It is so energizing seeing the work teams that are here now interact with the Haitians all around us. There is something about the smiles and laughter ringing around the yard that just shoots energy through me. I hear distant chatter from one end of the Notre Dame compound to the other. The conversation is clearer than any noise around. All I hear is joy, interaction, effort, and excitement mixed with laughing.
This team is evidence that people coming together to build a home helps erase the division of the foreigner and resident. I’m proud of my volunteers and masons. I consider their safety and plan for their needs. I’ve been teaching the unfamiliar constuction skills to the folks from the States so they can build!
It’s neat to see both teams working side by side in Gerson’s yard. We have decided to make their yard our base for a few days. The large leaves of the banana trees help guard these northern, pale-skinned folks from the intense solar rays and soaring temperatures.
The Growing Hope for Haiti (a nonprofit run by Heather and Gerson) team is working to concentrate on a support roof structure to span the two shipping containers to set up a workshop on site. They churn out the roof trusses, a few ladders, and a dozen sawhorses for the Fuller Center team to work on. The tasks might be simple: clipping wire, bending steel, cutting steel, tying steel, but the amount of time saved and productivity we have achieved surpasses what we can achieve in the fields.
Yves comes to pick up cages of columns or beams each morning and during the noon break to take out to the masons while he delivers their lunch. The first two days they concentrated on digging and correcting the pre-dug foundations, now we are ready to start going vertical. Whether it is a growing pile of prepared materials or a hole in the ground, the excitement keeps the energy going.