We had hoped to build the guesthouse next at Fort Jacques, but it is going to take someone who can pour such a big foundation to come in and get it started. So we decided to start the Toddler House first.
The Toddler House is going to be 6 small pods with a larger two story school/all purpose house. There will also be a small staff house for Molly and Joyce within the Toddler area. Having smaller houses will make it more home like for the children and also make it easier to build.
The houses will all be built around a central courtyard area that will be a playground for the children. The land at Fort Jacques is not flat, so the land has to be leveled and terraced before we can even think of starting any building projects.
There is 8 feet difference in the level of the land from the front of where the Toddler pods will be built to the back of the Toddler House. That means we have to dig down eight feet at the back and remove that dirt to make it even with the front! That is a lot of dirt!
Thankfully, the next level where the playground will be also needs leveled and the dirt will be pushed down there to help level that area so the playground can go in.
And our Haitian mason and his crew is doing it all by hand with just a little help occasionally from the tractor! The Haitian boss will then start digging foundations and then we’ll pour the concrete slab for the floors. The Toddler Houses will all be made from treated wood and have steel roofs. This will allow each Toddler pod to cost around $15,000 USD each.
The School House will be two-story with a large all purpose room on the main floor that can be used for eating, parties, movie night, and on rainy days. The main floor will also include some storage rooms. The second floor will have the classrooms.
But, I am ahead of myself. These are the plans for the future. We hope to have the Toddler Houses done within 12 months, but in Haiti we have learned to be VERY flexible and it may take 24 months! For right now, we are just clearing the land and leveling it out and preparing it so that we can at least start the foundations.
We are looking for sponsors or groups who would like to build a Toddler House for $15,000 and have a plaque with your name put in the house! Hold a fundraiser and build a house with the proceeds! Get your church group to go together and raiser the funds or maybe a group of adoptive parents would donate $1000 each to build a house in honor of their children! When funds come in, we will be able to build the houses and get the children moved up to Fort Jacques.
Here are some photos of the work being done.
First, the crew had to put a retaining wall in to hold the soil so terracing could be done. They have to fill with dirt until it is level with the top of this wall. Then, they had to dig out the dirt and it is only dirt so far down. After the layer of dirt, it turns into rock!
They have really worked hard to dig this much out. Since rock is needed for the foundations, they are making a HUGE pile of rock as they dig. This work is not easy nor is it quick!
Digging, digging, and more digging! They are moving a mountain of dirt!
Already it is looking nicer in this area. They still have a lot of digging to do, but at least it is started!
Posted on Sun, July 31, 2011
by Dixie Bickel