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Simply Smiles provides bright futures for children, families, and communities. The organization partners with populations in need to create physical and emotional environments where suffering is alleviated and from which local leaders can emerge.

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Silver Lake in Oaxaca 2013: Blog #3

Timothy Nurnberger



Tuesday was our longest work day of the week so far. We spent the day working at the Center of Operations. The two main projects were building the wall above the bodega, and laying the adoquin. They were both physically difficult, but satisfying in the end. We mixed cement for the mortar, but it wasn’t nearly as challenging as the first day when we mixed cement. Seeing the wall slowly getting higher was empowering because we could see the product of our effort building in front of us. We chipped away at the bottom of the adoquin to make it fit and started to lay it in the driveway. Throughout the day each person realized that they preferred either the adoquin or the roof depending on their rhythm. We ended the day with a delicious spaghetti dinner. When we all hung out after dinner and continued to grow closer, as we all bonded through card games. All together, we all felt accomplished after a hard day’s work, and excited to start another one.



Today (Wednesday) we were excited to wake up early to visit the ruins at Monte Alban. It was about a 45 minute drive through windy roads, up the side of a beautiful mountain. We had a picnic breakfast that consisted of granola bars, bananas, muffins, and juice boxes.  We spent 2 hours energetically exploring the Zapotec ruins.  It was astonishing to witness the ancient Zapotec ruins that have withstood time for nearly two millennia. We each took a lot of pictures, including a group pyramid picture on top of an actual pyramid.  The steps leading to the top of the ruins posed a daunting climb. Once we were done exploring, we ascended the mountain. On the way back to the van, we were swarmed by street vendors, but we learned to bargain in order to save our pesos.



We are very tired, and we're writing the blog again tomorrow, so we will finish telling today’s adventures tomorrow!

- Kelly, Julia and Lela


Dear Mom, Dad, Jacob, Friends, and Family,

This has been, and will continue to be an amazing experience.  I am loving my time here, even though the work is very tiring.  I have plenty of treasures to bring back to you, as well as stories.