Haven Haiti Day 2 Diary
Our CEO and chief Declan Murphy left Ireland last Friday 23rd Nov as part of the Volunteer In Haiti, Build it Week NOVEMBER 2012. Declan departs along with other volunteers to complete a week of House Building in Léogâne, one of the areas hit worst by the 2010 earthquake.
Haven Haiti Volunteer Mission Day 2 Diary Entry
The alarm goes off at 5.45 and its already 30 degrees and approaching 100% humidity. Breakfast is scrambled eggs and bacon.
As a house leader I am one of 50 other house leaders who manage a team of 10 people and we are tasked with building 2 houses per team from start to finish.
The house leaders are taken by bus to the site which is about 5 miles from the camp site. On arrival we are given a detailed briefing on the construction of each house.
The Habitat for Humanity charity who we are partnering with have organized everything very methodically and every nail and screw is counted. Little is wasted.
After an hour we are joined by the other volunteers on our team and they are a diverse bunch. On my team I have a retired fireman from New York, a farmer from Illinois, a musician from Minnesota and a lawyer from Toronto. The Habitat tradition is that they start with a prayer and we all participate.
They all have one thing in common though in that they are all eager to work. This is often the hardest thing at the start of a project, people are understandably impatient as it takes a while to get things going but I go through a safety briefing and allocate tasks and we are soon building.
The houses are 400 sq ft with a front and back door and are divided internally into two rooms.
They are built from plywood on a stud wall with a sheet metal roof. There is no electricity or running water. This is obtained from a nearby well which is equipped with a hand pump.
By the time lunch time arrives it has reached 34 deg. During the morning we stop and make sure that everyone gets plenty water on board and paces themselves. You can collapse from dehydration in an instant and even though there is medical support on site hospitals and specialist treatment could be days away or not available at all.
Our security detail is well armed and we work within a compound that has a high perimeter fence. No one gets in ..or out!
By early afternoon the walls are standing and the trusses on and we are well ahead of schedule.