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Fort Myers, FL – Weekly Report – April 1-5, 2019

April 11, 2019

With the turn of the month to April, this was the first week of an almost all (with the exception of Henry Schellenberg and Marco Tissen) new Long Term Volunteer staff.  Don Mintmier (new Project Director) and Anne Guenther (new office manager) had arrived on March 27 already and spent two days overlapping with their counterparts.  The Andersons, Duane (crew leader) and Jean (head cook), arrived on Saturday afternoon and settled in with their RV.  Barbara Dyck (assistant cook), Jesse Yoder, Cole Unger and David King arrived late Saturday night.   Sunday was a time to get acquainted, and the cooks got right to work food shopping for the week.

Our weekly volunteers were from the East Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.  One couple, on assignment to serve in Puerto Rico next month, arrived Sunday afternoon, but the rest of the group was delayed by car trouble, so they did not arrive until about 9:30pm.  Needless to say there was no orientation meeting that night.  As a result Monday morning held a few surprises for them.  The group included seven young people under 18, which made finding meaningful work for them rather challenging for the crew leaders, as some of our sites were roofing jobs. Everyone worked together to make the best of the situation, and Don did a great job of “bit by bit” situational orientation in the early part of the week.

Work proceeded on the following houses:

L. Rivera house (new build). Painting was completed, including all the trim. Closet hardware was installed and doors were hung.

L Martinez house (new build). We worked on painting walls, ceilings, doors and trim.  The trim was cut ready to be installed.

E. Wilson house. Ms Wilson is getting a new roof on her house so the rain will no longer come through.  The old roof was removed and hauled to the landfill. New tar paper was applied, and the roof is ready for the shingles.

T. Moody house. This house also needed a new roof. The old roof was removed, rotted boards were replaced and new plywood put on where necessary. Then tar paper was put down. The roof was closed before the rain came.  

P. Perez house. Here the roof was removed, damaged or rotted wood was replaced and new fascia put on. Then tar paper was put down so when the shingles arrive, the roof is ready for them.

It was a week of adjustments and hard work. If plan A didn’t work, crew leaders were flexible and went with plan B.  The weekly volunteers left mid afternoon on Friday in order to catch a little “beach time” on their way home.  Henry Schellenberg left Saturday morning, completing his long term assignment here, and the other long termers looked forward to a little R & R before the next volunteers arrived.

On behalf of all of us:  Don Mintmier, Henry Schellenberg, David King, Marco Tissen, Jesse Yoder, Cole Unger, Duane Anderson, Jean Anderson, Barbara Dyck and Anne Guenther