We started our day as usual at 6:15 with breakfast and had decided the night before to get an earlier start. We started getting into the vehicles about 7:15 and many went to the school to mix concrete for the pedestrian bridge footings and about 20 people went to San Carlos to help with new concrete floors. I elected to go to the village. We went to a young couple’s home and they wanted help with their front porch. We mixed up a double batch of concrete and they put in the edges of the porch. They formed the concrete lines under a string that was leveled and then measured under the string. These lines of concrete are then used as levelers for the rest of the concrete. We shoveled our concrete into buckets and took them to the porch and poured them out. It was a little slow this morning because our finisher was extra slow. We finished a little after 11:00, so I walked with our photographer, Byron Small, to another house that I had seen was being worked on. Tamara and Patrick Mannelly were helping at this house and we watched them finish their work. Byron shoveled a little bit of concrete into buckets to finish up for the morning. We walked back to the bus and were driven back to the ranch for lunch. Meanwhile, we found out that the people who were working on the bridge footings decided to work a shift through lunch. We picked up part of the crew on the way back and they were to eat quickly and then head back to the school to relieve the workers who decided to stay. That meant that we had to get back to our work as well. A few of us elected to go back to the village again to work on another house. For this house, we were to pour a front porch and a bedroom. We needed additional dirt for the bedroom, so we were directed to the back field. We had to walk through their backyard, which was nearly like a junkyard and then try to find our way through the fence to the back field. We finally saw a couple who waved to us. It smelled like sewage back there and we realized that we were digging right next to a pig pen. We dug some dirt out of this pit and shoveled it into buckets, as well as a contraption that they had made with the frame of a wheelbarrow and a milk crate strapped to the frame, and carried it to the bedroom. Fortunately, the dirt was pretty chunky, so most of it stayed in the milk crate. We then began mixing up a volcano to supply cement for the bedroom floor. As the afternoon wore on, several more people came by to help, so I decided to let them finish the cement. I took pictures of the children and showed them videos of some other children that I had taken earlier that day. They really enjoyed the videos and once again, I had children all over me. We left about 4:00 and picked up shovels and other equipment from the earlier jobs and we talked Marta, our fearless leader employed by HOI, to take us by the middle school to look at the pedestrian bridge footings. We found out later that they had poured 50,000 pounds of cement into the one footing that day. All the workers were gone, but we took a look at that, as well as the bleachers they were installing on the field. Marta and I walked up to the top of the bleachers and sat there admiring the work at the middle school that we had accomplished. I was happy to see the flags that I had brought with me were flying on the flagpoles. I had seen the elementary school yesterday flying the 2 flags that I had brought them. Later on that evening, I asked how the work went for the 50,000 pounds of concrete. HOI had employed 9 Hondurans and we had a big crew of Americans, so there were plenty of workers. The Hondurans mixed cement 4 volcanoes at a time and the Americans shoveled sand into wheelbarrows that were carried to the volcanoes and also, carried the cement in wheelbarrows to the footing. This assembly line worked well enough to hand-mix and deliver 50,000 pounds of concrete. I still can’t believe that. The engineers used a cement vibrator to any air out and I was told that the consistency of the concrete was much drier than what we had been mixing earlier. We finished the night with a delicious dinner and an accounting off what we had accomplished that day. We had the two crews on concrete detail, the clinic seeing patients, the veterinary crew seeing patients, a crew working in the library with the new books that were bought, a crew working on quilts made out of patches made by the children in the two schools and a paint crew. These patchwork quilt would be present to the President and first lady of Honduras tomorrow, along with one for Vince and Barbara Dooley for their 55th wedding anniversary tomorrow, one for Bob and Susan Hope and I can’t remember what the other one will be used for. It was amazing to hear about all the different projects that we were working on.

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About lynntclarke

I am an attorney by trade, but love to travel. I am in my "golden" years and decided to blog about some of my trips, mainly to keep a diary of my experiences, so that I can do picture books for my travels and remember what I did each day. When you travel, you tend to forget the day before as you are having such wonderful new experiences. The blog will be there forever, I suppose, but memories fade fast. I hope you learn something worthwhile as you read. If not, then that is okay, too. Enjoy your own travels!!!

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