On Tuesday we made a little side trip to another city, four hours from our house, for a little business. The plan was to stay one night and head back home on Wednesday. Well, it’s Friday morning and we’re still four hours from home, with our truck in the shop. They said maybe we’d get the truck back at the end of next week (we have to use plan B to get home before then).
Aren’t those little detours in life interesting? The great part about us being here is that we’ve been able to stay with a friend in a time when she can use encouragement. We’ve had time to work on the business we were hoping to get done. We’ve also had the opportunity to meet some great people — even some we can ask about orphanages.
In fact, the plan for today is to go visit the state run orphanage here for ages 0-12. Many of the children that come to us in the future will go through this center first. From everything the country’s own newspapers say, these state run institutions can be horrible places. When we heard about this one last night they said that the budget is so low that sometimes the kids would only get a few slices of fried banana for supper.
Sometimes detours, even in the midst of frustrating events, can be of great value.
For week #3 on the house we laid the foundation. This meant lots of hauling sand and rocks. The rocks were put into the foundation and the sand hand-mixed with cement and water.
Next we will put up blocks up to the level of the floor (marked by the boards). This will be filled in with rocks and dirt and later cement. We need to finish all this in two and a half more weeks of work, before our block-laying team visits to put up the walls.
I know you’ve all been waiting for this photo: Sarah using a shovel, mixing cement. I will admit to the fact that the work I did hardly made a dent. Jason is sure that if I’m out there everyday that my labor will begin to produce more — I’m sure he’s right.
This is the stream just past our current, borrowed house in Rio Viejo. I took the picture on the left in the early morning, when there is usually a layer of clouds in our valley. Anyways, notice how the stream is about 4″ deep and only a few feet wide.
Now you can see a photo on the right of our recent rainstorm, taken through one of our windows. The rain started pounding on the tin roof in the middle of the night, completely unexpected. When we woke up in the morning this is what the stream looked like. It covered the cement portions of the road by several feet and was a raging river that could roll over a truck.
The interesting thing is that we will be living on the other side of this stream soon. Our property is in Urraco, which is the last village on this road. Living up there we will have a few “rain days” every year where we just can’t go to the city.
These are a few of our mahogany seedlings. We have about 2,040 trees planted in bags in our little nursery. Soon they will be planted up one of the property’s mountainsides.
This is part of our long-term plan of self-sustainability. These trees only require maintenance their first three years. After that we let them grow about another twenty years. We can then cut them, sell them, leave an endowment for Give Hope 2 Kids, and then we’ll replant.
Even if we never cut them, we will increase the value of our property and help reforest this area where these valuable hardwoods are disappearing.
Mahogany here is a win-win. You can even plant a layer of bananas beneath them and a then a layer of coffee beneath the bananas, creating three valuable products all on one piece of land.
Soon we’re ordering and planting some teak seeds too.
This week we’re digging out the foundation under each wall and will soon be filling in the trenches with cement. We’re also working on our water system.
Basically our water system consists of pvc pipes that start in a stream high in the property and run down to the house. It starts with a 4″ pipe, goes to a 2″, and then a 1″ to give you water pressure. There wasn’t any water coming to the faucet due to the age of the current system — apparently it was leaking like a sieve.
Along with the usual work crew we also have two visitors from Virginia this week: Danny & Rachel Wood. We want to say a big thanks to them for visiting and for chipping in on the work.