we were getting a little less enthused, the children had there recess break.  I kid you not, on their recess, a flock of children raced down the mountain with little buckets and potato sacks in hand.  They joined our assembly line and lifted just as much as we did.  It was so inspiring.
We were carrying the sand in all different kinds of bins--usually big buckets, but this little lady brought an option B.  How amazing are these children?!
Part of our assembly line.  Josh, Simon and I carrying sand up the mountain.  Great little workout on the equator.  Nice and sweaty.  Jillian Michaels has got nothing on the building of this medical clinic.  We all woke up so sore but so happy to be there and work hard.  In fact, our assembly line was always multi-tasking with something hilarious like singing KC & Jojo, or the Fresh Prince song, or the Full House song (embarrassingly enough), or playing catch phrase where we frantically describe words to each other off the top of our heads.  With 3 days of manual labor, a fun group that doesn't complain was amazing!
This neither the first, nor the last picture that you'll see of Damalie.  Bah, she's so beautiful.  Whenever I asked to take her picture, she'd pull out the ever-charming thumbs up.  She makes me laugh though because it's always right in front of her face. haha I love her.  I love her so much.
So the rocks that we carried the first day, here's what became of them.  They were all cemented together to become the foundation for the medical clinic.  Kinda cool looking at all of those stones and thinking, "We carried those up here."  Somehow, when my face is grimey and sweaty, that thought is satisfying.
This is Kara.  When we had a break from hauling rocks and sand, we'd go sit in the shade for a little while...and hold these cute babies.  There's something so fulfilling after working so hard and being so tired, to have a cute little face and body come sit on your lap and sink into you.  They don't want anything from you, they just want you to hold them.  They just want to be with you.  And they love you.  It's beautiful.  I just want to freeze time when I'm with them.  They're so loving and I love them so much back. Kara is holding Derek.  We call him Derek Jeter.  He's a stud.
During hour wee break from carrying goods, I was watching this woman sitting in the shade nearby and had to take a picture.  What a beautiful lady huh?  All of the people here are so beautiful.
The little kids took a break from school and helping us out. This is a few of the cuties eating posho for their break.  Posho is like a flour and water substance that's cooked on the stove.  Little yellow shirt boy is named Garrett.  He is sooo darling.  Hopefully the video that I've been trying to post will actually work because...the boy has got moves.
Day 3 (Wednesday) we started moving bricks down to the site (once we had finished hauling stuff up for the foundation).  These bricks weigh about 20-25 pounds.  They helped us carry them like no big deal.  Amazing.
Here is Damalie and Joseph.  They are siblings.  Damalie is shy, beautiful and soft-spoken.  Joseph has a low voice for such a little kid.  His pants are always falling down, he makes the cutest expressions with his eyebrows, and is so loving.  They would both come sit on my lap at the same time.  Like I said, they just love to snuggle and be held.  And I don't mind providing that service.  I could hold them forever.  I just love them.  Somehow hours of carrying things doesn't seem the least bit inconvenient (if it ever did) as soon as these beautiful little human beings run to you, sit on your lap and want to do anything that has you in the equation.  It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced.
Here are the cute little kiddies again but this time with their older sister Winnie.  Winnie is older so her english is very good.  She often helps us understand what other little kids are saying or helps us learn the lyrics to Lugesu songs that we try to pick up in our down time.

This little guy is named Bennon.  His smile can and will melt your heart.  Just look.

Here's Joseph and Cami.  They're really good friends.  He's so hilarious that he'll gladly make faces at you, sing songs to you or allow you to tickle him exposing the most joyful laugh you've ever heard.
This is Cyrus, the little brother of Winnie, Joseph and Damalie.  AND if the cuteness of this family isn't already over the top, the mom is pregnant again.  And if the babies I produced were this irresistible, I'd keep 'em coming as well.  They are so beautiful it's mind-blowing.
More with Damalie.  I DO want to adopt her.  The idea of not being able to see this girl or spend time with her anymore already makes my heart ache.  I just love every moment with her.
Here are the two youngest.  Damalie and Cyrus.  Yes, please please can I keep them?
This is Sarah.  That smile that you see, is completely genuine.  She ALWAYS has a big beautiful smile on her face.  She works so hard, let's us stay in her house and feeds us.  She's so kind and friendly it's almost unbelievable.
Here's a wee glimpse of our assembly line in action. This was on Wednesday.  Us having the children to help us was an exception rather than the rule.  We were normally alone carrying everything to the site but this day they came and helped us.  It was both really helpful and guilt inspiring.  Such tiny little kids working so hard and not gaining anything monetarily in return.
Passing the cement buckets down our assembly line.  Sometimes when it's really heavy or something, I just laugh about it.  It happens.  I love my life.  Even when I'm dirty, smelly, sweaty and tired.  Bring it.
Here's Marcy.  Just carrying a 20 pound brick on her head like no big deal. 
Tuesday night we had a little dance party.  I was blissfully happy.  The tiny little kids broke it down.  A couple of the older ones would bang on little buckets to give a beat and the other kids would just let it go.  Not only are these children beautiful just when they're sitting on your lap, but give them a beat and I dare you to not fall in love with them.  They're the sweetest little human beings and I love the tangible love that is reciprocated between us.  

This little yellow-shirt boy is named Garrett.  He's a doll and was shaking it real good.  I found it both sweet and hilarious and had to share.  Also I had little Damalie on my lap and got her to sing a little song for the camera that all of the village kids know.  I have to type the lyrics because I find them both darling and hilarious.
"Rejoice, rejoice, and feel happy.  Our visitors (vista's) you are welcome (welecome).  To see that your plans and aspirations have now reached the climax."  haha I love my life.


  1. your work sounds completely amazing, and I can't get over those children. I'll take any one of them please. your title is going to be my life in a few weeks... physical labor of having a baby, happiness in having her here and hopefully she will be half as beautiful as these here babies. oh, kiss those faces for me!

  2. It all looks amazing. The work, the beautiful children, their willingness to work so hard, and how much they want to be around you and to snuggle with you. Oh I wouldn't mind that one little bit. As always, thanks for being willing to share them with us! Give them some extra squeezes from me please.

  3. Oh Mal!!!! I LOVE you!!! I LOVE this adventure! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE these beautiful people!!!!!!!! Hmmm, makes me excited for my next mission. ;)