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Child Labor

The other day a crew of children showed up at my door fairly early in the morning - that's not terribly remarkable as it tends to happen almost daily. What made this day unique was that this particular group of kids took it upon themselves to start filling in the space behind the retaining wall that sits in front of my porch. It had a pretty steep drop and I had been thinking to fill it in for sometime but had never had the time or the dirt to do so. This particular morning though the kids were hit with the desire to serve and serve they did. They went looking for dirt and rocks throughout the community and hauled it back in buckets for a good 4 hours. They had a soccer scrimmage in the afternoon so they stopped at noon so a to conserve energy but the next 3 days were the same; they showed up at 8 hauled dirt in pans, buckets and sacks for a few hours and then dispersed. It made me smile because it was work that I really wanted done but had never asked that they do it - it just happened. I felt blessed. The final day then when the quit work I loaded them all up in the truck and we rode up into the mountains to go swimming in the river, it was a niec way to end a hot and dirty week.

lauro put himself in charge of leveling out the dirt and building a make-shift retaining wall of tires and rocks

he also decided to work in his older brother sergio's "going out" shirt

there were a lot of breaks to be sure but as it was purely voluntary i couldn't complain.
here pato and pochicho are perched on the edge of the porch.

manrique taking a breather.
here's a kid that has had a real attitude change, he's only 8 but he's a terror, he has a horrible vocabulary and is downright viscious.
lately though he's mellowed and become softer, happier, more approachable.

chita, elder and tavito (another character that has had quite the turnaround these pat few weeks)

the kids got so ambitious that they started stealing dirt from the actual garbage dump. the authorities didn't like that so we had to procur it in more creative ways.


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