Thursday, June 19, 2008
by Ron & Richard

Today was Thursday wasn´t it? The days have been a blur for us here in Trujillo. We had two groups today doing very different things. Christine, Ron, Kathy, Jacob, Jennifer and Stephanie along with the the Project Hope Team went to a special needs school run by the Catholic Church. Eight of the children from the barrios where Hope4Kids works attend this school. It was very well run and we were impressed by the care and compassion shown by the teachers and staff and by the joy and enthusiasm of the students. Some of us bought some of the beautiful crochetted items that the older kids made.

In the afternoon this group went to a new barrio where Project New Hope is beginning a new community development. Despite the very poor conditions the children were enthusiastic and lively as we did crafts and played games and sang songs. Dodge ball was a big hit out there in the huge sandy lot. Though we looked at the place and thought how bleak and hopeless things appeared, we found that the people were excited by the chance to own a bit of land and looked forward to the future with hope. Ron Baesler

We on the construction crew had a good day but if we never see a brick again it will not be too soon. From the street to backyard we moved many a brick. The homeowner did not want them stored on or near street any longer so in addition to building a brick and mud wall, we moved bricks. We violated my union rule of only carrying 3 at a time by some carrying 4 and some using a wheel barrow with 15. We moved at least 600 bricks. The bricks are made of local mud and not fired. If it were to rain here, half the city would slide down the hills. If the brick walls are to be a retainer, they use a fired brick of red clay with cement morter but for residential walls the bricks are mud with no firing and morter is a mixture of clay and sand. We did not complete the two walls for addition to the house but did get them about four feet high. The next crew can finish and hopefully soon so homeowner will have some privacy. For those who have not seen pictures, the mud is mixed on the ground with water added to sand and local dirt. It makes a terrible looking mud almost like cow droppings but does dry hard and keeps bricks in place. The dry conditions here make it a good construction material. The mortar-mud is placed by bucket and moved into cracks etc by hand. It does wash off easily. Hard work but making a house any place is hard and not much different here and as usual, using local available materials and construction methods. Check pictures on web site to get good look. Richard Wall

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