Hola, buenos dias!

Holy vaca. Holy cow. So many things have happened since I arrived Monday evening, I don’t know where to begin.

I’ll start ahora mismo. Right now.

This morning, Natalia (nah-TALL-yah) made fried eggs and toast for desayuno. David (dah-VEED) had already left for work, so the two of us ate together. We talked about our families, brothers and sisters, and she showed me her wedding album from when her and David were married, five years ago.

David and Natalia were kind enough to take me in for a month. I couldn’t have landed a better host family. The two of them are incredibly cool and friendly. They both speak a decent amount of English, which has helped ease me into learning the beginnings of Spanish. Their house is just a minute walk from the project, which makes it a snap for me to go back and forth.

Yesterday at 10am, Julie, who lives further up the road with her host mom, Yanira (jah-NEE-tah), came to pick me up to go to the project. We walked down the steep neighborhood road, dusty in the morning sun, past juxtaposed houses protected by heavy barbed wire topped gates. Clothes lines crisscrossed the interior patios. A dog, lying stretched out on the patio tile, jumped at the sound of footsteps, and glared at us though the bars.

Road to the project

Road to the project

At the bottom of the hill we reached the Abraham Project. It’s comprised of three children’s homes, a building housing a day care and classrooms, and a church. Julie walked me around and introduced me to the interns, Brian, John Marc and Hunter, the coordinators, Jonathan and Amy, the couple who started the project, Steve and Georgiana, and the members of the team who were there for the week to volunteer.

Present church building

Present church building

View of Steve & Georgiana's House from classroom balcony

View of Steve & Georgiana's House from classroom balcony

Scaffolding

Scaffolding

Excavation

Excavation

Team members painting church building

Team members painting church building

Painting 2

Painting 2

Painting 3

Painting 3

Baby from children's home

Baby from children's home

Hunter & team member from Kentucky working on the wall

Hunter & team member from Kentucky working on the wall

Classrooms & Daycare Center

Classrooms & Daycare Center

Everyone was really nice, and a lot of them already knew who I was, and showed their excitement in having me there. I spent the day taking pictures and getting to know people, and in the afternoon I played with the kids after they came home from school.

So far, so busy! I’m juggling learning Spanish, planning & shooting my documentary, interacting with everyone, taking photographs, finishing up some freelance work that followed me down from Chicago, slipping in a few social activities (we went to the movies last night and saw Gran Torino, 2 thumbs up, by the way!) and simply processing the whole experience.

Thanks so much for keeping up with me! If you have any thoughts or questions at all, please feel free to drop them in the box below…

Much love!