Nov 25, 2009

And We Have a Foundation!

With the help of a workforce, both American and Peruvian, the trenches get built and the foundation gets poured.
Category:Peru 2009/10 
Posted by: Rome

Hello Everyone,

Yaaaaayyy, we did it!!!

Starting with a 6:00 am meeting on site, with Ericka translating we went over the positions and tasks of each of 12 people for today's big concrete foundation pour. Rebar control, water application, pumper hose plus 3 people, electric concrete vibrator plus one, top off shoveler, finisher, and person applying the plastic to cover the pour and lastly a spotter to keep everything untangled.

The meeting started on time, well ok 10 minutes late, but way ahead of Peruvian time and Flucker served rolls with cheese and a beverage I didn't have :) It was going to be a continuous pour, with no breaks and 5 truck loads of premixed concrete, one every 30 minutes. Sequencing, direction of pour, oh yeah, and no talking to the operator, except by me......that was the hard part!  Here everyone talks all the time, at the same time and tell each other what to do constantly.  Probably good that I can't understand it.....
Any questions?  'No talking?"  Yup!  Any other questions?

So off we went into our maze of trenches for a very complicated, anti-seismic pour.
At this time, 12 had turned into 32 people. Oh well, Ericka ran to get a megaphone, because the 'no talking' thing lasted about 30 seconds!

The pour went flawlessly.  We poured 35 cubic meters of a high strength mix in 3 and a half hours non-stop!  I had ordered extra material because it was a special mix and I was worried about a blow out or two, but we didn't need it, so we poured 5 steps to set aside for the terraces and poured a small slab for the little kids' school across the street.

At the end, everyone was thrilled and beat and surprised at themselves and what they had accomplished.  The concrete company representative had warned Hector and Ericka that we'd better have some professional people lined up to do this job because it sure wasn't easy, but instead, 32 happy, inexperienced Peruvians, Emily on the vibrator and me yelling to no one, made it work.


So, tomorrow is a day off and Thanksgiving to boot.

Gratitude just might be my dominant emotion in life and today was a powerful day. 
I feel like I've been living my whole life to get ready for times and projects like this and having friends like you all.
I wish you all the same feeling!

Have a wonderful holiday!