blog post by – Tom Andrew
David and Tom inflate balls
Monday morning we pumped up the soccer balls at Thomas’s house. Thomas is a Canadian who has lived here for 14 years and is very generous with the community. He has a great woodworking shop and let us use his air compressor. We then headed up to the two elementary schools to donate the soccer balls and skipping ropes. The balls were given to me by a Duncan soccer club.
The schools are packed with so many children they must have a morning shift til noon for half the students and an afternoon shift til 5 o’clock. One school alone has 1,471 students!
They were very appreciative of our sports donation. The children are very active as you see by the blurry figures so the equipment will be well used.
Like active kids anywhere.
blog post by- Tom Andrews
The team of Julian, Jorge and myself moved to the new job site Friday afternoon. Jose and Maria and their three children live in a two level home but the second level was wrapped in plastic on two sides. We adjusted some of the framing and installed wooden siding.
Plastic wrapped upper level must have been difficult during rainy season.
New boards on second level.
Julian & Jorge leaving job site. Battery operated power tools ,many donated by our Ken Stanton, are invaluable to projects like these.
Maria was very contente when the work was terminada.
It’s time to sit back and enjoy a glass of vino tinto.
blog posted by–Tom Andrews
Work crew, Julian, Jorge and Tom
Julian, Jorge, Roberto and I finished Roberto and Rosa’s home addition on Friday by installing the roof and door. The four month old twins, Lucas and Alex will have a lot more space to grow up in.
Needed extra screws and then the four chargeable batteries for the electric drills and saw died so it was up and down the steep and narrow stone steps four times. Up 120 stories and back down make mucho cervesas neccisita.
View from the new house.
Blog post by– Tom Andrews
Just the corrugated metal roof to go.
Today four of us ( Julian the contractor, Roberto the young home owner, David a Rotarian and I finished the framing and installing the siding on the new home addition. It measures roughly 100 square feet and will be a bedroom and living room area for the parents and their four month old twin boys. Tomorrow we hope to finish the roof, door and window. What a team. A house addition in three days. Then on to the next home improvement project.
Another great view from up high.
Lots of excitement in the neighbourhood.
Tom in the new house.
It’s always fun to catch a glimpse of the neighbours sneaking a peek as we go about our work…they are shy but curious (like most neighbours) about what is going on next door.
The view on the way down topped off the day.
Noticed 3 young boys playing with corn sacks on the end of a stick as if they were jousting knights. Very creative and happy with what they have. We should all be so grateful.
Boys creating their own happiness.
Spent the day with Julian and Jorge and home owner building the foundation for an addition to a small casa. My first day at this altitude of over 5000 feet plus climbed another 30 stories to the work site so a wee bit short of breath. Or was it the breathtaking view?
Typical house construction on the steep hill-side in San Antonio
Most of the poorer people live high on the hillside.
A special spot for visiting Rotarians.
Have arrived in San Antonio Palopo. Luciano met me at the airport around 7 am and we got here at 11. Had to stop at the dispensia in Panajahel for the usual litre of vino tinto for $6. I splurged and bought 2 after withdrawing from the Atm which still works.
Jacqueline and David met me along with Manuela and Jose.
I have a penthouse suite this year # 15!
Walked downtown and had lunch at Catalinas. My favourite, fried pollo .
Saw Julian, Sandra and Francisca at the new store, then walked up to the new school which is full of laughing screaming happy kids. And still standing!
Good to be back and looking forward to some great work and commeraderie.
View from the restaurant.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
This year Tom Andrews will represent us in San Antonio to help Jacqueline and David with their projects. Tom will look after distribution of money collected by Joan for solar lamps. He will also use money donated by our club from international funds plus other personal donations from members. You may like to follow atitlanaction.wordpress.com to see this years activities.
The 2015 Guatemala team will giving their report to the club with a power point presentation and slide show on Wednesday, March 25. Everyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to join us for supper at 6:30 p.m. you will have to book a space. Otherwise you can come at 7:30 p.m. for the presentation only.
Retired school bus lives on in Guatemala.
The main method of transportation in Guatemala and other Latin American countries is by chicken bus. I am not sure if the name comes from the fact that chickens may be seen on the roof racks or because the people are stuffed inside like chickens in a crate. Chicken buses are actually modified retired school buses from the United Sates. People have made a career of going to the US auctions to buy the buses and drive them through mexico to be modified and painted. The job is extremely dangerous because of gangsters along the route or corrupt police demanding money. Transport drivers have been murdered and buses burned. Apparently even once at their home location the driver’s job is difficult with extortion or protection fees to be made to various unscrupulous groups.
When bought the buses are usually between 8 and 10 years old with lots of service life left. They are first stripped and modified with roof racks and heavy bumpers then painted bright colors and lots of chrome added.
Lots of chrome. Gone is the yellow.
Generally the buses travel at high-speed with drivers either wanting to beat other buses to the next pick up location or to be able to make more trips in one day. We witnessed buses making turns on the highway at speeds that looked very unsafe.
This bus passes our van then leans into the corner at high speed. Notice the name on the back. Most buses had a ladies name like a ship.
All buses have a driver and a helper called the ayudante. The ayudante’s job is to help people on, get the luggage on quickly, collect the money and to shout out the destination of the bus when it is stopped. The ayudante could usually be seen standing in the open doorway of the bus even as it was speeding along the highway. In Antigua the yelling of the ayudante was a common sound.
The ayudante or helper stands in door of crowded chicken bus.
Buses might leave their small village at 4 or 5 a.m. to get to markets in Antigua or Guatemala City. Hundreds park waiting for day end return.
Hey! Wait a minute…Is that Carefree Ken?
Close up shows fine detail.
Makes our buses seem pretty boring.