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Week 1 in Sincelejo

Dsc01385This has been a very productive week at the worksite.  With the paperwork for theDsc01388_3 purchase of the land complete we began clearing the land and preparing for laying the foundations.  Ultimately there will be 65 houses built on this land by Habitat once the funds are raised, completely filling this area in the picture(left) with houses for more than 400 victims of the violence.  Together you and I are building the first 24, and we're starting this week with these first 3 "model homes" with a smaller crew to test our designs before we roll them out to the whole worksite.

Dsc01448I've been spending my time with these amazing people watching how Dsc01451_1they build so much with so little in the way of resources and tools!  I find myself constantly thinking, "I wish there was one of those EZ Rental places here" as we haul rocks around in wheelbarrows and bend rebar around spikes nailed into an old tree trunk.  With these rudimentary tools we've managed to clear the land, dig the trenches, and lay the foundational rebar for all 3 houses this week.

Dsc01404I've also managed to take some breaks to get to know the people of thisDsc01432 neighborhood called Alto Rosario.  Because they know I represent the funding (from you) back in America they've been unbelievably welcoming as I stroll through their neighborhoods.  The majority have fled the war and they're happy to know that there are people from America and all over the world who care about their situation.  And I'm always a good source of laughter as they try to figure out what the heck I'm trying to say in my simple Spanish.  (Ever try to wax poetic on geopolitical economic forces with only 3 months of basic language studies?)

Dsc01454The weather here is unbelievably hot, which was my excuse for lacking energy until I found out it'sDsc01462_1 actually winter here now and won't really get hot for another few months.  I seem to be the only one who sweats profusely and I think they sometimes worry about my health as I pant for mas agua por favor! which comes in individual plastic bags. Luckily there are some "situational inefficiencies" that allow for longer breaks, such as when this heard of cows cut through the worksite.

I'll update the pics (at right) when I get some more time...and bandwidth.  Sincelejo isn't exactly Bogota so the telephone lines and electricity are hard to predict (apologies to those of you who haven't seen a response to your emails yet...)   So far everything is going well and on schedule, and we plan to have the first 24 houses done by the end of June thanks to all of you!



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