we did not know what the best way to spend the money would be when we began to collect it. Also, the money we spend in the villages gets matched by the red cross, and I do not believe that monies contributed to general relief in Placencia would have been doubled.
anyone who would like a refund let me know, I have a lil left in the bank i have not sent down yet i can refund from.
here's our latest report:
Four men from Barton Creek are working on this project. Progress has been
hindered by lack of aggregate. That seems to have been remedied now. They
have 12 forms (2 sets) and have been able to pour them two times a day on
sunny days, making posts for 4 houses in one day. They should finish in
about 6 days. 45 bags of cement were left there on the first trip and 100
bags should be coming today. The lumber is supposed to be sawed this
weekend by Tommy Gomez.
Again this project has been hampered by lack of aggregate. A load arrived
last evening and another is supposed to arrive this morning. There are four
sets of house posts completed, and more being poured today. A change of
volunteer help has also detained the work here. Probably the largest
hindering factor is the terrain. It's one thing to pour 6 cement posts on
level easily accessible land, it's another matter to carry cement,
aggregate, steel, forms and water over hills and try to set up on a slope
that's 20 inches off level in 12 feet. The villagers have done real good in
carrying materials, but it is taxing work and takes a lot of extra time.
Trusses and beams are ready and being transported to Crique Jute today.
Materials are on hand to make more trusses when the shop is cleared out.
Our main sawmill was broke down for a week so we ordered a semi load of
materials for 50 houses from Shipyard. It is supposed to arrive November
20. They will deliver for $1.04/ft. Freight and half the lumber will be
paid upon delivery and the balance in two weeks.
Several houses have been built in other areas where there are special needs.
One in Santa Elena, where a house burned down and the family lost all their
possessions. We were able to erect a building by the next day. One for a
old widow woman in Golden Stream and plans for a sick man in the same area
tomorrow. He has a family of 10 children sheltering under a leaking tarp.
A little more about this unfolding scenario. We had added a fifth
classification to our categorizing system. This is called "self-improved".
Red Cross asked us to provide houses for these self-improved people. In
order to move refugees out of the schools the government hauled in cahune
leaves from less affected areas. These were portioned out to 150 leaves per
family Normally leaves are tied by 8 every 4 inches using approximately 500
leaves per house. With the 150 allotment they tied 5 leaves every 10
inches. This stop-gap measure appeared good at first. However now since
the leaves have dried out, you can see the sky through the roof. Of course
the rain comes in too as our investigator found out yesterday in a cloud
burst in Aguacate. Several men this morning from Queso Creek, told me they
spent the night sitting up to try to stay dry. Now there is a dearth of
leaves in the surrounding areas too. They also need leaves for their own
villages. So this measure is now effectively removed cahune leaves as an
option for roofing. It takes about 1 year to grow back cahune leaves.
Something else we are looking at is the danger of fire. The bush in this
whole area has been leveled and is now drying. In the event of a hard dry
season there could be some serious fires. Cahune houses are very
susceptible to fire. So it appears that we have a lot of tin roofs to
Investigations are completed in San Miguel and Aguacate. Santa Cruz will be
completed today and Tambran tomorrow. We are planning to do Silver Creek
the beginning of next week. I will try to send a tabulated result of the
classification for these villages this weekend.