Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Walls up: Roof Preparation

Yesterday, we once again split into two groups and both groups did prep work for walls and roofs.  The day was cooler than Monday which was a blessing.  I'm not sure how hot it was yesterday, but in my memory, it was one of the hottest days we ever worked here.  We appreciated cloud cover yesterday.  As beautiful as it all is with bright blue skies, bright blue skies say HOT.

Part of the group did more excavating and getting the foundation for the house set.  That will mean cement today.  The group will be larger there because of all the demands of mixing cement, carrying it and finally pouring it.  The extra help will be welcomed.

The other group prepared a roof. When we arrived four walls were up.  We moved lumber in and put down plywood and underpinning, which will hold the cement roof until it cures.  Today that group will make beams and 're-bar' supports.  We will pour that roof on Friday.  That can demand up to 120 tons of cement moved one-half bucket at a time.  The prep work is crucial so that it goes smoothly.

After the day's work, we headed to the 'border' where the now famous wall has been in place for years.Actually, it's two or three walls depending on where you stand.  It is about 15 feet high, and the second wall a mostly strong chain link fence perhaps another 100 feet in.    The people have painted the wall on the Mexican side with messages about how it feels to be behind such a wall.   The Mexican side of the wall hosts a large beach village.  Much like any beach town, there is much activity.  Kids swimming, families walking the board walk, eateries, and places for kids to play games.  The US side there is 'nothing.'   The beach is empty, there are just dirt roads, some grass and the border patrol going up and down.   It is sad.

We returned to the vans, and for a while it's quiet as our workers let the experience sink in.  Some people slept on the way back, but slowly the energy returns and we had a pizza party.  People relaxed and then headed to bed.   The crowd is gathering now for breakfast and soon we'll head out for day three.

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