Our first couple days were spent hauling bricks up a mountain. (I could hardly live through it. I have not had the strength to write about it yet.) They were being gathered for a two houses being built. Clearly we had no idea what we were doing so we got stuck with the grunt work. It was like being a kid all over again. :)
On the third day of hauling we rotated our team in and out, 3-4 at a time, to actually spend a few minutes building the house. We would stick around long enough to get a few pictures and fling a little mud. I was thrilled to hear it was my turn. I entered the home and was taking in all the directions. They line the brick where it goes and I fling mud all around it to form the glue that will hold it in place. I was given a pile of freshly made mud and away I went.
Throwing mud seemed to be a talent of mine and I ran out of my pile quickly. I looked around and asked my teammates if they knew where I could get more mud. No one knew. I looked for a translator to ask them but could not find one. Finally the Batwa man that was 12 inches from my face, just on the other side of the brick, said, “It is over there. They are making more.”
I stood straight up and could feel my eyes get HUGE. I said, “You speak English!!!” He shyly smiled and waved me off. I said, “No, I am on to you! You speak English!” He told me he could speak a little. His name was Damien and he had spent a couple years during the genocide in a refugee camp in Kenya. They spoke mostly English so he had to learn quickly.
I gave him a hard time about holding out on us and secretly listening in on our conversations. He blushed a bit but you could tell he was quite proud to be able to communicate. Longin had been the translator at the house but was called off for the moment. I told Damien, “You are our translator now!” He was a bit intimidated but up for the challenge.
|Damien (in white shirt)|
I wondered why he kept silent for so long. Was he intimidated, meek, humble, unsure? Regardless of what it was, I knew I could learn from him. He spent several days in silence only breaking the silence when he was able to help.
Quick to listen and slow to speak. (James 1:19)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all (Mom)