This morning I went to the Copey Learning Center to help paint one of the rooms. A new volunteer is arriving on Friday and she'll be teaching one class while the other volunteer will be teaching the other class (at the same time, so they need separate rooms). We needed to clean up a second room and paint it. The walls had been done, but the trim still needed to be done and I offered to do it this morning. Seidy came by and decided to sand the far wall that had just been re-plastered and put a coat of paint on it. It was her first time painting. While we were painting, people kept coming in to say hello and ask Seidy for this or that. It was the strangest thing: they would walk in, pick up a paint brush, dip the brush in some paint and just start painting the wall next to Seidy as they chatted. This happened at least six times. Then Lorena with her young baby on her hip came in, picked up a paint brush and started painting, too. Really? Seriously? She was wearing really nice clothes and shoes... with a baby on her hip, no less! Just getting the work done quietly is unheard of. People don't have any sense that it might be disruptive to interrupt someone while they're working. On the one hand, it's pretty odd and challenges my OCD (I've discovered I suffer a little from obsessive compulsive disorder.. who knew? I can feel Kevin rolling his eyes just about now), but on the other hand, it's amazing that people can be so relaxed and not all caught up in things having to be perfect. Connecting with people is what matters most around here... and that's pretty nice.
So that was this morning. Then, this afternoon, we had a community board meeting. We were assembling to discuss the plans to extend our Rio Blanco community center. The municipality has given money for materials, but not for labour, so we have to find ways to raise money to pay for a few people to do the work. We looked at the engineer's plans and boy, did it ever create some lively discussion... all in Spanish of course, with our friend Cindy translating when Kevin and I didn't understand. The men broke out into one group to discuss where the bathrooms and storage room would go. The women had their own ideas. THREE HOURS later, we all came to some agreement. Man, oh, man... I love our neighbours and friends... but everything becomes a social occasion and the chatting gets started and the talking in circles, too. This is just the way it is. Mostly, we love it, but not unlike the corporate world... sometimes a meeting really could be done and over with in 20 minutes if we were more focused... there's my OCD again... hmm, clearly, I need to relax.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
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