Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hardworking Men!

NJP's new apartment building is in the neighbourhood of Jucanya (who-can-YA), which is what they call the part of Panajachel that is across the river. Access to his building is a bit rustic, to say the least. The local landowners got together to find a solution to the small dirt path, and to appease the landowner whose property was getting the worst of the traffic. They asked the municipality to help, but they basically said it was up to the residents to do something.
So today, everyone got together and started making a new street. It was quite organized, with a sign-up sheet so that every landowner would work an appropriate number of man-hours relative to the amount of frontage they would have to the new access.
I was very proud to see Bert right in the muck with the rest of them. He had gone voluntarily to help just because his friend asked him to, and then NJP rewarded him with a surprise Q100 at the end of the day. Great guys, both of them!
A picture from the original road, looking down the stream. The new street will go straight through this mess.
There were guys in the stream using pickaxes to dig up the mud. Then NJP would shovel, and Bert would take it away.
The plan is to dig out the stream bed so that it's deep enough to build a sluiceway of concrete and put the cobbled street on top of it. Pretty clever! I just hope that the stream cooperates. Who knows what sort of runoff is going to happen when we get a big storm.
Looking further down the stream. Lots of digging!
There were a few ladies hauling mud in wheelbarrows but mostly they were responsible for providing water and encouragement. :)
My awesome gringo boys! So proud of them for working so hard.
The mud was super heavy cuz it was so wet.
I forgot to bring Pachi's water bowl so we improvised with a coconut shell. 
It was a really neat area that we were working in. It was basically in the spaces between houses, so there chicken coops, and tons of dogs running around, plus two curious rabbits in a cage... and PIGS! I hadn't seen any pigs in Guatemala yet, but I figured it must be because they need to be kept out of the sun or they will get sunburnt.
After a break, Bert and NJP switched tasks. Bert said shoveling was harder!
NJP dumping mud in the designated area. Not sure what's going to happen to all that muck. Maybe they will use it to build up the road?
Work stopped at 1pm. This was the meeting to talk about progress. answer questions, and to sign off on the sheet.
The organizer of the crew estimated that it will take four or five more Sundays of work to get the street done. Everyone is doing this on their day off. Quite a cooperative spirit in this neighborhood!
Bert resting after his hard labour.
The ever-generous NJP invited us back to his place for a delicious pasta lunch. As soon as that food hit their bellies, the boys lost all energy! It was nothing but relaxing for the rest of the day.
¡Buen trabajo! (Good work!)

No comments :

Post a Comment