Meet Silvia (see photo left). She is a woman in the workshop. She chose to come to learn about building because her family's house was washed away in a flood last year. She has two children, and she is in nursing school. She travels to the workshop every morning by bus, and she wants to build her family a new house. She's super shy and reserved, and my spanish is quite lacking, so it wasn't until today that we really spoke.
I called her over to teach her how to saw a timber. She'd never done it before, and she was visibly anxious. I showed her what to do, and she was off. I came back a bit later and noticed she was still working (it was a 4x4 green timber that we were ripping with a handsaw, if that means anything to you builders out there). I said in my limited spanish, "Tu eres muy fuerte!" You are very strong. She said to me (and I only know this thanks to my friend translating for me), "Do you really think so?" "YES!" I almost yelled. She smiled and said, "Do you really think I can learn?" "YES!" I said, as I am quite passionate about these sort of things. I told her that she just needed to keep working and practicing. That's how you learn. Well she took it literally and sawed the other three timbers for us. She left the workshop today with two blisters on her hands and a new sense of confidence and empowerment.
Thanks to Liz Johndrow and April Magill for the awesome photos!