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Ponce, Puerto Rico, Weekly Report, June 3-9, 2018

June 19, 2018

The first volunteers arrived on June 2: Kenton Baer from Pennsylvania and Chris Knite from New York. There were also quite a few local volunteers. We put in rebar, poured the footers, and began laying block. Sand, concrete, and gravel were delivered. Loads of stone was delivered and distributed inside the foundation. For the volunteer trailer; an awning was erected; a first aid kit, fridge, and microwave were installed, and we got power! We purchased the final supplies for the trailer, finished setting up, and our first volunteers moved in.

Many local volunteers showed up to work. It’s so much fun to see them pulling together and claiming this build as their project. We had a project director meeting in Utuado and enjoyed seeing the work there. Nes Espinoza’s group came to visit our work – it was fun to get to know them a little. Jonathan and Caroline sang a duet in church, and Caroline helped Lery lead a song. As always, it’s the social gatherings that are the highlights of the week!

On Sunday evening, the children went with William and Leryann to their house for a movie night. Wednesday evening a bunch of Chiro’s family popped in to introduce us to their son who was visiting from the States (a Father’s Day surprise for Chiro). Thursday we all went to Chiro’s house for pinchos. On Friday, we took the volunteers out for ice cream and then everyone went to the Hilton with Heidi and Jose, Chiro and crew, to go swimming. Saturday, Chiro and crew took Chris to the airport, and took our four kids along. They picked up three of our incoming volunteers at noon and took everyone to the beach for the afternoon before returning to the airport for the next two volunteers and then returning to Ponce. Our plans this week are to prepare for the cement slab; plumbing and electrical.

One of the men in the community, Junior, told John that the other day when he drove by the worksite to see what was going on and saw all the people working on something together (volunteers from the states as well as local volunteers, and all the children, too) and he was deeply touched.