We've all settled in quickly to the compound here today. After a long but fairly uneventful trip here yesterday we were all pretty beat, but hit the ground running this morning. After morning devotions (a chance to meet the kids and staff for the new folks, and to reconnect for the "experienced" ones), we quickly set to work scoping out the new addition.
The floor plans were reviewed, revised, and finalized, then the outline of the walls laid out. It was amazing how quickly things came together - tree branches that were in the way were cleared almost before we started, stacks of blocks lugged upstairs to the work area, mortar mixed, and people beginning to lay blocks by late morning. By supper time, some of the walls were nearing the half-way point, and most of the rest had at least a couple of layers laid. Everyone's really thrilled with how much progress we made on the first day!
We also had a chance to visit the school compound and see the finished extension many of us helped to add last January - it's a lot neater and cleaned up from the last time we saw it (the day we finished pouring the roof). A new tire swing was set up for the kids and was an immediate hit. We also started setting up the new computer equipment we brought down, organizing all the donations to distribute, and spending time with the kids. (A new 3 year old boy has just joined the orphanage as of supper time tonight, as well!)
Here are a few comments from the team:
Brian Bowers reports that his arms are now at least 10 inches longer after lugging so many blocks...
Peter said it was great to work side by side with the hard-working Haitians. He's thrilled that he made up his mind to come, and says "Hi" to Janice and the kids.
Ben said that sleeping last night was "intense" (in tents... groan... )
Colton plans to go home and put his uncle out of business.
Tim thought it was great to see how quickly Heidi and our kids fit into the orphanage crew. Kate worked hard sorting out donations and working with the kids. Erin and Aidan played a bit, and shared a bunch of crafts with the other kids, but then started in as part of the construction crew! Aidan is now devising a pulley system for lifting blocks and mortar. Erin is applying for the foreman position. :)
Erin says her favorite part is doing crafts with the kids.