Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cooper Does Good

Cooper's school requires community service from their students, more as they get into High School.

One of his choices this year has been to give up a couple of his weekends to travel to a nearby rural village and help Habitat for Humanity build a house.
He was given a disposable camera to take both times and 'forgot' to use it both times. So we have no pictures. :-(

But our boy now has some fall back skills.

He can make cement blocks (the size of cinder blocks but without the holes), he knows how to use a pickaxe to trench for a foundation and then lay the foundation. He can plaster a wall that has been built from the cement blocks.

It's not the sort of house Americans are used to seeing in Habitat is not part of the equation and electrical wiring is an "add on" for people who can afford to have it done for them. The doors and windows are framed up and the house is built around them.

Rather than just the recipients of the house helping with construction, any villager who can help, does. And the whole village opens their own homes to the kids who come to help. Each village home that can takes one to three of the Lincoln students for the night.

Cooper has learned to take a bucket shower, how to cope with livestock (mostly roosters) wandering through his room at night, and how to be a gracious guest in the home of people who are sharing what they have with him, even though it's precious little.

The kids take the equivalent of about 13 bucks with them to help with the cost of feeding hard-working teenagers (and help buy cement in the bargain!).
After dinner on Saturday they play a game of soccer with the village players and get to spend time just hanging out with their hosts.

Probably the best part is that he always comes home happy and exhausted. We couldn't buy the life experience and knowledge that he is getting for free from his time in Ghana.

Since I didn't get any pertinent pictures, I'll share a close up of the almost-fifteen-year old when he was just six months. He lived up to his early promise. ;-)