Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Villagers

Emilay (right) was my buddy. She showed me around on the first day, introduced me to her family, told me about her aspirations--love her.

For just 25 cents a day, you can help feed children like Anna...

Just kidding, they're not starving in Fiji

After the kids performed for us at the school

Lucy helping us bail out the septic tank

Playing "Some Mario"

"Dani, take a picture of us!"
Eddie was forever dancing

These kids can climb trees like nobody's business

My group--these are the people I worked with every day

Tickle tackle? Oh yes.

I miss them.

Funniest thing, they wouldn't let us work. We got on a ten hour flight to an island in the middle of the ocean, then drove for hours in the middle of the night to get to our lodging, which was a half hour drive to the village that we made twice a day. We wanted to be there to work. And all they wanted us to do was sit down on some cinderblocks in the shade and drink a coconut that a kid had just tossed down from the top of the tree. It was an ongoing battle to just get them to let me dig for 5 minutes. Luckily, whenever they wouldn't let me do something, I could always go and haul cinderblocks to the worksite. Or gravel. Or sand. And when I wanted more sand or gravel in my bag, they'd put in half a shovel full. I really had to push to get them to let me do something. They got the idea by the end.

If I learned anything from these people, it is to care for others. In all honesty, I have no idea who lived in the house that the bathroom I was building was for. It wasn't Eddie, and it was Nasoni. That's what I know. Nasoni woke up extra early every morning to take care of his farm before he came to build - and it wasn't even for him. The village has such an amazing perspective on life.

Time after time, Nasoni told Seth and me about how they are a "social people." If they have a story to tell, they stop by the nearest house and tell it. They sincerely live their lives with and for others. And I've never seen a happier people. Too often, I find myself wrapped up in myself. I think about what I want, what I need. They've got something figured out that many of us can't seem to match--they forget about themselves entirely.

Forget yourself and go to work.
--Gordon B. Hinckley

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