Monday, May 24, 2010

One more slab cleared

Mission accomplished and great job by all as Rubbling at Desiree was completed two days ahead of original estimates. This was accomplished under the wonderful leadership of Weston and a solid hard working team whose nucleaus was Westin, Sam, Flynn, and Jerry.

“So what?” some might say, “so is one house. Hundreds of thousands of buildings were destroyed and you cleared the rubble from one relatively small house. Big deal.”

And you know what? They would be right.

Oh sure, the strict pragmatist would likely note that physically we moved tons of rubble. That for about six days crews of about 12 people moved wheel barrels of cement at a rate of about a wheel barrel a minute for six hours a day. That each barrel load had between 23-30 shovels of debris (Sam-who undoubtedly made the most trips to and from the pile was on the high end of the range). Or that in the end we left a pile of rubble that was 84 feet long and 8 feet high at its peak. Based on these estimates we probably moved somewhere in the vicinity of 160 tons of rubble to the street and pushed several additional tons aside. Which is alot but the family now has a lot, and not a pile of debris on their lot.

But who cares? There are 280,000+ buildings you did one. It is like killing mosquitoes by hand. You work and work to solve one problem mosquito and there are thousands of others out there. But that does not stop anyone from killing the mosquito that is about to bite him/her.

I can tell you who cares that this job was accomplished: Wesley and his family care. They were so happy that they could barely speak when we finished clearing the slab and after Jerry and I gave them two tents to start them on their road to recovery. They cared so much that they (who had lost everything and could not afford shoes, invited the whole team to eat with them.

Of course we said no. We could not possibly take their food, but after many requests we yeilded only to have our ride arrive and we had to get to another job. This was when Wesley immediately insisted on bringing it to the base after we were done. And sure enough about 3 hours later he arrived with food for us all.

In the big picture we finished one lot today, but to Welsey and his mom, we finished the most important lot, their lot. And they can not start their comeback!

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