Enrique (the architect) arrived as planned yesterday at Resplendor; his visit made all of us joyful. In a nutshell, everything that has been done was necessary and has been done at or above what was needed. The main beam across the sala had to be at least 3/8″ rebar Don and Pancho decided on 1/2″; Enrique was pleased. Enrique checked all the footers, columns, walls, everything.
Pancho and Alejandra were as pleased working with Enrique; a mature, very slender, serious, capable architect and a refined gentleman. He spoke to Pancho and Alejandra with a level of respect and admiration that told them just how capable they are and just how much they know. Of course, he sent the same message to Don; naturally I beamed in the background. Don had a question about the proportion of concrete mix to sand and water for the main beam; Enrique agreed that was with double checking on and agreed to get back to Don today. Other than that question; all is well and going on as planned.
Enrique told us how honored he was to be asked to be a part of such an important movement toward changing the course of lives in the ranchos. He and Liz are very strong advocates for positive change and a definitive reduction in the class structure to allow everyone to meet or exceed their dreams. The close of his visit had a profound effect on us all as it was yet another landmark in the steps each person has made toward personal freedom through knowledge.
Today at 4PM we are expecting about a dozen children to arrive for art lessons in our yard. They come from 2-3 different villages. After that lesson they will stay on to take an English lesson. Parents have asked if they can join us too.
Since the library fund has not grown as quickly as my dreams for it, we have told these people not to worry as Resplandor will offer the shelter we need from the elements and we can meet there until a patron or a grant comes along. They all smile in a way that we know they are finding hope is alive and well in Cajones.
They see the building going on at Resplandor and realize that finally someone is not promising them something and then letting them down. The best part is that after knowing these fine people this long and living among them every day we see how seemingly nothing is used to make a repair (a scrap here, a throw away twig there). In our minds, there is no doubt these fine folks will overcome any obstacle with ease; including a lifetime of repression and lack of access to knowledge. They ask so little of us and express such deep gratitude.
This past week, Felipe told Jolene and me: «We are so happy you have come to Cajones; you are good for this place.» Both us of were shocked and relieved. From the first day we have been working hard to make sure we do nothing that the neighbors do not want, but that concern lays in the back of our minds anyway. To hear such a sincere expression of gratitude will give us the energy we need to keep up this level of work on so many levels.
The photos enclosed show the very fine handwork that goes into making Resplandor perfectly suited to the community’s needs.