In my last blog posting, I noted how the community of Arbegona welcomed us with an amazing celebratory greeting. Incredibly, the welcome we received for our last trip to Arbegona was even more amazing than the first.
The early morning rain caused the dirt road leading to the school to become muddy and unmanageable so our bus stopped about 2 miles short of the school. We had no choice but to grab our bags and begin the long trek up the mud soaked hill.
The high altitude air may have been deflating, but our spirits were lifted when we heard children singing off in the distance; about a mile away from the DMP sponsored school. As the voices grew louder, we saw all the school children of Arbegona marching towards us, waving eucalyptus branches and wearing the new uniforms we had provided.
Seeing the excitement of the children in their new uniforms was incredibly emotional. Just days before they had been wearing tattered clothes, but now you could see their new found pride. While the DMP volunteers trudged through the mud road, the children carefully held their pant legs and dresses bottoms to ensure they stayed clean. While we struggled to catch our breath, the children sang with delight.
When we finished our hike and arrived at the school, we could see the progress that had already been made on the new library. Prior to our arrival, the local workers dug an outlying ditch for the new building and began framing it with eucalyptus wood. They welcomed our help, handing us shovels to create the mud that would later be thrown onto the building to form the walls. Several of the DMP volunteers even scaled the eucalyptus frame to hammer the intermediate branches into place.
I’m not sure of the anticipated completion date, but I’m hoping to visit Arbegona again later this year and will definitely update the blog with pictures of the completed library!