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I've been back from Puerto Peñasco for about a week now. I know I said I would write about some of my experiences while there, but that didn't work out. In truth, I did try at one point, but the computer I was using froze when I was trying to post. I'd like to say I haven't written since returning because I was still trying to process the experience, but I'm afraid laziness and a short attention span would be more accurate.
So, for the next few days I am going to commit (by commit I mean try real hard) to spend a portion of my day writing about some of those experiences and what they mean to me.
Let's begin with Material Delivery. One may wonder what amount of building materials is required for the construction of 64 Amor houses. The answer is seven semi trucks full of said materials. Be more specific you say? Well...that breaks down into roughly 1,860 sack of cement (at 100lbs/sack), 6,100 8ft 2x4s, 2,426 12ft 2x4s, 576 sheets of plywood, 1,145 pounds of bailing wire, 3,900 pounds of nails, 116 rolls of chicken wire, 250 rolls of tar paper, 256 rolls of roofing paper, plus doors and windows, doorknobs and hinge sets, tar and brushes, fiber and mud sill anchors (which I don't want to count). One might then wonder how all of those materials are delivered. Answer - by hand to each house individually. And how many people do the work? Between fifteen and twenty. This includes the Amor staff and local workers we hire to help us out. So how long does this process take, you ask? Weeks? Oh no. Somehow it gets done in two and a half days.
In all honesty, material delivery is one of my favorite parts of the trip. Almost anyone on the field team would say the same. Its fast, hard, dirty, a little chaotic, and somehow a lot of fun. At the end of the day, every muscle in our bodies is reminding us of what was accomplished that day. Strangely, there is something rewarding in that (or maybe we're just a bit masochistic). But the real joy in those early days of the trip isn't in the good day's work. It's the first time we get a chance to really meet the families for whom the groups will be building. They see us delivering across the community and run to us to remind us they're on the list...to point out the project number painted on the side of their existing house (I use the term "house" very loosely here)...to make sure we don't forget them. It's the first time the families can be sure we really are going to arrive and know a new home is not just an empty promise. It's when we first see hope begin to spark in their eyes. I'll write more on this later...
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Hey Jon...the girls are at a soccer game in FT.Myers and I am home alone with the computer. That's dangerous. I can't believe I found this spot.
Nice work on the above piece. Sounds hard. Sounds rewarding. Nothing like hope to get a guy going again.
Your friend in Naples,