Day 7 (Sunday, July 15th)
Today was our first fill day in the home base, and because of this we spent the majority of the time around the area of our hostel.
Starting in the morning, we were served breakfast from the kitchen which consisted mainly of noodles, some sort of meat and tomatoes. Afterwards, we participated in a short presentation about the type of service work that we would be doing. Consisting mainly of Brick making, volunteering at local schools and composting/enzyme making at a farm.
After this, we went to a local internet cafe (it was about fifteen minutes away) where I Was able to have my first contact with my family since arriving there. Although they were all asleep, I was able to text them to let them know that I was doing find and was safe.
Afterwards, we had our first Chinese lessons (recorded in previous notes). There, I got my first explanation about the grammar concepts such as initials, finals and tones. I have another lesson in two days.
Lastly, we split up into groups to create leadership posters. I was out with Guya, Jonathan and Ellie. We created a fictional tree person named JOEG (first letter of each of our namesP who resembled each one of the different traits we believed a leader should possess.
Day 8 (Monday, July 16th)
Today was our first day of service, and I can say now looking back on it that it was a hell of a lot more fun that I had originally expected it to be.
We had gotten ready to leave rather early in the morning. We had previously gone out to purchase rain boots the previous night (super handy) for our trip that day because we were making mud bricks at the local temple.
We when arrived, we first took a tour of the temple (or what was completed of it). Where the shrine was, there were five statues. Three ere along the wall (no clue what they were) and two were in front. Of those two, one was the all seeing judge, and the other was fate.
I chose to be on wheel barrow crew (aka wheelbarrow gang) and was in charge of bringing the dirt from one pile to where they were making the mud for the bricks themselves. After a few loads (and quite a number of falls), I finally remembered that it was better to pull the wheelbarrows uo hills rather than pushing them. This helped astronomically.
Afterwards, when all of the necessary dirt was delivered I was put onto mud duty, where I physically packed the mud onto molds to make bricks. You had to be very, very fast when doing this though, because otherwise too much water would drain and the brick would become stuck in the mold (and would come out very poorly). I worked with some friends almost the entire time though so it made some of the not-so-fun stuff really enjoyable!