After two flights, a four-hour van ride with no AC our luggage strapped on top, and a stampless walk across the border, we arrived safely at Rancho Feliz. The brightly decorated ranch is the perfect home for us this week– a boys and girls bunk, a dining hall and kitchen, and a big gravel yard to play football. Alejandro, the volunteer coordinator helped us get settled, took us grocery shopping and taught us the history of Rancho Feliz. Head chef Talia Stein led a team of cooks to make a fantastic pasta dinner.
Today was the first of two days of building. The small room we’re building more than doubles the size of Jorge and Gloria’s home, where they live with their three children. We worked alongside the family and had fun playing with their kids. Ben Varon and Dan Goldberg were particularly skilled and definitely have a future working at Drill Construction.
We spent the afternoon playing with children at a nearby orphanage. We’re participating in a project with a DC-based organization called Dog Meets World (www.dogmeetsworld.org) whose mission is to give global children photographs of themselves. We brought along a portable printer and the Foto dog mascot, to photograph, print and give the kids pics. Seeing the clamor and excitement as they watched the pictures print was incredible. The rest of the time was spent playing monkey in the middle, swinging on the jungle gym and giving piggy back rides.
After showers and lots of body milk and chap stick, Alejandro shared his personal story as we chowed down on chips, salsa, beans and veggies. It really is a small world– Alejandro’s father speaks fluent Hebrew from attending Jewish day school in Mexico City in the 1940s. After dinner we had a stimulating conversation about our responsibility to repair the world and why we are here.
The group is winding down and playing cards… Guess I should join in on the fun. Tomorrow is an early wake-up with a visit from Ari Israel– we can’t wait!
Love to everyone at home!