Feb 10, 2010

San Fransisco de Asis Dedication

Rome logs the final post from Peru!
Category:Peru 2009/10 
Posted by: Rome

Hello Everyone,

As this will be my final blog posting of this project I must say, the last 10 days have been a true whirlwind of activity and emotion.

At the transition between Week 7 and Week 8 (final week) Volunteers I got sick too. I had managed to keep the vomiting at bay with only the usual diarrhea for 14 weeks, but then I got smacked back good and was down for a solid 3 days. It felt like an alien body snatching had occurred! Anyway, Emily and Izzy had a great grip on things and with Kathi, Pierre, Ian and David staying through to the end, the continuum of tasks flowed smoothly without me. I was just grateful that no one else got sick and that we were in the home stretch of completion.

Week 8 saw it all come together.
The drywall got primed, textured, primed again and painted.
The trim, baseboards and french door casings went in.
The concrete blocks were finished.
Terrace #5 got finished
The tile around the exterior of the doors and windows got installed, grouted, sealed and caulked.
The outside of the building got primed and painted (bright yellow!)
The enormous play set got assembled and inaugurated by a 100 kids immediately!
The floor got primed and painted with a 2 part epoxy based industrial finish, which didn't dry in time for the opening. We had a technician come out to inspect it the next day and they said their catalyzing formula presumes higher ambient temperature and the building was so well insulated that it was too cool inside to cure in the usual time. (sheeeesh)
The basket ball hoops got installed and backboards got painted.
And of course....the endless clean up and stacking and inventorying and transitioning of information to Ericka.

Then came the people part.
Sunday's ceremony included a true spectacle of politics in motion, when one of the candidates who hopes to replace the recalled Mayor brought HIS backhoe to the site during the ceremony to move more sand around! No kidding, I'm sure someone took pictures, but it had 2 big orange flags on it with his name and made a ton of noise.
Furthermore, the PAST recalled Mayor showed up and pulled up a chair to the head table and spoke about all the money he left behind for projects to be done in the community.
Then when the priest (who required 100 Soles to appear) gave his blessing and speech, it included telling the past Mayor to show up at church now and then!

Finally came the music and the dancing and the little kids......

Monday and Tuesday were detailing days and sad days. People just showed up who hadn't been around since the early days of digging in the sand.
Thank you's and tears and pride and hands held over hearts.

Half of Week 8 left Tuesday night after dinner at Pflucker's and the send off by the community. That was a tough go. Not many dry eyes.
Then the kids started picking up Pierre and lifting him into the air! I'll never forget the look on his face as these short kids picked up our 6'3" Pierre!
Soon more of us got hoisted up and finally the van got loaded and pulled away....an obvious hole being left in time and space as it did.

The next morning, the last of us headed out at 6 am. Again, folks showed up to say good bye....eyes still red from the long night before.

As we drove away I knew we were leaving behind a void of energy that comes from 20 happy, hardworking people infused into a community.
I also knew they would now create their own energy and take a big leap forward as they do.

I will not miss the sand....
I will miss the giggling of upside down kids the most.