Due to a water shortage, on Thursday evening I was ‘forced’ to bathe in the river by my host home just as the sun was setting. Swimming in a clear river, with fireflies providing a low yet scenic light, watching a perfect sunset was really the antidote to what has been a tense week.
When I refer to a tense week, I’m not talking about how busy it has been but how the living situation, how close we are to the end, the weekly conversations with loved ones back home and the work out here is starting to show on everybody’s faces.
Last week I wrote about how everyone is sad about leaving, that is true, yet as the end is now in sight and the project is nearly over the wear and tear is starting to show.
Week nine started off with three days of designing, building and painting the mural on the wall of the local health centre in Parcila. This was fun for the more artistic members of the group, for the rest of the group it was clear by Wednesday they should stick to their desk jobs!
On Tuesday, we also had our second to last English lesson in La Grecia. Ella Boswell, the youngest of the eight UK volunteers here, heads up the English classes, of which I am normally present. As she says, sometimes when you are having a hard week teaching English to children who come out of their own volition makes you realise why you are here.
The week continued with completing the construction of water filters in the 20 beneficiary homes and the start of ten days of intense closing reports and surveys.
The surveys have helped however in making us realise how much of a difference Progressio, ASOMUPRO and ICS as a whole has made in this community. Water filters for example has reduced illnesses as one beneficiary Dona Eudocia said, “with water filters, you are not so scared of getting sick from drinking such a basic necessity”.
Eco-stoves are another example, as Don Roberto noted, “it cut costs and I feel like I am actually helping the environment”.
To conclude, while it has been a tense week with a few arguments here and there, as we conclude this week we have a few non-work related events that should ease what will be a rather intense week; the local school graduation as the academic year draws to a close and secret Santa with the national volunteers.
Written by ICS volunteer Pradeep (Pepe) Karnani