All the volunteers were gathered outside waiting for the arrival of the bus to go to El Pochote. At the first sight of the bus a few of the volunteers scrambled towards it to ensure themselves of a seat - the pain of standing up or crouching on the bus is to die for! When the bus pulled up I could see Ninoska (Progressio’s Country Rep) waiting for our arrival. She told us that the materials would be arriving by midday, at this point everyone got excited to finally get stuck in with the work of building eco latrines. But before that we had a meeting with Ninoska who wanted to know how we were all coping, any challenges we have faced, and any further recommendations as we reached two weeks.

We received the phone call that some of the materials had arrived at one of the national volunteer’s houses. We took a little detour through El Pochote walking up and down hills, ducking below barbed wires, and passing through bushes. As my head ducked passed a huge leaf, I could see wooden poles, wooden slabs, and long black tubes lying on the ground. It had been decided that all the materials for the eco latrines would then be moved be to the house of Adonis (another national volunteer). 

His house was situated at the top of the hill. 

Everyone jumped right in and started piling up poles on their shoulders and marched straight up the hill, no problem whatsoever. I was amazed to see some volunteers carrying up to five poles. After all the materials had been relocated I could see this massive truck carrying tonnes of sand. Due to the size of the truck there were discussions as to where the sand would be deposited. It was then decided that the sand would also be offloaded at the national volunteer’s house. 

There were only a few shovels and a lot of volunteers so everyone took turn at scooping sand off the truck. Volunteers that were wearing boots hoisted themselves onto the truck to lend a helping hand by sweeping sand off with their feet. It got a bit crowded at times so we all had to be cautious not to whack someone’s leg or feet with the shovel. The surrounding area covered everyone in dust and you could easily see it as you rubbed your skin. It was great to see everyone motivated and getting their hands dirty. As the last remaining pile of sand left the truck the completion of the task was welcomed with applauses and cheers.

Written by ICS volunteer Harvie Chiu