Utuado, PR – Weekly Report – Nov 4-8, 2019

November 12, 2019

The start up of work in Utuado began again in November.

John and Linda Sawatzky arrived on October 29th in Utuado to meet with UMCOR/ReHace rep Edgar Quinones to learn of the projects we will be working on.  We were taken to the house of Magdahlia and Montero where the roof was completely torn off and the house looked to be in shambles from hurricane Maria.  The ReHace team was already working on new beams.

Our first volunteers arrived on the 2nd, Conrad from Virginia and Wendy from Lancaster, PA. Conrad helped with the roof on Monday morning and the rest of the week they both worked together with John in re-wiring the house.  Conduit was installed and wire run.  The team did a great job and by the end of the week all the wires had been pulled and splicing had been started.

To get to this house the driveway is so steep that it is best for the MDS truck to back up in low 4×4 mostly because there isn’t enough room at the top for the truck to turn around.

Just getting used to Utuado or Puerto Rico’s climate, the heat and humidity takes a toll and the air conditioner only worked for a short period of time.  The island is beautiful, lush and green. The island sounds of the cocqui frog singing at night (CO KEE), dogs barking and roosters crowing in the early morning. 

We have been up to the Mennonite church where Pastor Debra and her family live and serve.  Debra has cooked for us this past week and her portions are generous for 4 people!  Thursday and Friday we ate the leftovers. 

Conrad and Wendy were great sports and obliged us to play our favorite games every evening!  Yes, you can contact us for the rules (some we make up!!).

Sad news was the freezer died and I/we was unaware of that happening but on Friday I noticed an odor coming from the area, when I opened it, well the smell was not pleasant nor the sight inside.  I was able to get it out the door, tip it on its side and the water hose was able to reach. 

MDS Utuado

John & Linda Sawatzky, Conrad Heatwole, Wendy Hess