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We’re making progress 

Sorry for the sporadic updates, Internet connectivity is a challenge.

Over the last couple of days we’ve managed to get a ton of work done. This is mainly due to the house being very small, approx. 390 square feet and the team working really well together. Everyone on the team is here to work and this results in someone stepping up and getting the tasks done. For the tasks that require specific skills or strength, someone will will backfill the person that was pulled into the new role.  The photo on the right is from the 2nd day where the concrete foundation has been poured and the foundation concrete blocks have been laid. The vertical rebar stuctires are embedded into the concrete foundation. That is Alan in the photo, this house is for his family and he is currently studying finance at college up north in a town just outside Cap Haitien.

As volunteers we are the manual labor that enables the professionals that we work with to get some of the more specilized tasks done, such as brick laying. When the foundation trenches were dug, the dirt was piled up in the middle of the three rooms.  Ounce the concrete foundation was poured and the foundation blocks laid, it was time to fill in the gap between the foundation and the sides of the trenches.  After that, it was a simple effort to remove the soil, interspersed with a the remaining foundation from the old house. Then the floor was leveled and the remaining soil piled on the side of the road where it could be used to fill in the pot holes just outside town.  We load up the trike with the dirt and go and dump it.

The house is being built with concrete blocks that are manufactured in the town. We need to fetch them from the block factory by loading and unloading the trike motorcycle that is used as transport.  The blocks are then piled around within in easy reach for the bricklayer to lay. We found that the quickest and most effective way to move the blocks is by human conveyer belt where the blocks are  passed from person to person.  

The mortar for the brick layers is transported using the ubiquitous five gallon bucket from the mixing pile on the side of the round to where it is needed.

The bags of cement was collected from a storage facility and the sand mix is delivered by truck. The sand mix is ready to be used for concrete. However, the large stones in the mix need to be removed for mortar and so a group of volunteers are pretty much constantly sieving the mix to separate the stone.

Other teammates are working on the rebar, which is either for the vertical supports or for the foundation.  The rebar work consisted of taking pieces of wire and use them to wrap the joints using a special technique and then tightening the knot by twisting with pliers. Twist too much and the wire breaks, too little and you have a loose joint.

 

Finally, here are two photos showing our progress on the house with the walls getting up there .

 

 

We are are all staying in guesthouse and here is a photo of the front of the house .

 

I finally managed to upload the photos at 6AM and so I will try the morning upload routine tomorrow again and hopefully give you another update.

Life is Great

 

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