Wow, I now know what true grunt work entails. Over the past two days, our group has traveled to the community, Embocada, to deliver filters, fix ones already there, and set up the ones we brought. On Sunday our group split in two; one staying in Rurrenabaque to help get more supplies while the other bravely ventured to our community and tenaciously brought our gear and food supplies as well as setting up our tents. I was in the second group, and I can honestly say, I applaud the first group for their determination and grit. Everyone in our group, with no exceptions, have been such troopers so far. For Sabrina, it was her first night camping, and she boldly took on that challenge with no problems, yet I was the one to get no sleep. Ay Dios mio.
Monday was a struggle. Once again, we split into two groups to move all the filters and bags of sand to the community from the beach. With an amazing breakfast in our bellies from our incredible cook, Jacob, we set off not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. With as much strength as we could muster, the groups accomplished our first trip in good time and spirit. With a quick lunch, we were entering the brutal afternoon. Each group would go on to make three more trips that got progressively more difficult. As the first group (Hunter, Perry, Makenzy, Henry, and our two instructors Steph and Nikki) finished their last trip, the second group (Myself, Sabrina, Owen, Anwyn, and Trini), decided to take an additional trip with heavier supplies. Joselo, our fearsome leader, had gone off to help some locals, so we had to fend for ourselves. Every step of our last trip, up the mile and a half to the village, took all the energy I had out of me. Not only were we pushing hundreds of pounds of materials, but it was with rickety wheelbarrows and broken carts through knee high mud and unstable bridges. Let’s just say, I was exhausted- yet ecstatic to see the group succeed so well. While it was some of the hardest work we had ever done, I think we all realized how much help the filters will be to the community. I am fatigued, yet so proud to be a part of this gnarly group. This has been quite an amazing experience so far, and I think we can all agree on that.