Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Auntie Ells, a Worksite, a Dog, a Rooster, and a Jamil

I'm falling behind.  I have a list of about 10 blogs that I want to write.  That I will write.  But I have to sit down and write them all.  Ironically, the buildup of blogs prevents me from writing anything.  I want to write about Jack crawling and post video but that means I need to write about our trip to the Nature Center a few weeks ago first.  I have pictures and from our trip to DC, and a Mother's Day blog about Mum.  I have great stories from Lilly's first "interviews" for school for next year.  So begins the backlog of blogs.

Well, today, I'm putting that list of blogs on hold to post some pictures of our memorable day.  Lilly, Jack and I had the privilege of seeing Ellie in action.  We drove up to Springfield, MA, where Habitat for Humanity is building not one, but four houses over the next two weeks.  Typically, they build four houses a year, but this is a building blitz.  There was a tornado in Springfield this time last year--a tornado that I'm ashamed to say I never even heard about, even though we live less than 2 hours from there.  The city was hit hard and there is rebuilding everywhere.  Well, the houses that Habitat are building are truly spectacular.

Lilly was so excited to visit her first worksite.  The title of the blog was her recap of the day to Jim when he came home from work.  I'm not sure what dog she was talking about, but there was a rooster perched on the house next door that was running around near our car before we left.  Lilly has talked about Ellie and Jamil nonstop since we left the worksite.  

We had lots of time in the car today.  On the way there, Lilly talked my ear off, which I can't begin to recap properly.  But I will tell you that it all began as we turned onto a street by our house and I slammed on the brakes because a raccoon ran out in front of the car.  Lilly asked what I was doing (as she does every few minutes in the car) and when I explained the situation to her, her response was, "Oh.  I hope the raccoon looked both ways before crossing the street."  We arrived in Springfield, Massachusetts, (if you ask Lilly, she'll tell you we arrived in Guatemala, because that's where Ellie lives...) about an hour and a half and 200 questions later.  I even convinced her to wear her "Habitat Guatemala" t-shirt, which was a huge victory on my part, since the first question out of her mouth every morning is, "Can I wear a dress today, Mum?"

Jack was along for the ride today; Lilly and Jack have the best time together in the back seat and are great entertainment for each other.  I hear "BOO!" and shrieking laughter every couple of minutes.  This is why you keep having children! And then both were sound asleep for the drive home.  Ells, Jamil, the dog, the rooster and the worksite (in Guatemala) wore them out.  

I've heard from the rest of the family who have visited Ells in Guatemala, how in her element she is down there.  I'm still determined to make a trip down there, but I got to see Ellie in her element today.  Smiling.  Speaking Spanish.  Proud of what she does, of making a difference, and of the people that she works with.  Jamil gave me a tour of the house while Ellie looked after Lilly and Jack on the perimeter of the worksite, as the rules about children are much stricter here than they are in Guatemala.  Everyone working on the house would look up and nod and say hi, until Jamil mentioned that I was Ellie's sister.  Then, I'd get the most heartfelt smiles and hellos.  After being introduced as Ellie's sister, they stopped what they were doing, stood up and greeted me.  Clearly, Ellie is loved by the people that she works with.  It was amazing to witness and I'm glad that Lilly, Jack and I got to be there to tell Ellie, Jamil, and all the people they work with, what a wonderful job they're doing.  

We whisked Ellie away from the worksite for lunch, and I have to say that there's nothing quite like catching up with your sister over a cold beer and some delicious pizza.  Even with a chatty three year old and a hungry 8 month old in tow.  It was a fantastic day.  I only wish we could do it more often.

The amazing house that they're building is in the background.  Ellie put some of that siding on!

Ellie and Jamil made Lilly's day :)

Lilly, tickling Jamil, after announcing that she was shy.  Lilly...shy?  I don't think so.

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