This morning at 1 am we completed pouring the first floor of MoHI School; MoHI’s largest concrete pour to date, perhaps the largest ever in Grand Goave. We started pouring at 10 am on Friday and thirty-nine hours later had placed 160 cubic yards of concrete using two portable mixers, fifteen wheelbarrows, dozens of buckets and almost two hundred workers in revolving shifts. The energy on site rose and fell as initial excitement succumbed to fatigue and hunger and was revived by massive plates of rice and beans and adrenaline. In the evening the lights dangling from wires lent a carnival atmosphere, we grew lethargic in the early morning hours, got revived with the sun and by the second afternoon we were a well-oiled concrete machine. The bucket brigade chanted along their line, the wheelbarrow guys competed to push the largest loads, the site was a blur of frenetic movement. By the second night the camaraderie on site was contagious, everyone smiled and high-fived and held hands as we worked our way to the finish.
Our record will be short lived. Be Like Brit orphanage plans to pour three times as much concrete in a single pour on Tuesday night using ready mix concrete shipped from Port au Prince. Coordinating so much concrete over a long distance with the uncertainties of Haiti has been a challenge, but we are bringing a new level of technology to Grand Goave. Perhaps the days of bucket brigades are coming to an end. I hope the sprit they engender can live on.
A few images of our effort:
Lex and Fanes hold a meeting with the workers in the temporary meeting space before we begin.
Pastor Beauvais prays for our effort.
The mixing crew on the second afternoon – hour 31
Concrete placement at hour 31
Installing the last row of vertical rebar to support the walls of the next floor – hour 38
The concrete cures under tarps and steady watering on a quiet Sunday morning