Our main task was to dig trenches for the pipes along the side of the road. We all grabbed shovels, pickaxes, and gloves, and went to work straightaway. We paired up so that we could take turns pickaxing and shoveling. The trenches had to be about 2 feet deep and 1 feet wide, which was much easier said than done, especially in rocky areas.
It was extremely interesting how the community members who worked with us reacted to us being there. Of course, it took us a while to learn how to dig the trenches in the most efficient way possible. They would complete the same amount of work we would in half the time. They made it look so easy! At one point, eight of the community members came over and watched one of us attempt to pickaxe, chuckling to themselves. It must have also been different for them to see all the girls participate as well, since none of the women in the community was there to dig.
We dug in the morning, took a break for lunch, and then resumed digging in the afternoon. All in all, it was just hard work. Fact: temperatures were actually hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit while we were working! Despite the physical strain and hot temperatures, we all managed to pull through and finish our own trenches, which covered quite a long stretch of the road.
We also played soccer with the rest of the community after we were done. Junquillo had a women's soccer team that played against us and another brigade (who were also working in the community at the same time). The guys had their game too. It was great to finally be able to interact with the kids from the community and cheer together from the sidelines of the field. The girls ended up tying 1-1 and our boys lost 1-2. Either way, it was a great and relaxing way to end our day.
- Anna Zhang, Brigader