For us this week, the return to engineering work meant a return to surveying. We spent a day surveying Canal Elmay which is near Pastor Chrisbon’s church in Poste Metier. There are some problems with this canal, and our job is to determine those problems and find solutions through surveying. This particular canal serves the farmland of nearly 500 Haitians. It will be a very big deal to get this functioning again. The part Bruce is mostly concerned with is about 5km long, which is about 3 miles. Last week we surveyed about 1km of Canal Elmay, and this week we’re going back to do more. The eventual goal of this project is make the canal again out of concrete-right now it’s just dirt.
On Saturday, we all got a lesson on welding from Bruce. Some of us have been bugging him to teach us welding the whole time we’ve been here. He finally gave in and let us get some welding experience. We played around with some scrap metal for a little while, and then we were given a job that requires us to us our new skills. Bruce wants us to make a metal gate out of rebar. So we spent most of the morning Saturday straightening the rebar to weld together to make the gate. We’ll weld it all together if we get any time this week after the surveying gets done.
Also this week, we finally got to use our awesome, stylish motorcycle helmets. There is a lot of stuff going on around the shop right now, so we opted to take moto-taxis to get around rather than having Bruce chauffer us. It’s a very interesting experience sharing a big dirt bike with a driver and another passenger for a total of 3 riders. Motorcycles have turned out to be the fastest way of getting around though. And it only costs $2.50 per ride! (100 gourds) Ok, so it’s not the cheapest way to travel, but it’s fast and we don’t have many other options.
At church today we performed two songs for the congregation with Josh playing guitar. The first was “Grace Like Rain” and the Haitians liked that one. Then, before the sermon, they always do a “wake up” song to make sure everyone is paying attention while the pastor speaks. So we got to do the “wake up” song this week. We did the children’s song “Magnify the Lord” complete with clapping, shouting and hand motions. It was a huge hit! It pretty much woke everyone up.
We have 9 days left, and we’re all ready to be home. This is our last full work week and there’s still a lot to do. We’ll do surveying, write reports, come up with designs, finish up various jobs around the shop, and we’ll be counting down the days until we get to come home and see our families and friends again. We miss you all very much and can’t wait to see you.