After the storm cleared up, we went back to the site to assemble the piping between the septic tank and leach barrel. I told Jess and Pat it would take about 35 minutes to complete….nearly 4 hours later, we finally made it home. The mud was so sticky, thick and difficult to walk in that we spent more time just trying to pry our feet out then actually working. We ended up using our hands for the most part to fill in the trenching and leach pit because the muck would just stick to the shovels and we couldn’t move it. We have all that much more respect for the men in the community who dug the pits. They are so strong…or we are so weak? 😉 We got a nice surprise while we were finishing up at the pit – the men came back with lumber! Francisco’s family really came though and brought us lumber for the posts and flooring! We were so encouraged by the work they put into gathering the lumber – they had to travel to find the trees, cut them down, cut the sizes we needed, haul it their boat and then haul it over to us. Their work showed us that they are really embracing this latrine and want it for their families. We still don’t have any support from Ernasto’s family, but that is OK. The latrine is situated closer to Francisco’s family and we will let the two main families* sort out the details of who gets to use it later. (*there is a long-time feud between there two main families – Francisco’s family is forced to live in the mangroves while Ernesto’s family lives on the high ground. These are large families so about 20 people live on the high ground and about 35 live in the mangroves). The latrine is also situated facing the site of a school that is being built. It isn’t right next to the school, but it is close enough for the kids to use.
Bobby Wood and his crew – Simon, Francisco Jr. and Dionecio – were the primary builders while Jess, Pat and I helped when and where we could.
Below are some pictures from the past two days. Most of them show us stuck in the mud…which represents how we spent a lot of time 😉