Preparing the Land

Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
Trip End May 09, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Eastern Visayas,
Monday, March 11, 2013

Hello Everyone,

I woke up at 6 this morning, to the sound a children playing outside my window and roosters crowing. Each morning these sounds make me feel surprisingly at home, something that never changes here no matter what day it is. The only thing that made getting out of bed different this morning was my excitement to finally begin clearing the land for the project. Waking up knowing I wouldn't spend the day hopping from office to office, paying this tax and that fee, made getting up so much easier.

We left Tacloban by 8:30, in a jeepney filled with shovels, our Head Carpenter, our Contractor, Ate Wimwim and some volunteers here to work on the project. We arrived and the carpenter Tatay Dondoy with the help of the contractor Mano Bumbo, started placing markers in the ground, outlining the corners of the building. After placing the markers on two of the corners, we had to start cutting down some banana trees to clear the remaining corners. Unfortunately, one of the volunteers helping on the project stepped on a nail before the first banana tree hit the ground. After inspecting his wound we decided it would be best for him to leave the site, since we didn't have the supplies to properly clean and assess the cut. Not a very great start to the day, but hopefully it won't be a really big issue for him. While everyone else worked on cutting down the banana trees and clearing them from the project area, I rode in to Palo to purchase the first set of materials.

We were able to clear all the banana trees from the project site and clean up some of the random clothing and trash that has collected over time in the area. Some of the sponsored children parents helped, and a few of the children helped me collect small pieces in the wheel barrel. At noon we decided to go back to Tacloban so that Ate Wimwim, Tatay Dondoy, Mano Bumbo, and I could discuss labor costs and the first phase of the center. Both the carpenter and contractor are our most expensive labor costs so we wanted to spare their fees for the afternoon, instead a few of the locals worked on clearing the land in the afternoon.

Mano Bumbo and Tatay Dondoy explained to Ate Wimwim and I that on the day we pour the cement foundation and on the day we pour the second floor, we will need about 20 people to help the process run smoothly. In order to ensure the stability of the structure, both the foundation and the second floor, we must complete each in one day no matter how long it takes. Hopefully, we can get lots of local and international volunteers to help on those days, because I don't think our budget can afford that many people for two days.

I will upload some pictures tomorrow when I have some more to share. Please pray for the smooth progress of this project.

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Suzy on

Situate your laptop in a tree nearby and we'll watch! ;)

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