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.