Monday, May 30, 2011

Un Nuevo Techo...

A new roof, that is...

Sometimes I find it amazing that we can be friends with people that we can barely communicate with!
One of the new families in our church ward has 3 children who are all close in age to our children. The parents, Maria and Luis, parents do not speak English, and so I do my best to put together my truly terrible Spanish in return. They live up at the very top of the hill in Chapala, which means that they climb up and down that hill to catch the bus. We give them rides to and from church whenever we are able.

We noticed there are a lot of needs that we would like to address. One of those needs was their "kitchen" area, which had a roof made from a tarp and some junk scraps of odd sorts thrown on top. The kitchen is really just an extension of their house (built brick-by-brick by themselves), and the walls are made from junk scraps, such as pieces of old screens or doors that perhaps other people threw out. It is humble.

Anyways...regarding the roof...the wife told us that during the rainy season the roof leaks and she cannot cook on the stove. We volunteered to help replace their roof, and made plans to go pick out the materials with them.

We were happily surprised when the ward leaders addressed this need in a meeting the day before the scheduled date. They volunteered to pay for the project--even better!

A few other young adults volunteered to help with the project, and they all met up with Jared and the family to take care of the job. As it turns out, the company that sold the roofing closed before they were able to deliver the materials. Ugh.

So, the first day of the project they did some other tasks. Here is Luis making a new foundation for their small wash basin to be moved outdoors, closer to the hose spout.

Yes, closer to the HOSE spout.

They do not have running water in their home.

Things like this make me realize how spoiled I am. Seriously...have you considered that people live without running water in their homes?!!

They are pretty lucky that their source of water is a hose in the front least it is close!

But...if this was you...

How would you wash your dishes? Or your clothes? Or your children? Or your hair? Or mop your floor?

Well, as it turns out...they don't do much of these


But we had to start somewhere....

And so...the roof was their biggest priority...

The second day Jared got the supplies delivered successfully, and they put the new metal roofing up. Luis ended up doing most of the manual labor to secure it to the roof.

The front yard (and home) consists of piles of what we would consider junk, but Jared said that Luis kept pulling supplies out of it, like a magic hat (although not nearly as cool-looking)!
The final result was a HUGE improvement!! Here is Jared with the family (on the right), and a young adult who helped (on the left).

Again, it is hard to know where to begin when addressing some of the basic needs that many of us take for granted.

1. Running water in our homes (needed for baths, sinks, toilets, etc)

2. A front yard that is not just dirt (which tracks into the house and makes it difficult to keep things clean)

3. Clean drinking water (many of these impoverished people buy sodas instead of filtered water!)

I have such a great desire to go into these homes, clean them to the bones, and help teach them how to keep things clean and organized. But in reality, where do you begin?


Lisa said...

I daily think about how grateful I am to live here in the US where our standard of living is so high.

I am always trying to explain to my girls that much of the world does not live as we do - that we need to appreciate all that we have. (But I'm just not sure they get it.)

How wonderful that you were able to help this family!

The Wylers said...

HI ! My name is Diana Wyler and I was jumping around friends blogs and came across yours!.. and I am so glad I did.. You see, my parents live in Guadalajara and I think it's awesome that you have posted so many wonderful things about your travels all over Mexico.. I can tell you guys LOVE it there ! It was very neat to read some of your posts about how different life in Mexico is compared to living in the States. I was born and raised in Mexico, got married in Texas and currently living in Rexburg while my hubby is going to BYU-I. Well, I don't know why I felt prompted to leave a comment on your blog and sort of introduced myself .. but I did.. you should check out my blog .. and perhaps we can be friends?

Keep enjoying life in Mexico !


Yasmine said...

Thanks for sharing. How wonderful a thing for you to have helped with! I am indeed grateful for running water!

leadatortilla said...

I'm so glad they have a new roof! Yay!!!

Liesel said...

So true! I am way impressed that you see and need and just jump in and do something about it. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by it all that I don't know where to start. But, I can definitley say that I see life from a whole new perspective now.