What have I been upto lately? Work, work and more work. The volunteer who preceded me at my site had started a project to build a basketball court for the local school. And when I arrived I jumped right in on the project with him. I have spent a large part of my first two weeks doing construction work. Mixing cement, hauling grava, arena, and bags of cement. It has actually been pretty cool, it has given me something to do and I meet a new group of people from the community every day. Plus I don't mind a little hard work every now and then. But let me set the scene of our construction site, an exposed elevated surface that gets blasted by the sun, it is an average of about 90 degrees a day with 90% humidity, we have the cement mixer working the whole day, while we refill it with barrels of sand, gravel and bags of cement. There is dust, cement, sand and Tierra Blanca flying everywhere. All of these factors combined with the endless stream of sweat that seeps from our pores throughout the day and you are left with 5 living statues by the end of the work day. But I'll tell you what, being a human statue is preferable to what happens if you don't drink enough water and you aren't sweating. Lack of hydration, humidity and heat all add up to one thing (other than dehydration and heat stroke) and that one thing is what is known down here as "La Mala Urina". For those of you who are bilingually impaired, it tranlslates as "The Bad Urine". I first learned of the bad urine through one of our construction supervisors, Michale. One hot afternoon he comes out from around a corner of the school with a grimace on his face; I asked him what was up. He answers in spanish, "I have the bad urine, it feels like I'm pissing razor blades." Now at this time I'm thinking, well probably what you're thinking, that sounds like some type of STD. He then walks over to a barrel we have that is full of water to wet the fresh cement that is being laid. He then proceeds to pull up his shirt and start splashing the water onto his belly button. I look at him and ask what he is doing, and he says this helps the bad urine. I then start dying laughing, while watching him splash this water on his belly button while his grimace slowly morphs into a look of relief. The moral of the story, drink water and stay hydrated! And if you ever happen to fall victim to "La Mala Urina" splash water on your belly button!
New update: I am finally officially in El Salvador, why do I say that you ask?
Just last night I found not one, but two scorpions in my room! One was hiding in one of my shoes and the other one was lounging right by the head of my bed. Excited to visit yet?
So as it stands now, we have finished laying all of the cement and one basket it up and in service. It's an awesome sight after all of the hard work that has been put into this project. I have more to tell, but it'll have to wait til another time, I have to get to a community soccer game and buy some bolts for the other backboard and basket. Buena Onda...