Saturday, March 16, 2013

My good intentions of posting daily have gone by the wayside.  Ten hour days in oppressive heat and humidity have reminded me of my limitations.  Heat notwithstanding, we have nearly completed the second story of the first house and have the floor framing in place for the second house.  We've had problems with no power;  our "general contractor" has another project underway so we have to share a very insubstantial generator.  There is, of course, no electricity at the site, or even in the neighborhood so as is the norm in Haiti, one has to make do.

We get inquiries daily from people who have heard about our project and are curious to see what a wood house looks like.  I'm sure we'll end up selling some more as people realize what a great system we have to offer.  Our only drawback is the 27% import tax which is charged on each container, but all in all, we still end up being less expensive than if a person tries to build with local (often very inferior) materials.

Here's a picture of the crew relaxing on a Saturday afternoon after a long 50 hour week.  Good guys all, and very under-appreciated by many Haitians.

Friday, March 8, 2013

We made good progress Friday, with all of the lower level walls framed and sheathed, and the beams in place to start the second floor framing.  We had a tropical downpour nearly all night Wednesday, so the humidity has been overwhelming (for me at least) but the daily sauna treatment is all part of the Haiti diet plan!  Today the skies have cleared and we're supposed to have several days of lower humidity and no chance of rain.  Tomorrow we should start the second floor and I hope to have that finished by Monday evening.  Our next container load of materials is supposed to clear customs on Monday, so we'll have more materials on site.  Container #3 just arrived in port from Freeport, Bahamas where it's been languishing for the past couple of weeks waiting for a boat to Port au Prince.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's cloudy and cool in Bourdon today which is wonderful!  No rain, though, so we managed a full day.  Stripped foundation forms from house #1and reset them for house #2.  Concrete will be poured there tomorrow morning and we'll start the floor system on the first house.  It's not too exciting to look at right now, but very soon things will start to blossom.  Here's a picture of the beautiful straight, square  and level foundation which is a rare sight here!  Also some pictures of the house we just completed before Christmas for Mr. Guy Riviere.

                                                   The front terrace and entry shown below.

                                                          The custom kitchen below.

                                                         The master bedroom below.

                                                              The side view below.

 The central courtyard in the middle of the house with a SkyVue skylight overhead and very impressive             curved trim work by Voltaire and crew.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday night, March 3
Satigny Inn, 36 Thomassin, Haiti

Up here at 3500 feet it's quite cool and raining hard.  It was so cloudy / foggy all day I couldn't see the city below which is unusual.  Typically the view from here is quite impressive, and from this distance one can almost imagine a normal city without all of the problems of Port au Prince.  After spending many months here now, I can say that one sees hopeful signs in the smallest things though; a section of road repaved, a whole day without a blackout, one more building repaired and open for business.  There's a long road ahead, but there's a bit of promise.  Hopefully our little project will represent one of those steps for at least a few people.  My crew just had their first payday Saturday and that's a great thing for them.

We've poured the top layer of the foundation for the first three bedroom unit, square and level and complete with adequate rebar and steel anchor bolts to tie in the wood framing.  Tomorrow we do the same thing for the second unit, a two bedroom building on the exact site where the previous home collapsed.