– Bryce Hill

Monday, September 3

Today I think is a Monday, though I frequently lose track in this seemingly timeless place. I have now just surpassed two weeks in this wonderful little country so very close to our own. I have made new friendships, both native and foreign. I have grown accustomed to stuffing anything and everything that I see on my plate into a tortilla. This weekend we had a few opportunities to spend an evening with our little group and relax. I have learned that Dr. Roth must never be allowed to be on someone else’s team in a game of Rook and that although Mindy is convincingly apologetic she somehow always wins when we play Scum. Dr. Yaw apparently has a much higher level of Spanish than you might think and he uses it to everyone’s delight by uttering the most hilarious phrases imaginable. The group as a whole is convinced that Armando does not sleep, ever, and we are all on the lookout to take a picture of the rare event if indeed we ever come across it. At the moment catching Armando sleeping seems about as likely as photographing Bigfoot. It will be an emotional event when this project comes to a close.

Yesterday evening one of the local teachers, Wilfredo, came to visit us at our house along with his wife and son. Dr. Nelson, Dr. Roth, Mindy and I chatted with them for close to an hour. He repeatedly expressed immense gratitude for what we are doing here. This school has been on the agenda for the past twenty years. Now for the first time the dream is a reality. He expressed more than just the gratitude he felt for our project. He also lauded the example that we make by coming to this community and extending a hand in friendship. Being a teacher himself he is devoted to education and its power to transform a society. He is a visionary and believes that what we are doing here will never be forgotten. Indeed it will not, as long as he is alive! Needless to say we were a bit overwhelmed by all that he had to say. It is conversations such as this that make it all worth it.

A few days ago the community received word that the Japanese government has allocated funds to construct another set of classrooms in this compound. We are excited for them and I for one am anxious to see the finished product.