Greetings followers. Chip Beyt here. I am a 21 year old landscape architecture student at LSU. I’m from New Iberia, LA. Enough about me, on to the day. The day was started with mass at 8.30. It was certainly a different mass with heavy cultural influence from the locals. Mass was much more upbeat than most places. With hand drums and other fascinating hand-made percussion instruments, everyone in the congregation was clapping to the beat of the music. Being an English speaking person, it was pretty much impossible to follow along with the service because it was said in Portuguese and another native language of the locals. We were all brought to the front of the church and thanked for being there, our donations and work. We then climbed to the top of the church’s bell tower and viewed the amazing surroundings. We also do this every night on the roof of the building that we’re staying in. The sky is remarkable at night. After the climb, we all went different ways. I went to the basketball court and taught the game of Put-out, or Gotcha. The language barrier proved tough yet again, but eventually they understood the principles of the game. We played the game for a bit, then divided up into 4 teams and played for about an hour. Lunch was immediately following. We had masa and cabbage. I’ve learned to not be all that courteous with my servings. I thought one kid had the masa bowl in front of him, but it was really how much he had put on his plate. The school’s soccer team had a game an hour after lunch. They were wearing the new jerseys we brought them and WOW were they proud.  It was still odd seeing at least half of them play without shoes - especially since the field they were playing on was mostly dirt with the occasional rock, quartz, or tree root sticking out of the ground. They scored to tie the game in dramatic fashion. Our support seemed to be a bit obnoxious at times, but the fans surrounding the field also found some entertainment in it. It isn’t every day you see a bunch of white people shaking rocks in bottles and screaming in Amatongas….in a tree. After the game, Brother Chris rounded us up and brought us across the road to begin painting a run-down school building. We coated the building in primer with an audience of local children watching. The sun quickly set and we made our way back to the main mission area. We cleaned the brushes and went to the kitchen for a quick hangout session before dinner. Michael made guacamole from avocadoes we picked yesterday in an avocado tree. We destroyed it using home-made bread rolls. After relaxing over guacamole and sugar cane, it was time for dinner. Chicken and masa was served. I had to put out a sight from earlier in the day – the killing of the chickens via sharp knife and a sawing motion. The kids asked Michael if he’d like to give it a go, but he denied. The day ends here for me. I might make a trip up to the roof to check out the stars before I go to sleep, but I’m so exhausted from a long day that I might not make it.

-Brudha Chips  



Silvia White
05/28/2012 1:58pm

Feel like I'm there with you guys....thanks for the blogs! Hi and hugs to Michael and Cristina!!!


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