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Inflation at our Worksite in Urubamba Peru

It’s a good thing the first week was so pleasant in Cusco, because I forgot how hard it is to build houses in foreign countries.

Here at the second MicroAid project site in Urubamba (2 hours away from Cusco), I’m getting very inflated budget numbers for the house.

Ormachea-Hermoza house since floods of 2010

Also, Urubamba is dry and dusty and a bit depressing. I will be staying here much of the time as well as shuttling back to Cusco to oversee the other project, 45 minutes away, in Huacarpay.

MicroAid will help more than 12 members of the family live in a decent home

I also got sick as a dog last week—chills, body aches, wracking cough.

I think I was lulled into a false sense of security here because there is first-world infrastructure in Cusco. As opposed to Samoa and Sri Lanka where the harsh environment gives me cues to be on guard.

the Choco Museo is on this bucolic plaza in Cusco

Feeling better now, after a few days in bed. Using the time to give myself a crash course on pouring concrete foundations. (Thank goodness for the Internet and Bob Villa.)

Funny how I never really paid close attention to that part when we built all those houses at Habitat. Granted, I usually started after the slab was poured, because they subcontract that, but still, it is critical to know what it’s all about here.

Also, went to the South American Explorers Club in Cusco for a class in “survival” Spanish. I wondered if the teacher would go over terms like “rebar,” “3/4-inch gravel,” “footers,” “anchor bolts,” and “Portland cement”?

She did not.

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