Nov 15, 2009

Container Is Delivered

The shipping container finally arrives and the sandbox is fully stocked with tools.
Category:Peru 2009/10 
Posted by: Rome

Hello Everyone,

Finally, finally, the container from Seattle arrived at the site at 3pm on Tuesday the 10th!  A group of about 60 locals had been gathered to wait for it and we could stand on top of our sand dune and watch the big orange Hapag-Lloyd container approach in the distance on the PanAmerican Highway.  I yelled 'hey that's it!' and we all jumped around excitedly.
For 4 hours we carried every single one of the 30,000 pounds of items up the sand dune. Imagine a whole group of short people (coxswains?) carrying a giant beam up Allison Street, across Eastlake and up to Harvard the sand.  No kidding, it was a sight to behold!

Although I had things labeled to go into different places, the next day was all about sorting and organizing things according to when they would be needed in the construction process.  It was also a steady day of visitors looking at all the cute kid stuff for the day care and the huge steel pieces.

Then, Emily arrived....yet another happy person who didn't understand them, but sure was trying.  At lunch she insisted she was going to get across to her new friends that her 'dendrites were expanding' with all the new words she was learning.  I cracked up, but sure as s--- she got one of them to find an anatomy textbook and they all figured it out!

This whole week our task has been to dig out the footing for the building and add the crushed rock. Here we are, working on this giant sand dune, and of course, what do we hit in our digging?,,,,, the only dang rock for as far as the eye can see!  We've been digging because the promised backhoe from the Mayor continues to have issues.  He came to the site to see the contents of the container and the progress we've made on Thursday.  He, Ericka, Contraras, Dr. Carmen and I sat around politely chatting and Ericka said to me, “Is there anything you want to say to the Mayor?"  Bad opening question.....I said, “why yes, ask him when the backhoe will arrive”.  He said at 1pm and they continued to chat.  Meanwhile, Ericka calls Hector, who calls the backhoe operator, who says it's broken again and the Mayor knows it.  Soooooo, I got very animated, raised my voice and used words that Ericka didn't want to translate. The Mayor called a 'friend' of his and we had a backhoe on site in literally 15 minutes.  Apparently calling someone on their BS is universally understood.

Advice to Volunteers:
It really helps to wear shoes that don't have mesh tops like running shoes do.  The sand just goes right through the mesh and you end up with a big wad of sand in your shoe.  Buy a cheap pair of solid top tennis shoes or such. 
Also, our new mattresses arrived, and they are very firm.  If you like a soft bed, you might try vacuum packing a foam pad.  Don't forget your towel and twin sheet set to leave behind for the kids.

I'm really ready for you all to arrive!
Come and play in our sand box!