Friday, March 13, 2020

Friday Follow-Up

In my Tuesday post, I was pretty enthusiastic about the progress that has been made in the Tijuana area.  I don't want to give anyone the impression that the job is over.  The city is still much in a state of transition from third-world conditions to a more contemporary economy and associated lifestyles.

There was a big traffic jam on the main highway today between our work site and the Posada where we sleep, so we took several back roads to get there.  We drove on miles of roads that haven't been paved yet, which was like skiing on moguls.  It's amazing that smaller cars don't get quickly destroyed by the roads.  It rained every day this week, so the potholes were full of water, and you couldn't tell how deep they were.  Luckily, our rental van had pretty decent shock absorbers.

We also passed miles of houses that resembled those we saw years ago.  Some are made of sheets of corrugated metal, some made from garage door panels set on end, house doors nailed to fence posts, any kind of debris that could be stuck together to make shelter.  We also passed a few neighborhoods with ten or more four story buildings that resembled apartments or condos with balconies.  There are still hillsides being flattened and prepared for new factories, miles from place currently occupied.

People are still moving north.  People still need a place to live while they look for work, and a place to fix up once they can afford it.  An example is our client this year, Marcos, who has a job, is living in a camper, and building an Esperanza home beside the camper.  It's unlikely that he'll be able to return to his wife and kids in the U.S. so he has to make a place decent enough for them to come visit him on the weekends.  Esperanza continues to find such people, and needs caring citizens in the U.S to help them in their effort.

John Muskopf

Friday

We got to work today!!

We went back to Marcus's house to pour his floor.  The 8 of us, 5 Esperanza staff members, 3 family members and about 6-7 others from the neighborhood were able to pour the floor - approximately 25 bags of cement!!

There was an accident on our normal route so Eduardo and Roberto took us on a round-about way to Marcus's house - the roads were solid - but very bumpy.

Marcus cooked us hamburgers and steak at lunch.  Food this week has been outstanding!!!

We are back at the Posada and will probably just snack at the ice cream stand tonight.   



Link to Friday pictures


Phil

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Rain Day

Today we got rained out.  We drove out to the house we are building in Gabriel Rodriguez to be greeted by a downpour.  We waited in the van for a bit and Eduardo finally made the call and we came back to the Posada.

Tonight we are taking the Esperanza staff and families out to dinner at Churrascaria Do Brasil - near the cultural center downtown.  We had a total of 30 or so staff, families and our group.  We had a nice time!  Food was great. 

Click to see Emily and Hannah's pictures

Click to see our Esperanza staff dinner and other pics


Phil

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wednesday

Today we went to Gabriel Rodriguez, a colonial east of the city to dig a foundation.  The family we are helping to build a home are a husband and wife and a daughter and son.  There were a lot of community folks helping us to do the digging.  We got quite a bit done and are working well as a group. 

After working we went to the Sisters of Charity and helped to serve around 130 homeless men dinner.  Part of our group helped to unload a van of food donations.  The other part of our group played a memory game with some Grandfather type men. 

We cooked dinner in tonight - we had spaghetti, salad,  bread and ice cream bars.

Tomorrow we are headed back to Gabriel Rodriguez, to the same place we were today.

Click to see Wednesday pictures

Phil