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Cusco Calling

Cusco Calling

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I am here in the Sacred Valley of Peru starting the MicroAid projects to build houses for survivor-families of the 2010 floods—in Urubamba and Huacarpay.

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As you recall, I met the beneficiaries and did the baseline studies in November last year.  Now that the rainy season is over we can begin construction.  The weather is dry and hot (70s) during the day and cold (30s) at night.

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I have had meetings with locals who are helping me coordinate with the builders.  Earlier this week, I visited another project at the Asul Wasi orphanage near the Rio Huatanay in Oro Pesa to study construction techniques.  We will most likely use cinderblock and concrete for our houses as it what the beneficiaries desire, with the added bonus that it will be the most economical and sturdy.

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A sad note from Huacarpay: the wife, Manuela, of the older couple for whom we are building a house, passed away a few weeks ago from cancer.  Her husband, Valentin, is OK, but obviously heartbroken. MicroAid will still build a decent home for him.  Also, so that others will benefit from the project after he passes away, Valentin has willed the building to the community—it will be administered by the church for the benefit of the people.  The pastor of the church is already facilitating the project and I am confident that this is the best course of action: give someone a decent home, which will then benefit the community in perpetuity.  Plans for the house are being drawn up and budgets and timelines developed.

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As we were leaving a pre-construction meeting, well after dark, with the sky glittering with stars, feeling so near at 12,000 feet, and the Southern Cross hanging majestically above the dark mountains, a shooting star blazed across the Milky Way.  A good omen for the projects.

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Thank you for all the support.  We are truly making a huge difference in peoples’ lives—directly, efficiently, and completely.

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All the best from Peru.

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Jon

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