While Danny Hess (hesssurfboards.com) and Jay Nelson (news.jaynelsonart.com) designed and built desks and benches for the new classrooms, myself and the rest of the team got down and dirty preparing the location for new foundations. There happened to be three eager and willing surfers from the West Coast of Oz in camp who took time out of their daily surf schedule to lend a hand in the heat of the day too.
As the project progressed, sand and rubble was moved, and moved again, cement was mixed and walls began to rise, more and more surfers joined in. During early morning dawn patrols Andy (sanfranpsycho.com) managed to recruit dudes and dudettes straight from the line-up. By the end of the week there were more hands than needed. Its incredible how people (surfers) are willing to give their time to help the local communities of the places they travel to and surf when approached.
The children had skills and I for one can barely run without causing a scene. In fact that would have to be my secret weapon, perhaps I could distract them with fits of laughter watching the clumsy, blonde, gringo giant falling over himself. One little dude who I aptly named Mini Monster Man, was the most intimidating of all the kids, he was probably 4-5yrs and could run circles around Rooney (he took some good pics too when he and his buddy Jose' got hold of my camera).
This little dude's mom was one of the locals working at the school, as hard as nails, and he spent most of his time hanging out on the small construction site handing out tools and scrotum high blows. The soccer games went into the evening with everyone getting involved and having a grand time.
|Photo by Jose'|
I've been to a fair amount of 3rd world countries on surf trips but I've never taken it upon myself to inquire or reach out to see if there was any way I could help out. What may seem insignificant to one could mean the world to another. If anyone is interested, donations to Surf For Life can be made at surfforlife.org. Forward it to your friends, you could also jump on board one of their trips to help on a project and get a chance to surf some great spots. Check it out!