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Ponce, Puerto Rico, Weekly Report, May 27-June 2, 2018

June 8, 2018

It was mostly just us this week, except for Monday and Saturday, when local volunteers showed up. Also, two families provided meals for us: one woman delivered Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch, and another couple brought us supper and stayed to eat with us.

On Sunday afternoon, John and I (Jennifer), plus Chiro, Elizabeth Soto, and a community liaison, went to Callejon, a neighborhood close to us, to see some potential work sites. On Thursday, I went with Elizabeth to visit FEMA headquarters in Ponce. Friday, we hosted the first joint coordinator and project director meeting (and the power went out, of course).

At the jobsite: we finished building the pedestal for the electric meter, wired it up and it passed inspection. We wired the volunteer trailer, built the stairs for the trailer, and scrubbed, painted, and plumbed the outdoor bathroom. Wednesday, a digger was rented to do the footers, but the one that arrived was too old and small and had to be returned. On Saturday, a real backhoe arrived, and the footers were dug within several hours.

We bought a larger refrigerator for our house and Luis, our landowner, is allowing us to use the smaller fridge that was here in the volunteer trailer. John and the boys began building and installing shelving in the tool trailer.

The first volunteers arrived on Saturday: Kenton Baer and Chris Knite. They are staying in our home because the volunteer trailer is still not ready (no electricity).

It was wonderful to meet with all the other MDS volunteers on Friday. Daryl Yoder-Bontrager sat in on part of the meeting and then spent the night here. On Saturday, Jose and Heidi and their kids took Jonathan, Rebecca, and Nicholas to the pool. Caroline went with Lery to San Juan to pick up the volunteers.

In the coming week we plan to lay the rebar, pour the footers for the house, and then lay block the rest of the week.

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