My phone and all of its photos were stolen so the photos in this post are courtesy of the wonderful and talented David de la Cruz.

The last few weeks have been 100% focused on construction on-site. We generally work on Sundays, but the last week we were on site almost every day. Our teams worked on separate projects, but it was all-hands-on-deck, with each team producing physical products on site, as well as graphic manuals for the community to keep, and organizing workshops for our final day on site.

I was on the ‘road team’ with Monireach and David. We were on site many times with a water level trying to encourage the community to measure the grade of the road, and consider grading the ground and/or road to promote proper drainage. After numerous conversations and demonstrations, it was very clear that the community was just not interested in taking the extra time to grade the road. They finally assuaged Ben’s fears of a road full of puddles by assuring us that they would ‘punch’ a new drain into areas that became prone to flooding.

The photos below document the construction of the paved portion of our community space, which was a very long, very tiring day, but it was very inspiring to see how many community members came by to help us and help each other.

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Excavating and leveling for the community space
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Breaking up the clay
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Mixing, pouring, and leveling concrete by hand

The community members were much better at concrete mixing — once they left us to our own devices, we created a gigantic watery mess that Ben had to help us fix.

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Vitou builds the bamboo scaffold as Monireach adds water to the concrete mix
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Monireach: Craftsman leveler extraordinaire
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Pagna drills holes for fittings for the new electrical poles

It was inspiring to see so many of the community members of such a wide age range work together, even little kids and teenagers were curious about our work and wanted to help in any way they could. At one point I had to glue eight magnets to a white-erase board, and I had eight little hands to hold the magnets in place as the resin dried. I could not help wondering if this type of project was presented to a neighborhood in the US — would there be as much energy, cooperation, and collaboration available to accomplish a community/district-wide goal.

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