Saturday, February 18, 2017

Construction projects

This time of year seems to be a big opportunity for construction projects. Delfin is building an addition to the family tienda; German (pronounced “Herman”)  is breaking ground for a new house for his new family with our goddaughter, Natalia; the parents Erica, of one of our favorite little girls, are building a huge new structure in anticipation of their Matrimonio in May. In addition, two community work projects are beginning this week. One is a new boat dock on the south end of the Island; the other is an improved trail along the SW ridge that faces Puno.

Taquile is made up of 6 sectors, or suyos. Three of the sectors will alternate, two days at a time, working on the dock—which may take a couple of weeks. The three others will simultaneously work on the trail. Usually Sam and I get in on these public projects, such as when we helped build a dock in 2010, or dug the trench for the water pipe for the solar water pumping project in 2013. However, this year we are hosting two friends from Colorado during these projects, and will be busy putting them to work installing solar energy on a couple of houses. More about that in a future blog.

The dock project was in its second day. Above you see the men mostly out in the water and the women carrying medium sized rocks. It was sunny and hot; hard work. The workers will be paid, but they MUST show up on time and every day their suyo is required to be there.
A week later, we see progress

chipping along a sedementary line will break the rock

All hands with pry-bars to lift a giant rock.
Below Sam, Delfin, and German are excavating rock where will eventually be the floor of the new house.  The rock is sedimentary and can be broken along the lines of the geological layers.

These following pictures are from the construction of Erica´s parent´s house. Sam had a height advantage, passing up the buckets of cement mix to be poured into the forms around the top of the first floor. This will hold up the wooden beams that will form the floor for the second floor.
Mix by turning the pile three times (no dust masks, yikes!)
Then add water to the center and use the wet mix

Sam had a height advantage

 I helped the women carry the micro-mini rock/sand to mix with the cement from a quarry near the ruins.
the quarry

The chainsaw masters were cutting eucalyptus trees for the second story floor boards. They needed to turn and lift a big log so we women stopped our carrying to help pull. It took a couple more men from the cement project to get it to move.

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