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Peru House Project All in the Family

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 meet the people we help and assess their need and pre-disaster baseline. They in turn, help with the project.

The Ormachea-Hermoza family (12 in the immediate family live on the site; dozens more will benefit from the house) was one of thousands that lost their home in the floods of 2010, but it was their particular plight that compelled us to build them a new home. I will post a detailed profile on the blog of this wonderful family soon.

That being said, the second floor/roof concrete pour went very well. The ceiling beams are now setting up (drying) in their wooden forms—this takes about three weeks.

It was a busy last day, before the break: the cement, sand, and gravel spinning in the mixer as a dozen teenage boys lined-up to get last-minute instructions on how to carry the heavy, wobbly buckets on their shoulder up the rickety ladder to the second floor where they would pour them into the wooden channels then hurry down again… and again… and again.

This went on all day and into twilight, as the mountains surrounding the valley worksite became black silhouettes and the glittering stars came out to shine on the finished second level/roof.

As the exhausted crew enjoyed a huge meal, prepared all-day by the women—pork, potatoes, spaghetti, and cerveza…lots of cerveza—I was led up the ladder where I ceremoniously smashed a bottle of champagne to commemorate the completion of the first and most difficult stage of construction. The bubbly liquid soaked both my boots which lent an extra chill to the already freezing night.

jon bundled-up against the southern hemisphere winter at 12,000 feet

But nothing could cool the warm feeling of having completed stage-one, the most difficult part, of the Ormachea-Hermoza’s new home.

Now, while visiting friends in the coastal town of Mancora (while the concrete cures) I am thinking about stage-two: doors and windows, and floor, which we should finish by mid-August.

poured concrete - 3 weeks to cure

This is the longest MicroAid project to date, and definitely the biggest home-construction, but I am happy to say that it is going well…

Thank you for your support in helping survivors of disasters the MicroAid way: directly, efficiently, and completely.

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