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November 24, 2013

I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving.

Here in the Sacred Valley of Peru, I was treated to a wonderful feast with many expats and locals.

As you know, I am here doing project assessments for survivors of the devastating floods of 2010.  As usual, after the emergency response and the relief organizations have left, MicroAid steps in to help peop...

September 10, 2013

The MicroAid house for the Ormachea-Hermoza family is done!  And I am back from four months in Peru.



It was a big project for us, and a life-changing event for them.


As you know, the family lost their adobe home in the floods of 2010, and had been living in a shack ever since.




There will be 12 people living in the new house—it has 5 rooms and is...

August 5, 2013

All in the Family (part 2)

Our beneficiary family: the Ormachea-Hermozas.  There are twelve who live on the site and dozens of others who will benefit from the home we are building.

The patriarchs, Juana and Valerio got married and set out on a life together.

Valerio was a long-distance truck driver and spent a lot of time away from home. As his young...

August 2, 2013

All in the Family

I know I have written mostly about the post-disaster home construction and posted pictures of foundations, columns, and rebar, but I want to emphasize the most important aspect of the MicroAid philosophy: direct involvement with the beneficiary family.  Besides overseeing all aspects of the project until completion, I personally me...

August 1, 2013

Country Road Take Me Home

Back at work in the Peruvian mountains in Urubamba in the Sacred Valley.  Feeling healthy, and positive about the project.  In the home stretch, now; less than four weeks, and counting.

wooden forms removed after three weeks

Still freezing cold winter in the Andes, but I moved from my drafty apartment to a nearby hostel,...

July 11, 2013

I spend a lot of time in impoverished areas—ones that have also experienced disasters—so the neighborhoods where I do projects are not usually considered “pretty.”

 the view from our new rooftop

no mini-warehouse to store things

part of the old house

A traveler I met in Ethiopia once remarked, “poverty is not picturesque.”  I agree, but often the surro...

June 26, 2013

Living La Vida Loca

After two months in Peru, I think I’ve come to accept the fact that I am not just visiting to do a quick project, I am living here.  I figure, if I’m renting two apartments (the one below shares a compound with an orphanage in Urubamba) in a country for more than an entire season, and I go to the market everyday to buy food, and...

June 23, 2013

Things continue to move forward with our disaster recovery project in Peru.  The Ormachea-Hermoza home now has walls and we are preparing to pour the concrete ceiling beams and roof.

you have to keep the concrete wet for seven days so that it cures correctly

At that point, we will have to wait three weeks to remove the wooden forms.  There was much d...

June 11, 2013

A complete oversight all this time: I have neglected to mention Erin O’Rourke, an expat American living and teaching English in Urubamba.

with angela

She directed us to our worthy beneficiary family, and has been our MicroAid interpreter since my preliminary fact-finding trip last year.  Erin knew that the Ormachea-Hermoza family had lost their adobe...

June 10, 2013

The Ormachea-Hermoza home construction is going great.  The foundation is finished and we are preparing to pour the columns.

It was an exciting moment when we removed the wood forms from around the concrete base.

The footprint of the house was clearly visible.

marc fitting the wood form around a column

That gave the project a sense of reality and inevi...

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