We were supposed to be staying at the complex in La Ceiba today, but we switched it up because yesterday rained us out of Armenia Bonito, so we got to go there all day today. We split into two groups. Most of us went over to the house that they recently finished and worked on the septic tank. It was sitting where an old shack had been, and they finished digging the tank and filling it with large river rocks along the edges a few weeks ago. The shack had been covering it still, but the storms earlier in the week collapse part of the shack, prompting them to want to get a more permanent cover on it as soon as possible. We started out by tearing down the old shack. It was just thin branches with corrugated tin sheets as walls and roofs. The wood was all rotted out, and when I hit a piece to knock apart two pieces the wood just shattered and termites flew everywhere. They said that's a big reason why most buildings here are made of block. Termites are everywhere.
After tearing down the shack, we set about digging a trench around the outside of the septic tank. It was tough because the ground was uneven, and we kept moving dirt from place to place trying to level it out. It was futile.
We eventually got the trench dug well enough. You can see the septic tank pit in the center. The man in this picture is who the house is being built for. Part of the deal the Pettengills have is that the families get a house for free, with no strings attached, but they need to help with the work as much as they are able. The father at each house was very helpful and worked very hard. This house was completely done except for the septic tank, but they have not moved in yet. When asked why, they said that they were waiting for their church to come and bless the home. It was cool to see.
We then made yet another concrete volcano and started filling in the trench. The plan is to go about three courses of block high and then cap the whole thing with concrete. He said it would last about fifteen years if they never pump it out.
We found more cool critters today. Lots of different spiders and toads. Here, Caleb is playing with a scorpion.
Here's a picture of Trevor filling in the trench with cement.
Caleb spent all morning chipping away at the edge of the house to make a place where they could lay the electrical line into the house. They covered it with cement once it was done, and here it is curing.
Jon and Daniel are definitely the two on our team with the most experience and ability on the job site. They stayed at the first house and built door and window frames, which they are going to lay block around tomorrow morning. Jon Clow is another missionary down here who does a lot with the construction work and overseeing the job sites. He appreciated having some people who knew what they were doing, but it is difficult for all of them to work with the Honduran workers because they do things very different than in the states, and are resistant to learning new ways of doing things.
The dentistry team from South Carolina spent two days in La Fey, and they switched to Armenia Bonito for today and tomorrow. They set up today, and were pulling teeth all day long.
Here are a couple of pictures of the game I mentioned yesterday. Pay attention to Trevor's hand in the first picture and the kid's hand in the second.
After lunch we got to stay and play with the kids. Richard and Phil decided that they needed some time for meditation and prayer (aka sleep).
The kids really like one-on-one attention. For the beginning of the play time we just had a bunch of balls out on the field and it was just chaos. Whenever one of them got a ball and caught the attention of a gringo, they came over and we would just pass back and forth or take shots on each other in front of the goal. If any other kids tried to come up and join in, they would usually shoo them away. They wanted us to focus on just them. The next picture is of a girl named Kimberly. I spent a while today taking turns shooting penalty kicks at each other with her, and it was a lot of fun. I took down three soccer balls to leave here....I wish I had brought many more. The surface on the soccer court is rough concrete, and it destroys balls. After 3 days of playing for about an hour a day, one ball is lost (probably stolen), on is popped (see photo below for just below popping), and the other is very, very worn, faded, and lopsided.
This boy is named Johannesis, and he's a really cool kid. I've played soccer with him every day, and he's always smiling and trying hard.
After a lot of the little kids had left, we started a game. It was Hondurans vs Gringos. It was a pretty even game, and I lost count, but they probably won in the end.
Once all of the Honduran kids had been through the dental clinic, Richard decided to take advantage of their services and had a tooth pulled. Much cheaper than back in the states.
Tomorrow is our final day of working and playing with the kids.