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Stove Number One

February 3, 2015

Monday,February 2, 2015

Breakfast together in the hotel at 7:00 am then loaded up into vans to go to our stove building site. We were divided into 5 groups and off we went to our assigned home, along with a local mason hired by the GSP group. As this family had no room inside their home, the stove was built outside under a tin roof right next to the home. The build started by 9:00am and was finished by 3:30 pm. A beautiful stove and a very happy family. The other 3 volunteers and myself did the labour required to assist the mason. This is a family of 6, mom, dad and their 4 children who own their home which is made of stone. When we arrived we were greeted by the mom and dad and 2 little ones aged 1 and 2, looking very dirty but cute as buttons. Hard to figure the age of the mom and dad. The house consists of one large room, 3 beds and a small table. No windows. Cooking is on a hot plate with gas cylinder. No water or electricity. The mom carries the laundry down a huge hill to the river which is a good distance away from the home; then has to carry the heavy wet clothing back up the hill. I noticed clothes drying on the roof as we approached. The dad works in the field and makes on average, if there is work, 200 quetzales a week which translates into about $25.oo to care for the family. Well, no hydro bills etc but no hydro or water which if he made more he could pay to get these services.200 quetzales is not much. Janet and I went to get a few groceries at the super mercado here yesterday for lunch for our group and it came to about 180 quetzales. A lovely family who knows no other life and so is happy, and that is good; just so hard to imagine living in those conditions. I was so surprised when the 2 older ones came home from school looking so clean cut and well was shocking. How they do it is incredible. Inside as we were working, you could hear lots of laughter as the family hung out together in their humble abode. Back to our hotel by 5:00 pm and a big meeting as we all talked about our day’s experiences ; cold or hot if you were lucky, showers, then a group of us headed out for some supper and then home now to bed as soon as I shut down the IPad. Off we go again tomorrow.


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  1. Susan Mannion permalink

    Amazing a family that knows no other way of living are so happy together. I believe we take a lot for granted – we are quite lucky. Kathy you are doing a wonderful thing for these families.
    Can you speak some Spanish now?
    Mantener el buen trabajo. Adios

    • So you know some Spanish? I know enough to feel confident enough to try speaking and I understand a bit better.😀xox

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