Philippine Project Notes:
smile_ha I wonder if I'll get in trouble for Child Labor?smile_ha
By Tim Roach
Copyright 2007


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We are currently doing some apartment construction. Just as anywhere on the planet there are a few neighborhood kids that want to watch and play in the work area. Of course we do not want them playing in the work area because it is very easy for them to be hurt. So of course we told them to go play elsewhere explaining that they could be hurt if they stay here.

After a few times of them leaving then coming back a few minutes later. It became clear that they were going to keep coming back no matter what we told them.

So I looked at one of the people with me and said, "Since we need to bag that pile of rocks (gravel) next to the building why don't we give them a bunch of the bags and make a game of how many can they fill? It will keep them busy and out of our way."

The person looked back and said, "That will never work."

After a while of trying to convince my partner that it would work. I finally went over to the rock pile and started putting the gravel in a bag by hand. Of course the kids came over and started watching. At that point I had a bit of Mark Twain / Tom Sawyer inspiration where Tom Sawyer got the neighborhood kids to do his chores for him.

I looked up and there happen to be two boys and two girls watching. So we talked for a little while. And finally got into who can do more boys or girls. Of course the boys said they could.

So I looked at the boys and said, "I don't know. I bet those two girls can put more rocks in these bags than you can."

Without missing a beat one of the boys grabbed a bag and started filling it. With an I'll show you who can fill more bags look in his eyes. Then a moment later the girls grabbed their bag and started filling the bags also. The race was now on.

Figuring it would take them a while to fill the bags I told them to yell for me when they get it about half full and I will move it over to the other bags we had filled earlier.

The other workers looked on laughing shaking their heads amazed that I had got them to do it. Not to mention the kids thinking that it is just a game.

Walking back I just could not resist being a kid myself saying, "See ... told you." plus sticking my tongue out at the one that said I couldn't get them to do stay busy away from where we were working with a "Na naw ... na na naw" (however you spell that) attached at the end. 10.gif

I figured the kids would do a bag or two get bored and go home. But regardless of how much or even what they bagged it would keep them occupied and in an area where they would not get hurt or be under foot.

It was sort of funny after about a bag they figured out if one person held the bag at the base of the rock pile the other one could slide the rocks in without much effort. When they got the bags about one quarter of the way full they would yell for me to come help them to move the bags. At that point I would take the bags over to the ones we had done earlier in the day and would pour their bags into one bag to fill it.

kids carrying gravel


After a while we noticed that they were all carrying a lightly loaded bag over to the bags I was filling and pouring it in themselves.

We asked why they were doing that?

The general response was I was to slow coming to get the bags as they filled them. roflol





kids





After about an hour we noticed they were starting to be sitting on the pile of rocks getting tired. So we pulled out some small treats (small candy) for each of them and told them what a good job they did.







They rested a little while then went back to running and playing away from the construction.



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Page Last Updated: 3/5/2007 10:56:28 AM