Day 9

Group photo with Erica's Grandparents present, all holding up 9 fingers

We had a lot going on today.  After arriving early on the site again to get a jump on the sun, we worked furiously.  After today, we only have one more day left to dig.  It hit us all hard, because we simply can’t leave this area incomplete.  We can’t leave any unidentified individuals behind.  We don’t know what will happen in next year’s excavations, if we are able to return.  We just have to finish the monumental task we set for ourselves this year.

Today we hit a dense area of our grid.  It was so compacted we had a hard time getting shovel or trowel through it.  It slowed us down quite a bit.  By the end of the day though, we made good progress, and were able to prep the area for more dirt removal tomorrow morning in the dark.

The heat and humidity really hurt us today however.  Even though it was overcast, it was misleading.  Ryan was the first to be put in time out to recuperate and rehydrate, but the sun is unforgiving.  Ryan will recover, but today the environment seemed to defeat us all.  A few other members of our team are feeling the burn as well, but with one day left, it is hard to stop work even at the expense our personal health.

We had a couple unexpected special guests today.  Erica’s grandparents (see our day 9 photo), who live in Corpus Christi, drove up to visit her and drop off homemade chocolate chip cookies.  They were delicious!  We were also greeted on return to the hotel with homemade Menudo that the Brooks County Sheriff’s Department put together for us.  Cheneta destroyed two bowls of this wonderful, flavorful traditional Mexican dish.

Cheneta eating menudo

After a team rest, we headed out to Constable Arturo’s house again for dinner.  The generosity of this small town astounds me every day.  Everyone we meet is genuinely kind with welcoming hearts, and they are immensely grateful for whatever we can do to help them.  It is sometimes hard for us to comprehend.  We are immensely grateful for being invited to help in this humanitarian crisis in any capacity we can.  No matter how many words we write, we can’t adequately express how much it has impacted us personally and professionally.

Styrofoam plate of beans, meat, rice, and bread

Check out our work here: Latham, Lathram or Indianapolis, Minneapolis…I guess the exact details aren’t too important to the reporter…but at least it brings more awareness to what is going on here.

Jessica and Justin