January 30, 2013

You cannot change the world, but you can change the world for a few!

Merit Award 2012

fence being erected small

The 15 team members that remain fly back to Managua on Thursday before continuing the work in the mountains of Matagalpa and then in Managua itself and finally fly back to England next Tuesday (5th). India had commented to me how the time seems to have gone so quickly on this project – “You’re right, time flies when you’re enjoying yourself!”

As the penultimate day of the project it meant the team had a long hard day. As a force of habit, the team went to the builder’s merchants for opening time. They collected wire fencing, guttering and all sorts of finishing ‘bits and bobs’.

We knew then that the day ahead would be varied and full of activity.

On arrival at site the heavy overnight rain had made conditions particularly treacherous, the team were greeted by a little elderly man who seemed keen to help. They unloaded the truck and the man quickly offered to carry the huge roll (6 by 100) of wire fencing. It would have taken two of the team, with rests along the way, to get it down the track onto site but the old man put it on his back and took it all the way!

After medical advice, John Booth’s infected foot stopped him from being on site again so it was up to JR and the students from the Vocational Centre to put their skills into practise – John Booth had discussed the detailed plan of what was required. The plumbing included the use of 4 different sized plastic pipes, elbows, tees, isolators, pipe clips, reducers and taps to put together the water supply system and waste system, not to mention the rain water collection system.

While the plumbing team worked on this, other team members set out for the fence, struck the remainder of the shuttering, filled the base for the tanks and the very exciting part, put the zinc on the roof.

By lunch time things were really taking shape. A team of locals were left with some food and drink and during the lunch time they dug all of the fence post holes, 11 in total!

Every time we leave base or come back to base there are hoards of desperate people needing help with some thing or another.

They all know me as ‘Mr Richard’. I find it emotionally draining as I wants to help everybody but the cake is only so big.

You cannot change the world, but you can change the world for a few!

After bowls of soup and sandwiches the team were back off to pick up more plumbing bits and some huge trunk style fence posts before heading back to site. When they carried the posts down they were able to put them straight into the already dug holes.

During the long afternoon the concrete slab on the tank base was cast, the fence constructed, the guttering put up, the tank installed and plumbed in and three of the six wash stands were in place. It seemed a long trudge up the hill to get the truck back into town in the near dark conditions.

Yadira had prepared a mountain of spaghetti bolognese which was wonderful after our long hard day.

The opening of the Loma Fresca Laundry will take place at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday 30th January 2013 when we will have a celebration with the local people!!!!!!!!

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