It is only one in the afternoon and the best part of the day was the cold shower I just exited. I think the Fuller Center should target weight loss camps open to all. This morning was manual labor and pure exhausting. We are preparing for house number two.
Its design resembles half of our duplex model that we have elsewhere in Haiti. It’s a total new construction compared to the first house here in Leogane that had an existing slab and was a rebuild of the previous plan. The morning started with laying out the corners and squaring up the string layout. Then we started digging a 12” deep foundation because the ground is just so soft with thick topsoil. Then we moved five yards of mountain sand to make way for 500 concrete block. One ton of steel rebar arrived dragged behind one of the local “tap-taps”, and another “tap-tap” dropped off 100 bags of cement and a few boards.
The volunteers provided by the church included my main man Jean Claude, a 62-year-old work horse. He doesn’t drink and the only time he stops is to use his gloves to wipe the sweat off me. I know it sounds strange, but he is the man. Never quits, and he’s been on both work projects. The women carry these heavy blocks on their head. I load them up just as if they were some kind of Sherpa back and forth to the rear of the church. Moving piles from point A to B never feels as rewarding as walls or roofs raised by the end of the day, but when you run the numbers you can sit back and realize a handful of people literally moved a mountain.
Despite the success of this feat the need for volunteers becomes apparent. If there is not a consistent and eager work force of volunteers to build their own houses along with our hired professional masons, then we will find ourselves moving too slowly.
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