Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17: Building bonds & receiving gratitude

Gratitude - its a concept that is hard to define for many. What is it? How is it shared? Gratitude is what we are experiencing each day as we hike up to the work site in George Brook. As we make our way up the roughly drawn path of boulders and dust, adults and children alike greet us with a variety of greetings in either the local dialect or broken English.

But what really makes an impact is the level of gratitude that is here. We are not only greeted; we are heartily thanked by people as we walk by. They reach out to take our hands as we climb, send words of thanks to us.

Then we get to the work site, where we are greeted by local workmen and children alike, who are all there to help build their new school. Children as young as six and adults as old as are us volunteers all work together to complete both the small and large tasks, the simple and the complex.

Children working on the job site.
All hands on deck to work on the retaining wall

Each day the minister is on site, hands dirty and calloused, just like everyone else. He is pitching sand, mixing concrete and contributing to the emotional and cultural wellness of his community.

Now, as we look at the close of our first week of construction and the almost complete 6 foot retaining wall, it is satisfying to know that the gratitude gets stronger, the thanks more genuine, and the bonds stronger. I wonder what week two will bring

Jeremy Heighton
DWC Volunteer Participant
Sierra Leone: April 2014

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