"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela
I am becoming more and more confident in attempting to communicate with our Mexican brothers and sisters with each trip I make to Monterrey. No, I'm not fluent. Yes, I get it wrong much of the time. Yes, they are becoming more comfortable in correcting my bad grammar and poor choice of words. The sparkle in Ladi's eyes and the smile that spreads across his face when I speak with him in espanol is priceless.
Here is a Readers' Digest version of our trip in pictures:
Day 1: Arriving at worksite. View from front of building looking through front doorway.
2nd floor on left side (not sure what direction that is) of auditorium, where our job for the week is to prepare and pour the 2nd floor roof.
Tying spurs onto rebar for the bracing. Sunny and 84 degrees. Susan Ringle, Me, Kenny Lashley, man from Tyler, TX and Carol Golightly. Yes we are on top of 2nd floor roof, with no barriers on edges. And Susan has a fear of heights--so kudos to her!
Placing finished braces into trough. Combined effort of Ft. Gibson, Tyler and Sand Springs. That's Mary Martin in the red t-shirt. The universal language is "service and hard work" which EVERYONE understands.
Speaking of service....our first day lunch. We think this is goat meat, but we don't ask.
Glen Elliott (Ft. Gibson) is 50 today! The locals help him celebrate with a pinata.
Day 2: Braces are all in and it's time to lay and tie rebar. You can see Janet Richardson at the end of the row. It is COLD and WINDY today, especially on the roof. We scavenge for any extra layers of clothing we can find.
Thanks to Kenny and Everett, I'm nice and toasty...sort of. If you look closely, you can see the hook in one hand and the pigtail in the other.
Afternoon of Day 2 and we are already pumping concrete.
Day 3: Preparing window openings for installation of metal windows.
Front door is also installed.
Chiseling, scraping, shoveling, sweeping 2nd level floor after finishing roof.
Reward---T-bones for lunch!
Day 3: Work was finished in record time, so we actually get to go sight-seeing. These are the mountains south of Monterrey near the caves at Garcia.
The group from Sand Springs enjoying a well-deserved time of recreation.
Left to Right: Nan Hunt, Susan Ringle, Me, Carol Golightly, Mary Martin, Janet Richardson
At the top of the mountain, looking down on our tiny vans.
Inside the caves.
Take 1: Barrett, Kenny and I try getting in the picture after setting our self-timers.