Saturday, August 4, 2018

Francis Meets Her Monkey Match

We arrived at the beach resort, Rancho Estero y Mar (Ranch of the Estuary and Sea), Saturday morning.  We register and leave our luggage at the front desk to get our rooms later.  In the meantime, we walk about the grounds, which are part hotel, resort, beach, and zoo.  Francis visits the monkeys. 

 The sign above gives an ominous foreshawdowing of events to come.

The culprit.  He spots Francis and her cell phone.

Francis sees something of interest in the monkey exhibit - a new little one.

Though hard to see clearly, this mother has a monkey baby on her back.
We both try to get a good photo, but Mom is always in motion.

Francis drops her phone near the fence, and in an instant, our little culprit grabs it and tries to smash it on rocks, boards, walls, and anything else he can slam it against.  He seems to want to crack it like a nut.  He fails, fortunately, and finally gives it one last fling.

After Francis informs the staff, the Monkey Wranlger arrives and chases the monkeys with water from a hose into a portion of their enclosure that has a door that isolates them from the remainder of the space.  They do not like this and object by squealing and carrying on a great deal.

The Monkey Wrangler pulls the door closed of the isolated portion of the exhibit, which will allow him to enter the enclosure and not be bothered by the monkeys. He ties it tightly in place.  Just prior to this photo, he had one monkey come and pull vigorously on the rope, but he chased that monkey away using the garden hose again.

A small crowd, including Francis, gathers to watch the action.  Everyone is pretty impressed that the staff members know exactly how to isolate the monkeys within their space.

The Monkey Wrangler enters the enclosure to recover Francis's cell phone.

The cell phone is intact, and the gentleman cleans it thoroughly and gently.

Francis gets back her cell phone, and learns that the name of the monkey thief is Paco, which is a nickname for Francisco, which sounds kind of like Francis.

The rope is released and the monkeys are freed from their room within their enclosure.

Thursday, August 2 - Off to the Market

The activity today was not construction.  After another rainy night, we are instead going to the public market in Santa Ana, buying food to prepare lunch, going to the grocery store to get more things, then heading to the women's co-op site, Getsemani.  Dinora from the co-op meets us in town and we head out for a morning of shopping with her and Francis.

Wednesday, August 1 - Construction Nearly Kills Us All

Not really.  But we did all work extremely hard Wednesday both tying rebar some more, and mixing concrete for footings.

This is the hard part.  The concrete is mixed by hand using shovels on the ground.  The formula is 3 wheelbarrows of sand, two of coarse gravel, and two 100-pound bags of Portland cement.  Mix twice.  Add 4 blue buckets of water.  Mix again, and distribute in buckets.  The bucket brigade delivered hundreds of loads of concrete to form the footings for the house.  Blocks are easier to move than buckets.  All the blocks are the same, and you expect it, and it becomes routine.  But the buckets are all filled to a different extent, and you never know what to expect. 
It never becomes routine, the handle is sharp, the bucket swings, and it can hit you.
But, we know it's worth it, so we do it with gusto.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tuesday, July 31 - Construction Continues

Today, we finished moving the large pile of fill being used for the footings of the house.  We also leveled some dirt removed to make room for the footing.  In addition, we tied rebar together to get ready for the task on Wednesday of mixing concrete and pouring it over the rebar.

The pile of fill we have to move to the work site is in the distance.
It was too wet for the delivery truck to get closer.

Miguel makes small footings that go at the corners of the house (see below).

Miguel puts out his strings to make sure everything is straight along one side of the house.

Dan Corkery and Francis Padilla from Habitat.

Pastor Tom and Dan know they are getting close to the end of hauling fill about 300 feet from one end of the work site to the other.

Tolu makes the ceremonial last dump of fill, as we finished moving it from one location to another.  The fill was not delivered to a point near the work site due to wet conditions.  When Tolu made the last wheelbarrow delivery, there was great rejoicing.

Gordon Hack (The Flash), Douglas from Habitat, and Nicky Kyle take a break under the awning.

Pastor Tom Hillertz, Tolu Perrin-Stowe, Marilyn Dudley, and Laurie Johnson, as Francis looks on.

Douglas helps Justin listen to Lisa Hack as she reads a 
National Geographic publication on sharks - in Spanish.

Pastor Tom takes a lesson in the Douglas School of Worksite Survival.
All well and good except it gets your backside rather dirty.  But, it's worth it.

Lisa and Jennifer Melissa take a selfie.

The arduous task of tying in the rebar begins.  Not fun, but it needs to be done.