We took a walk today to a quarry Jason discovered on a run. It's just around the corner from Arms of Love, come along with us. .
First we passed this
then this boy, to which Josiah matter of factly pronounced "look it's a naked noodle"
Then we come to THIS.
All the lush, tropical vegetation had been cleared and I felt like I'd been taken back in time 3,000 years. People were dotted around the hot, arid expanse under the shade of makeshift lean- tos crushing rocks BY HAND! It felt like the Israelites in Egypt and I wanted to shout, "let my people go!" Instead, we walked around from lean- to to lean- to passing out little candies (which seemed really lame) and talking to the people. They seemed pretty surprised at our presence, and were timid but smiling.
We learned that it takes a team of two, usually a husband and wife, two days to fill a bag full of crushed rock. Their wage is $5US, so per day per person about $1.25US.The people work and live at the quarry along with their families. Kids kept popping up everywhere. This beautiful mother gathered her baby out of the shade of her lean- to to present her to me. She is only 3 weeks old. I learned that the baby was born here at the quarry, and the mom went back to busting rocks when she was one week old. She shyly shrugged and said, "we need money". I noticed her hands as we talked were covered in the rock dust as she cradled her precious bundle.
The walk home seemed longer than the walk there. I felt a weight upon my shoulders, heavier even than the 22 pound baby I'd been carrying for hours. How can I be paid so much for a job that I enjoy? What would it would be like to crush rocks all day long? What would it be like to give birth and raise a family here?
*In other news, tonight was our final night in the Philippines and we ended on a high note with a bonfire and fiesta to say farewell. We arrive in Hong Kong tomorrow at 1 am and we are looking forward to catching up with some of you soon!*