Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day #9: Meeting Hank Hill and throwing cement.

First off...I met Hank Hill today.  The only difference is that the real Hank Hill was from Arlen, Tx.  The Hank Hill I met today was not.  Ok, so here's what happened.  This morning I woke up a little bit earlier (6:30 instead of 6:55).  I was sitting out at the table in my morning grog, waiting for the IB to kick in when this man and lady walk down to our house.  He introduces himself as Don from Texas.  Honest to God, this guy talks like Hank, walks like Hank, stands like Hank...he's Hank Hill.  He talked about things that happened in "Jew-Lie" and said stuff like, "Hawsit goan?"  Not to make fun of his accent...but there's no doubt he's from Texas.  So Hank and Peggy are here until we leave.  Down to help out on their own dime.  Taking a week of their life and helping us out.  It's good, we've adopted them into our team just like we adopted Stan at the beginning of our trip (he left Monday).

Wow we got a lot done today. All morning we were cutting, forming, and tying rebar for the slab in the bottom of the trench. By lunch we were able to get the final pieces tied in to where we wanted to pour. This afternoon we were able to pour, pour, and pour cement. We got almost done with what we had blocked out. For a short while we were down to only one mixer because Jim and Scott were taking a different formula of cement up to a clinic on a hill behind the school to fill in a damaged handicap ramp. So I guess if there are people that will now get into the clinic that couldn't before, it's okay that we didn't get the slab exactly where we wanted it. BUT, we still got a LOT done. I was talking with Bernie and Dennis (trip assistant and leader, respectively) later this afternoon and they both said that we don't usually get that much done in one day on any one project. I think even Wilber and Wagner were surprised we got that far. We did have about 20 minutes left at the end of the day to do another mix, but everyone was gassed and we didn't have any more bags of cement close to the mixers. It's not that they weren't on site, but they're each 50 kgs and extremely awkward to lift. Usually we load three bags in a wheel barrow and wheel them up to the mixers. But it'll all be waiting for us Monday morning.
Gordon watering the wall.  It gets so hot in the sun that the concrete and wall have to be watered down each day (sometimes multiple times a day) to keep it from drying too fast and becoming brittle.

Tanya tying the rebar in the trench.  The verticle ones are threaded through the cinder blocks and sure up the wall.  The flat mesh are for the foundation for the wall.

Pouring concrete.  What do you do when you don't have a chute?  Improvise.

Two mixers going full bore again.  Clyde filling Scott's barrow.

Today was probably the least humid day since we've been down here.  Here's a good shot from the pool.  You could see the distant mountains really well today.

Tomorrow we're off to Monteverde. It's going to be a sort of break for three days for us. But it's also going to be highly educational for us. We'll be right in the rain forest at Monteverde. Costa Rica used to be almost entirely covered in rain forests. At the beginning of the 20th century the country still had 67% of its rain forests. By the latter part of the 20th century they were down to 17%. So to go into the rain forest is to get a good feel of Costa Rican history and landscape. Also, ecotourism is the biggest money maker for the country, so our trip up there also helps out the Costa Rican economy. In fact, when we go anywhere from our houses and work sites, we always take the same bus with the same driver. On the side there's the word "Tourismo". Basically it's a tourist bus. Everywhere we go people are waving at the bus, welcoming us.

I'll have more to report tomorrow. Since the work today was kind of redundant and the same thing that we've done in the past, I don't feel the need to go into any more detail.
Good news! Ron got his stitches out today. We have two nurses and a physical therapist on this trip, and they've had their work cut out for them. If you want to pray for us, pray for healing and endurance. We have Ron with his head (and later leg), Phyllis hurt her thumb and has it wrapped, one of the Susans (there's three) has a bum shoulder, one of the Jims is sick, Jill is better now but still not's been a world of hurt the past couple days. So pray for us to make it through our trip to Monteverde and then the last two work days in good shape.
More tomorrow.

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