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A delayed 8/12 to 8/21

posted Aug 31, 2010, 5:08 AM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Aug 31, 2010, 5:54 AM ]

The remaining week I was there without Julie and the rest of the crew I spent guiding and making sure the locals we hired were working on the roof.  After a couple panicky moments and screaming matches regarding construction of minute details in the roofing monitor and on top of the cement bond beam, three paid days of hard work and two unpaid days of hard liquor, the roof's entire wood frame was together and structurally sound.  The next challenge was getting the tiles on, which turned out to be no challenge at all.  Unfortunately, I left after only a corner was done.

The remaining work will be done within the next month; we have been promised photos from Tito's sister (Livia,
who lives nearby), and will pay the price already agreed to per square meter after the work is complete and we've seen it in all its glory (in photographs).  Essentially what remains are three major things: tiling the roof, cementing the floor, and resurfacing the walls; and a million little things, like plumbing and electricity and other such forgettable details.

After talking extensively with two of the three major players in the office of the Secretary of Education, I was thoroughly reassured that I would not be needed again until January.  I will therefore return in January to finish up the million little things, forgettable details, and to make sure the building is in working condition before the modified school year begins at the start of the dry season in late April.  There is one major budget matriculation that I will miss in October, which involves calculating how much money will be needed for the bus and diesel.  The map we made and the census we've done should be sufficiently detailed for this mission.  Nothing will be done with the education levels of the students and arranging the teacher until I get back in January.  The reassurance offered involved the 'simplicity' of the process as a whole -- because our school is a sala anexa (a kind of satellite campus of a school already in existence in Pocone), we are guaranteed a teacher and materials which are at the ready in Pocone.

With this said, we have appointed Tito and Fabricio, my two closest friends there, with the task of keeping an eye on everything and making sure things continue to get done without gringos there to yell commands.  Additionally, I have obtained the elusive email address of the Pocone office of the Secretary of Education, and have arranged biweekly communications with them for status updates.

It was an amazing summer, folks...  Stressful at times, yes, but many of our near-impossible goals were accomplished.  The blog will be diminished in frequency from here on out, but we will post updates as we receive them for those who are interested.  As a final note, we appreciate greatly all who have kept up on our exploits and all who have contributed in one way or another to the project.  We thank U of M and our community for their guidance and generous support that made this project possible. Of course, as it is a continuing project and there was little time dedicated to the field station this year, we are hoping to receive more donations to fund that other important part of the project for next year.

Signing off, for now...  Until the next update.  Please keep your eye out every couple of weeks.