– Bryce Hill
Tuesday, Aug 28
*note* Pictures will come…. probably
Today we encountered a problem that could be disastrous! But before I get to that let me start at the beginning. I believe that two distinct categories of people will emerge in our group, the early risers and the not early risers. By the time that I had woken up and gotten ready to go at least half of the group hadn’t moved. Now whether they were actually sleeping or just in denial I may never know but the fact remains that they were at least two hours behind the first group. Eventually we all made it down to the site where everyone once again jumped in to help. I planned to do just that but I had one task to complete before I could. That task was the simple job of emailing Chris the specifications for some materials. You are thinking “ok so two minutes later and you’re done and move on” however, that was not the case. I fought with the modem for awhile but eventually gave up. So I moved to my phone which is internationally activated at the moment. That also did not work as it is only as good as the local service providers who are the same people who sold us the modem! Next I moved on to Dr. Nelson’s phone which has a local sim card in it. I assume it comes as no surprise that this option didn’t work either although not for lack of signal but battery. I would love to tell you how I resolved this but I really don’t remember anymore, which is kind of scary considering it happened today.
The real situation came after lunch. I was excited because Armando had started teaching Josh, John, Alex and Mindy how to lay block and I wanted to learn as well. Alas it was not to be! Well they did get me started at least. Have you ever noticed how block structures have a concave curve in the mortar between them? Well I now know how to do that, if you give me the right tool and a building. Trust me it is more involved than you might think. I found this out the hard way. As I was working my way down the wall I noticed a Honduran teen quietly following behind me and apparently redoing all the lines I had just done. So I let it go to my head a little too soon, oh well, this is a learning experience right? Before I graduated to the actual block laying Froilán called me over. He told me that Conhsa, the company that we bought the blocks and concrete from, had called and that they had not received their money. This didn’t compute considering we had transferred money to them eight days ago. It was actually one of the first things that we did when Dr. Nelson and I arrived. A series of phone calls and conversations later and I learned that the money had indeed been transferred from our account, only it had gone to a different account than the cement company! I was definitely a little worried, to say the least, because the transaction had been for over four thousand dollars! Working on getting a hold of Chris in town and going back through our receipt stash took until supper. By then I had done all I could, the rest would have to be done in person tomorrow in town. Once again I prepared to go and learn how to lay block. I assumed that the rest of the guys were already pros at it by now and I was only falling behind. However, again it was not to be! Right after we finished supper the power went off. It returned shortly and left again just as quickly. Then it started raining. We didn’t get any more work done tonight. This does not bode well for our goal of having the walls finished by tomorrow night. So far we only have five blocks high on the front wall and four on the back.
Wednesday, August 29
Today Dr. Nelson and I returned to town in order to try and figure out this situation with the bank. We arrived at the bank, left our cell phones in a locker and went inside. I felt like I was entering a high-security prison, not that I have ever been inside one before mind you. We sat down with a woman in the accounting office and in five minutes walked out with the whole situation taken care of! This was the absolute last thing that I expected. While this was quite an unexpected victory, it did little to prepare us for what came next.
Our next stop was the hardware store to order the roof materials. This may sound a bit premature, which is exactly what I thought, but it really isn’t. Apparently the roof materials need quite a bit of onsite fabrication. So we marched into the store feeling great. Five hours later we staggered back out. Details are not important. What is important is that one never disregards the serious task that is in the hands of the requisitions officer.
I have no idea if the walls got done today but I have faith in the ability to motivate and lead from the trenches of the rest of our group back at the site. A complete lack of materials or a hurricane aside, they got it done. Considering we have now made all the major material purchases and that the city is only an hour away from the site which eliminates the possibility of a hurricane I would say the walls are done.
Now I really hope I don’t have to eat my words…