5:45 came early this morning but we allowed for one snooze and went back to bed until 6. 15 extra minutes of sleep works wonders, let me tell ya. Today started Mandela week so that’s super exciting and fun! It was great to see all the volunteers help with building houses today, and the amount of progress made was astonishing! Today Mercer’s job was to do a little bit of social scoping around Pelican Park in order to understand what is working and what needs to be improved in the neighborhood. Y’all that was one of the most eye opening experiences ever. I got around to about 6 houses today, each house taking roughly 45 minutes to survey and to allow for conversation to form. To see people of different religions and different backgrounds struggling in the same way, to relate some of those struggles back to home, to realize just how lucky I am to have the home I have in a safe and quiet neighborhood. Eye opening. Obviously some people were more cooperative than others, but overall it was really successful and everyone was so nice and accepting of us.
My second house I went to really got me. I talked to a little old lady who got malaria at the age of 19 and was affected so badly that she never had the opportunity to go to college or get a real job of her own. She went through life living with her family (she was a sibling to 13 others) in a very small, crowded home. She waited around 25 years on a list before she got moved into Pelican Park and is very very religious. Part of the survey asked about issues in the home and she had no negative responses. She would just repeatedly say, “I have no complaints. I prayed. God provided. And for that I’m thankful.” and you could hear the truth in her voice. Comparing her place of living to mine, and realizing that what I have is much better than what she did really caught me. I have complained so many times about my house, but she didn’t complain a single time. To see someone be so appreciative for what they have was so amazing and I think God brought me to her for the purpose of showing me that.
Today was a full work day, so we were on site from 7:45-4:30 and it was really great to finally put a whole day towards serving others. I really can not wait to continue doing some social scoping. We’re supposed to get through 300 houses and only got to about 60 houses today, but hopefully after evaluating what went good or bad today, we can rework things and get through more houses the rest of this week.
We played the high-low game again today and I’m going to share with you my highs and low for the day just to give you a little insight on what emotions are going around. My high for the day was working with the youth from Pelican Park and just getting to hang out with them and see their culture and get to know them better. Another high was talking to the little old lady who was just so thankful, because that was a great start to my day. My low was seeing all of the animals that are so malnourished and abandoned here. I don’t understand how someone can get an animal and not take care of it and let it starve. I also saw a lady kick her dog pretty hard today. I am probably the biggest dog lover you’ll ever meet so that was extra hard to witness knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
Overall today was amazing and super busy. I actually didn’t take any pictures today, so sorry for a boring post but maybe I’ll have some for you tomorrow! I’m going to head to bed and get some rest so that I can hopefully wake up energized in the morning!