It’s Saturday, January 3rd. Due to various schedule changes, today will be our first day on our build site and we are so excited! We decide to leave at 1 hour early and stay one hour later on each build day to catch up on lost time.
We’re excited to build. Like always, we start our day in prayer.
Blue build shirts on and on the bus ready for the first day at Tala community
We arrive at our build site in Tala, Caloocan City, Philippines.
There are 60 houses in this village. 30 of which are finished (as seen here).
John interacting with the local kids in the community.
All the kids are eager to meet us
Something about getting building gear on…..boots
These are our yellow hard hats
Jermin with the work gloves
Faith with her sweat towel ready to work hard.
And Mitch with his toothpick – chillin like a villain
One of the community elders lead us in prayer before our leaders get to work.
This is Rapunzel, our forewoman who will be assign us our work.
Team 3 ready to work on draining water.
Team 2 pumped to start painting!
Team 1 before they start their tiring dig.
Mimi bonding with the local kids.
Team 1 learning how to dig.
Libby hard at work digging.
Working hard in the clay & mud. We’re starting to get really dirty.
It’s incredible how tiring it is to shovel clay!
Adrian preparing the wall for painting.
Jermin & Kaisha excited to be painting.
Before the work of wonderful team 2 painters.
Mitch draining water from the ditch (future septic tank)
John and Nicole posing before getting down to business.
Our leaders working together to finish digging.
We need to dig 30 cm wide trenches, 2 feet deep so that the foundation can be poured.
We also need to dig 80 cm corners, 3 feet deep where posts will be laid.
A shot of the site before our leaders work together to clear out the land.
Site must be cleared before we start digging section number two.
Julie and our leaders, strutting their stuff with their piles of tree branches.
Team 2 working together to move bricks and not even breaking a sweat!
They unloaded 2 trucks!!
Great job team 2!
An action shot of our diggers working hard! The digging never stops.
Taking out the trash from the build site.
Chloe and her SUPER LONG branch.
A quick shot of the leaders working hard. Septic ditch almost emptied.
It takes two to throw out this heavy tree stump
Kaisha concentrated on sand papering the walls for painting.
The girls are stronger than you think!
Leaders and locals working together. These are the people that will be living in these new homes.
John sawing a tree in half which is in the way of digging.
All hail Queen Chloe!
Sanding down the walls before painting.
Here’s Hailie, one of the local children hanging out with our leaders while painting.
An after shot of the leaders after they got down and dirty from digging.
Only half a day’s work and look how much we have done! Foundation channels for one whole unit.
This was half full, we emptied, now the community is able to continue digging it deeper (but we’ll leave that to the professionals) 🙂
Grace before our meal after a tiring morning build shift.
Our lunch, specially prepared by the wonderful ladies at ANCOP and Couples for Christ.
Mitch’s new ride.
Our leaders enjoying their lunch break.
Our leaders posing on tricycles – the cheapest form of public transportation.
The cute couple posing for a dramatic motorcycle picture…and John.
One of the the locals climbing the coconut tree which needs to be cut down because it’s in the middle of a future unit we are digging.
“I can do that too”
Our leaders teaching the kids hand games.
The kids love this game!
Libby volunteers to help clean the dishes.
Enjoying some fresh refreshing coconuts that were picked from the newly cut tree.
Emily playing games with the girls.
Mimi teaching Hailie how to play the Ukelele.
Nicole and the locals.
Break time over. Time to get back to work.
We cleared this whole area in the morning. It was full of trees and bushes. Now its ready for a second round of digging. We’re now starting units 3 and 4.
Hard at work, do not disturb! This is units 1 and 2.
Do they ever get tired?
Libby hard at work painting.
Preparing the wall for a fresh coat of paint.
Axile working hard to paint the walls of her house.
Charlie’s Angels came to help out in painting today at the build site.
The finished product by Charlie’s Angels (Dana, Dyan, and Julie)
Merienda (snack) time! Yummy banana Q!
After break we come back to notice that groundwater is starting fill up our newly dug trench
The little puppy at our build site. Aww!
Playing sungka with the children.
After a long day of working, the leaders end the day by playing games with the kids.
Duck, Duck, GOOSE! (of course)
Playing duck, duck, goose with the entire group.
Look at all the kids and leaders! Biggest session of Duck, Duck, Goose we’ve ever played.
The game got a little too intense. Poor Marc!
We handed out toys to the kids after the games.
Here are all our gear, organized and ready for day 2.
We hi-five the kids before we board the bus and tell them we’ll be back tomorrow
Jullian’s aunt and uncle invite us to their house for a casual dinner.
The bus rolls up to Jillian’s aunt’s house in Las Pinas.
The set up for our dinner at Jillian’s family’s home. So fancy! We were blown away.
Jillian posing with her cousin.
The students playing with the family dog, Hashbrown!
A shot of us saying a prayer before dinner, lead by Axile
There’s quite the spread
And mango crepes for dessert, yummy!
Kaisha and Tina posing with tita Angie (Jillian’s aunt) and their specially prepared vegetarian dishes
We fill up 2 tables
Here’s leader table 2
Meeting the first Filipino astronaut, Chino Roque, a.k.a. Jillian’s cousin. This is a model of the actual spaceship he will be flying later this year.
During dinner, girls from an orphanage perform a medley of Christmas and pop songs for us.
A shot of the performers enjoying their dinner.
The leaders posing with Chino after dinner and ask him questions about his upcoming space journey he has been training for in Florida. So exciting!
Dana and Adrian singing their hearts out after dinner (special request from Jillian’s aunt).
Jillian’s family shot photo.
Thank you Roque-Maniquis family for your outstanding hospitality.
We head back to the hotel with our bellies full. Thanks for following our journey.
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