Coffee, Cement, and a Full Fanny Pack (& heart) – Vol. 2

My last post mentioned a Beautiful View.

The beautiful view consisted of two beautiful families.

I walked into the house Carlos and I primarily worked on. All the way to the back of the property was the family’s existing home. In a baby reclining chair/bounce chair on the dirt floor was a beautiful baby. Clearly a little girl. The mom (Edith) and older daughter (Esthefany) were close by washing dishes in a large vat of water.

Y’all. My momma-heart lost it. I lost it. I started to tear up and had to quickly compose myself.

I quickly introduced myself to the family. I sure am glad that I brushed up on Spanish prior to the trip because I was able to form friendships with these families and their children.

When I saw what little this momma had for her sweet baby, my heart shattered. Did I really need everything I “just had to have” on my baby registries? Did I really need the pack-n-play, the rock-n-play, the doc-a-tot, etc? Did I need it all? Edith was making it one on thing alone…the love she had for her family.

I immediately felt ungrateful and vowed to myself that I would never look at baby items the same.

I quickly hunted down Carlos to introduce him to the family and the 2-month-old baby girl (Dulce). You see, we don’t have girls, we have boys. Stinky, funny, messy, and loving little boys. So when we see a baby girl it’s new to us. So we relish in it, just for a moment – – – not enough to make it weird, y’all! LOL

I made my way to the other site and introduced myself to the other family and began talking to the children.

Abby Melani (6) and Bayron (2) have a little brother, Julio Cesar (5 months old) that is not pictured here.

This was Edith, Esthefany, and Dulce after the final day with their new carseat and stroller (something they’d never had before).
Esthefany (11) is sweet and a big helper to her mama! She has an older brother, Richard (12), and a little sister, Dulce (2 months)! Esthefany and I quickly became friends and she will forever be on my prayer list.

I introduced myself to both families. Both families had three kids, the youngest of each family were both under 6 months of age. Yes, two sweet babies to love on! The sleeping arrangements of both families were unlike anything you’ve seen. One of the babies slept in a carseat hanging above the bed, when I asked the mom how well it worked she said (in Spanish) that the carseats works to 1) create a swinging motion that can be calming and 2) keep him free from water that could build up on the ground.

Our FDLIC Mission Trip consisted of building two homes for two families…in three days (Spoiler alert: the homes the got in about 4 days – I believe – total)!

I should mention, Carlos and I worked on one day, tried to pitch in on the final day, and was privileged to be at the “key ceremony” that takes place when the families get the keys to their new homes! I should also mention, Carlos and I primarily worked on one of the two homes – so most of my pictures are from the home that we worked on.

This was the build site when we arrived on the first day of the Mission. The cement slab/foundation was already poured prior to the trip. The first group of the day had begun work on the walls of the house.

The frame and walls of the house were a peculiar process, but obviously an important one!

Since Los Cabos is in hurricane alley, it was important to pick a material that could withstand damage from hurricanes.

The process and material consisted of styrofoam blocks (I know what you’re thinking…what kinda hurricane is going to care about styrofoam?!) filled with…wait for it…CEMENT. Ok, I seriously thought it was genius, y’all…but it was certainly a painstakingly long process.

Cement was everywhere.

So we spent most of our day working with a cement mixer (that ran on gas), bags of cement, a pile of gravel, and a pile of sand. One worker would cart cement back and forth with a wheelbarrow, and we’d form a line of cement scoopers and pourers. I must admit, we got pretty dang efficient towards the end of it all. In between that, we had to place rebar within the blocks to support the home.

Again, cement was everywhere! Carlos and I somehow managed to be among the cleanest in the group, LOL.

This was the home we worked on at the end of the first day. Our group made some pretty impressive progress! The paneling that you see in this picture is what would-be the roof!

Note the fanny pack. This is something I’m particularly proud of.

Normally I actually do try to put effort into selecting an accessory for all my accessories. When I told Carlos I’d be bringing (and wearing) a fanny pack to Mexico, I got a pretty big chuckle..I think he didn’t believe me. I think he didn’t think I’d actually go through with it. It’s nice to throw our spouses a little curve ball every once in a while.

But y’all. This fanny pack was my saving grace! It held my identification (something you definitely want while traveling in a foreign country), my phone, some chapstick, and hand sanitizer. Literally all of these items are necessities for me (I’m so spoiled).

Note: After seeing the little that these families have, I’m considering redefining what necessity means to me (and our family).

At the end of the first day my triceps were burning and the back of Carlos’s neck could’ve easily passed for a Medium Rare Steak. We were tired, but we were also grateful to have been able to help that day! Our hearts were full.

We had the second day of the build off to ourselves so we hung around the resort and we spent our day at the beach and the pool. I indulged myself in more unlimited coffee. We both agreed that our day off was kind of bitter-sweet and that we would’ve rather been at the build site pitching in. But the time off was welcomed nonetheless.

The next time we went to the build site was for the key ceremony.

To continue reading, go to the next post or click here

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