Friday, April 08, 2011

Day 1 at HEART

Posted by: David Honeycutt

Today we arrived at the Heart institute tired and hot! We quickly unpacked our luggage into our cabins (which are named after "peace" in other languages) and then returned to the mess hall to go on a quick tour of the grounds. The cabins are two story structures with beds, bunk beds, and bed frames. Windows are our only source of air conditioning and there are NO lights. We were introduced to the toiletries and showers on the tour. After, teams were formed, team leaders were assigned, and the team's jobs were announced. I was on Mrs. Poole's team, AKA: Team CHESTNUT! My team's first job was to clean the little school classroom they had there. The school had a piano!!!! I played on it while cleaning. :-) After that was a little free time. Others played basketball, catch, and just sat around socializing. After the free time, my group, the Chestnuts, went to go rake dead grass into a truck, which took it to a composting post. We sang while we worked (well, mainly Mrs. Poole and Kaitlin and I). The sun was fierce, making our work even more gruesome (vocab word!). All of our group's chores were mainly outside; in the sun; hot. The Heart Institute also had a huge farm with goats, chickens, goats, microbes in the compost, and goats! After our group finished raking hay, we went into town to help a dude clean his yard. Renée drove us there, and Mrs. Pancake (isn't that the coolest name?) drove us back. We were taught how to slaughter a chicken (we didn't get to...sadly...), and we were also taught a lot about composting.

A note from Mrs. Poole: Thank you for all of your prayers! Today was filled with plenty of hard work, but during devotions some of the students shared how wonderful it was to be around each other without the normal complaining and grumbling that ironically goes on when they are in more comfortable circumstances at school. I was really impressed with the hard work and perseverance demonstrated by so many of your students! About 20 minutes into our raking project today, one of the students said, "You know, this is really relaxing!" And everyone agreed! Another student mentioned how freeing it was not to have to worry about looking all put-together and nice, since we were just there to serve, not to impress anyone. It's been encouraging to see these kids grow as they are stretched in their service for Christ!