We have just finished our first week of house building and are all pretty tired and glad that it is the weekend! It has been really hard work, so much so I am already visibly stronger (not hard I know but its a little improvement!). We have been shifting huge piles of sand and cement, lots of very heavy buckets of concrete, re-shaping the bricks in various ways then moving millions of them, laying bricks and getting our hands covered in cement, realising that we really should have been wearing gloves while having our hands in cement, then realising that mum is a genius for giving us hand cream for xmas, THANKS MUM!!!!
In 5 days we have just about finished our first house! On Monday all we have to do is put on the roof and paint it. We definitely have to thank the local kids who have been helping us...they just appear from no where and start moving bricks and sand around wherever we need it. It makes us feel quite pathetic when there is a 6 year old carrying a big brick and we are feeling like they are quite heavy (and no, that's not just me thanks very much!!).
As well as helping, the children seem to defy every health and safety rule that Britain has managed to come up with. Over the course of the week we saw;
- Several kids running crazily round a building side complete with lots of bits of metal, sharp tools, very unstable ledges of soil, and lots of breeze blocks.
-Playing with fire on sticks.
-Playing with matches and knives.
-Climbing dangerously high and not very strong trees
- Their best moment of dangerous playing came when they got their hands on the machete...this we intervened on!!
Although it has been really hard work it has also been a lot of fun. The guys Ian, Maddy and I are working with are a good giggle and we (ok, me) have been dancing and singing along to the dodgy 90s music playing on the radio! There has also been the occasional orange peel fight between the two pick up trucks while driving back to Antigua
As well as dancing and singing Ian and Maddy have been having a lot of fun with the kids by chasing them around the families houses. There has been a lots of screaming, giggling, pretend dunking in water and cement, and the end result is an exremely tired Ian and shouts from the children wanting more "Maddy!!!, Don Juan!!! (Ians nickname they have given him!). They are all adorable, and the guys suggested I should take a few back to Scotland since they are such a fan of Ian already...though I think the authorities might have something to say about that so we maybe shouldn't!
We are having a blast, everyone we have met is really nice and a lot of fun. Now we are really looking forward to a nice rewarding dinner out tonight and exploring Antigua this weekend.