Day Five Thursday, November 10th – Is there really that much paint and concrete?
Another beautiful day dawned and another day was spent on paint and concrete. With only the interior to focus on, tasks are limited. However, Geoff has announced everyone will be on paint duty tomorrow to share the pain!
Sherry began to work on her mural which will both serve as a learning tool for the students and also a pretty visual site.
Geoff bought a new paint to add into the mix (truly that’s the excitement on the paint side) which will be used tomorrow when we try to finish off the last of the rooms. Today, the group chipped away using the paints we had. Everyone agreed they will be glad to see the last of the Amarillo (yellow)!
Meanwhile on the heavy labour side, cement was mixed and poured to finish off some of the courtyard and also the parking lot. As well, work continued on the second-floor staircase.
To highlights today: the first was the arrival of a student. Boris, is one of the children who will be attending when the school opens in January, 2017. He and his family made a trip to the school today to check out the progress. Everyone stopped to meet our young friend.
Second: Bethany, Dee and Randy went up to the mountains with Geoff, Hugo and Kika to harvest maize for Henry the mule. It was a great opportunity for our team to see the countryside and walk in the shoes of the locals as they took their turn hauling down maize a
nd bringing it to the worksite.
The day closed as it did yesterday. A local woman carried a basket of baked goods to the worksite. Today, Bethany treated the entire group to a some fine baking. Yesterday, it was Vic. Happy faces left the worksite with treats in hand.
Day Four – November 9th Let’s Pour Cement and Paint!
As with the day before, today was focussed on painting classrooms and pouring concrete. With less wind today, the team really noticed the 28 degree temperature and visiting mosquitoes.
The priority, however, was laying concrete in the inner courtyard which involved, leveling, breaking up old concrete and laying down the new. With much enthusiasm, the team moved materials, mixed materials, poured materials and ultimately paved the inner courtyard.
Vic, our Albertan plumber, helped lay drains outside each classroom. Here he is with our Guatemalan foreman, Hugo.
To break up the day, an added task was building a staircase to the second floor.
While our haulers hauled, our painters painted. Yellow was the colour of the day and the sunshine spread throughout our latest classrooms.
Fernando heads up the local squad and combined with the STIMMA team, have made great gains in the past three days. Highlight of the day (of which we have no photos) was at the end of the day when a local woman came selling baked goods. Vic had everyone (and I mean everyone at the worksite) choose their items and paid for it all. A plumber with a heart of gold. Nuestros amanos Guatemala!
Day Three – November 8th Feeling Like Family
As another perfect day dawned in El Progreso two waves of Team STIMMA hit the worksite at the appointed times of 6:30 and 7:15. The focus continued to be laying floors in the classrooms and painting walls.
The space outside the classrooms was a beehive of activity with everyone hauling yet more dirt, sand, rocks and cement. Try as we might, we couldn’t keep up with the pace set by our Guatemalan and Mayan brothers whose work ethic is unparalleled. Floors that were predicted to take ten days, were completed in two. Each classroom has a concrete floor!
Painting also continued in earnest. All the beautiful local colours are now in play. Interior walls display Amarillo (yellow), Mango (orangey) and Verde Mente (mint green). The bright colours will hopefully inspire the student body when they arrive in January, 2017.
Everyone enjoyed their lunch break together.
Rather than two rides home in the afternoon, everyone kept at it as a group and worked on individual skills. Bethany practiced her softball pitching skills by tossing wood onto the roof.
T-Zack too a mud bath!
Overall another great day at the worksite with everyone appreciating how important it is to work
Saturday November 5th/Sunday November 6th – Let the Adventure Begin
The eight members of Team BC met at YVR for our 7:00 am gathering. Once bags were tagged and sorted, we boarded our early morning puddle jumper to Seattle. A quick turnaround meant we headed to our new gate in Seattle and we quickly boarded our next flight to Los Angeles and arrived in the City of Angels around 2:00 pm.
Seeing as our flight to Guatemala City wasn’t until midnight, the team took to transit! We pulled our carry on behind us and boarded the big blue bus to Santa Monica which proved the perfect interlude with fresh air, walking and dining. This was a great change from the three airports where we had spent the earlier part of the day. A big shout out to Randy for making the field trip happen! We boarded the bus back to LAX around 9:00 pm and arrived in plenty of time for our midnight flight.
Five hours later, we arrived in Guatemala City. Geoff and Zack were at the airport to pick us up and take us to Casa Doppenberg in El Progreso. After hugs all around to Rita, Luke and Gabe and introducing new participates, BC members took the opportunity to catch up on their sleep and tour the new digs.
Meanwhile, Zack and Fernando had made a second trip back to the capital to pick up team members from Edmonton (Joey, Bethany and Vic) and Ontario (Becky and Matt). Around 5:00 pm more hugs and smiles saw the five new members greet Team BC and the Doppenbergs.
The excitement is palpable! New team members are elated and thrilled to start construction duties tomorrow morning. Looking forward to working indoors with no need for rain wear or rubber boots
Eleven days ago, a group of mostly strangers got off the airplane in Guatemala City and were greeted by a tall, thin man with a big smile and an even bigger school bus. We boarded the bus and put all our trust in him and his family, and never looked back.
WHAT A DAY!!! The medical team set out at 7:00 am for our planned medical clinic in Conguaco, a very poor town in the department of Jutiapa. However, when we arrived at the municipal building where we were going to set up clinic, there was no one there, and there were scorch marks around the building.
Today was a great day on construction, one of their best, in fact. On medical, we had a really smooth day, punctuated by a really tough end to the day (I will get to that below). But before I describe today’s happenings, I want to share with you an interesting find that Becky made yesterday at the clinic site (I didn’t share it yesterday because I didn’t know what the pictures were, so that is why it’s a day late).