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Published: October 7th 2014
Michelle clearing organic debris
Happy World Habitat Day. I think it is cool, that today is. A United Nations declared day to acknowledge the need for decent, safe affordable housing throughout the worled, and we are here in Honduras working towards that end.
Although I wan to write about our building and cultural experiences, as a team leader, this experience is very different in that I am focused on the well being, safety and type of experience my team members have. With that being said, today was a rough one. They were dropping like flies!!!!!! We started with 12 original team members. The first dropped prior to leaving Raleigh due to complications from a pre-trip vaccination. One of our young team members woke this morning with aches and fever. We tucked her into bed, loaded her room up with crackers, water and tea, and I came back from the job site to check on her at lunch, She was much improved at lunch, although still horizontal. When I got back to the work site another one had bit the dust. And by the end of lunch a third was down and out. They afternoon of work went well, but on the van ride home,
Using the level
we had another one drop. Hopefully, everyone will be better tomorrow.
Today I found a new appreciation for heavy earth moving equipment. Even if it were available, it would be improbable that we could get it to our remote site. We are here for the initial phaes of building two homes. after meeting the construction supervisors, the local habitat staff and the families who's homes we were building, we spent the remainder of the morning clearing the land of all organic materials. It all seamed too easy to begin with. We just scooped up armfuls of grass and straw and dumped them at the side of the site. Then we had to tackle the roots and stumps in the ground. Not so easy. Many of us had the chance to swing a pick axe and try our best to defeat the stubborn stumps. A stump grinder would have come in real handy now.
While we were clearing the land, the staff marked the perimeter of the home. I admired the simplicity and ingenuity of their methods. They used simple tubing filled with water to level the stakes marking the foundation. Fascinating. They then used string to mark the
Using the level
After lunch, the fun work began. What remained of our team were asked to dig trenches in the marked area. We were told to dig down to where the surface was firm. About 6 inches down, we thought we had it. We were WRONG! 18 inches down and supposedly we have not hit our firm surface yet. We have only dug about 1/3 of the marked trenches and we still haven't reached depth. I hope it is not too much further.
At the end of our workday, we stopped at small local cigar factory, where they made handmade cigars. The process was great to watch, but since most of us are non smokers we only made few purchases.
Dinner was at a great Honduran restaurant with way too much food, for the few of us left eating. Those who went had a large family style meal with a great assortment of traditional favorites including tostidos, maduros, beans, cheese, Honduran nachos, chicken , beef, beets potatoes and vegetables. Nobody left hungry.
Hopefully tomorrow the troops will rally and we can make as much progress on the job site.
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