January 29, 2013

Thankfully, the storm in Nicaragua didn’t damage any of the hard work..

Merit Award

picking up precast wash stands small

Thankfully, the storm in Nicaragua didn’t damage any of the hard work although John Booth has been bitten on his foot and unfortunately it’s got infected. We didn’t let him work on Monday other than in an advisory capacity. The team were joined by another John (Robinson) who is a plumber from Ulster.

This was an unscheduled but welcome addition to the team.

It is expected that the laundry facility will open on Wednesday 30th January and the project will have actually taken 11 days within 10% tolerance and within the min hours. They would be well over with the children’s hours though! The team only work half a day on Saturdays and not at all on a Sunday – this is most definitely their day of rest!

Bed time varies between 7.30-10.30 and it gets dark in Nicaragua around 6pm. Supper is eaten around 6.30 and is cooked by our lovable Yadira. I’m usually one of the last to bed, sending India at BPEC updates for the blog on a regular basis and then i’m up at first light, 5am, to prepare for the day.

The team only usually do an 8 hour day because the heat is quite draining and the work is quite physical. The team get an extended lunch break while I organise materials etc. for the on-going work.

7 of the team flew back to Managua on Monday morning in preparation for flying back to England – this group included the Dentist and some of his team who have seen more than 750 patients and pulled teeth from most of them, ouch! Painting continued at the hospital, another 20 children’s uniforms were bought and a group of girls spent the afternoon making some wonderful greetings cards.

I went to the builders merchants to collect John’s order of plumbing gear – bags of bends, tees, clips, joints and pipes galore! Once this had been delivered to site 4 team members went on the back of a truck to collect the six pilas (wash stands) from where they had been made specially.

It took 3 trips to carry them back to Loma Fresca as they were exceedingly heavy! We didn’t much fancy carrying them down the long track to the laundry…

With locals, they managed to move a couple before they had a visit from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Bluefields, with a huge entourage of people from the council.

They are thrilled with what we are doing and would like to work with us on future projects. They called for a tractor to move the other four pilas down the hill for us.

The team celebrated having these guests on site with some cassava cake which was made by 78 year old Miss Margaret who lives next door to the laundry.

The shuttering was taken down and cleaned and the block work base for the 2,500 litre water tank was constructed. Roof trusses were also made and lifted into place. Most importantly, the setting out of the plumbing was done in readiness for the onslaught on Wednesday when the Vocational Centre training will come into play.

At the end of the day the kids are still full of energy and wanting to interact with the team who are happy to have fun with them. They are not used to their parents playing with them & it is lovely that they feel comfortable and safe with us.

See a full collection of images from the Loma Fresca project here