Saturday, July 7, 2012

From June 29...Guatemala Trip

Dear family and friends back home.  Please enjoy this entry as it will most likely be the last.  We are very busy here, are working on building a home and on water filtration.  The hotel is great, food delicious, a pool we have enjoyed, (water is much warmer than our showers.  I am the only one who is having trouble with that!  Right now the kids are taking a walk to the main river through the village and sugar fields and I stayed back to blog.  Our day starts at the village about 8:15 and we finish up and head back to the hotel about 4:00.  The kids have been getting together every night to sing, play the guitar and laugh.  Us adults are in bed by 9:00.

I'll tell about the jobs we are doing this week.  We are taking turns doing both jobs so that we  can experience as much as we can.  On the construction end we have dug a foundation for a one room home with a small bath room attached.  The digging is slow, we use a mattocks and shovels to dig a trench 20 in. deep by 2 feet across.  This we finished in one day!!!  Today we moved about 400 cinder blocks (by making a line of people and passing the blocks down).   These remain stacked in the middle of our "home" for now.  We used the same method to place boulders into the foundation. Dad, this made me think of how you used to work when you first started laying tile.  And made me wonder if this is how you lived growing up, doing everything with out modern tools.  We than wheel barreled two different kinds of stone with white powder and cement. We mixed this by shoveling it from one pile to another then came the water.  Anyhow, the cement went over the large folders and this is how far we have got in 1 and 1/2 days!  It looks beautiful!  The home is for a family who is currently living on another's porch.  PID is an amazing organization.
The kids took about 1/2 day to warm up and we have so many photos to show you when we get home.
Onto the water filtration.  A big part of this is washing sand.  Over and over until it is clean.  Norm (from Maine) came up with a super simple design for use in the village.  A cylindrical tube about 4 ft tall and 8 in wide is filled with two layers of sand with a filter on top.  Once assembled it works by putting in 1 gallon of water at a time and the water filters through the sand and comes our clean.  These filters last 5+ years!  Of course moving all the parts to the home in which will be using the filter is no easy task.  After the sand has been washed it is carried by bucket through the village to its resting place.  Along with the filter which is mounted to a cement base.  Not to mention old filters that need to come back to the village, Being too heavy to move sand  has to be removed from it before it can be moved.

The kids are all fine, no one has been ill.  Our base camp, so to speak is the clinic, we are in the village around the clinic and in one across the road.  No computers at the hotel and we are just to busy to write.  We are all enjoying the children  and the families here in Conception.

Adios, Gina

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