Today was marked by the kindness of others.
We went through the morning finishing our first section. We found no burials or evidence thereof, so we began to move all of the dirt we had removed back into the unit. Sheriff Benny Martinez paid us a visit and offered his assistance in backfilling. He moved and worked just as hard, if not harder, than the rest of us. Sheriff Martinez is one of the main reasons we are able to do our work at Sacred heart, and for him we are incredibly grateful.
In the middle of our backfill, we got a message over the walkie talkie that a local
family had brought all of us lunch; not just our five person team, but all of Texas State’s team as well. More than forty of us ate homemade carne asada, zucchini, rice, and tortillas. They brought us plates, utensils, sodas, and water. Before we ate, the matriarch of the family said a prayer for us. She thanked us, and asked God to protect us both while we were doing this work, and for the rest of our lives. While I am not a religious person, this sentiment from her meant more to me than any amount of food. The support of the community means so much to our team, and assures us that what we are doing is for the greater good.
After we finished our amazing lunch, Beyond Borders alum Ryan joined our team. He drove to Falfurrias to help us today and tomorrow, and will leave tomorrow to be back to work on Monday. Ryan got started right away, carrying buckets and hauling dirt. Day three and four are supposedly the hardest days, so we are beyond thankful that Ryan is able to join us for both of them!
After we finally finished backfilling our first section, Dr. Latham and Dr. Kate Spradley — who is leading this excavation — decided that we would move to a different section than originally planned. We packed up all of our stuff and headed to our new area. We are under a tree still, which provides us shade. However, it also means we are digging through roots, which is incredibly difficult.
I asked Deputy Don White if he had a rake in his truck to help with the surface debris, and before I knew it, he had gone and bought us two brand new rakes. Not only was this an amazing act of kindness, but they came in very handy in trying to deal with the roots. Deputy White has helped us every day with securing the site, fixing anything that is broken, and generally being our go-to guy.
Thanks to everyone’s help, we were able to finish out the day strong.
After a long, long, long day, we were able to show our thanks by taking Sheriff Martinez, Ryan, and Deputy White out to dinner at Taqueria Jalisco.
We are exhausted, but our hearts and stomachs are full.