Sad Day Watching Your House Being Torn Down

Over the past two weeks, Sergio and Nellie and their family have removed everything from the one house on their property.  Doors, security bars, roofing, timber beams, everything that they could remove they have removed. With the earthquake the house could not be repaired and needed to be torn down.

Early this morning the backhoe and dump truck showed up on our street.

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It was hard watching this lovely family as the heavy equipment rolled down our street and within 30 minutes their house was gone and the lot nearly empty of all memory of the house.

 

 

IMG_2921Within a few hours a tent was carried down the street and set up on their now empty lot.

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Hopefully they will be able to rebuild one day soon.

 

 

Construction Continues

The back of our house had only one meter from the back wall to the next yard with only a one meter high wall separating the two yards. This needed to be replaced as it was built many years ago with decorative block that was falling apart. It was one of the things that the earthquake made worse. We removed this small wall as well as a concrete walkway which was slanted towards the house and trapped water there. New columns were constructed along with an over eight foot wall made with brick and skim coated with concrete.

The completed job is wonderful. Now we only need to allow the concrete to set and completely dry before we can have it painted.

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We also had a patio built under the tree in our front garden. David suggested we buy outdoor ceramic tiles and fill in with granito. For the past several weeks Maestro Carlos has worked daily making a beautiful patio and walkway. This coming week we will have the driveway and top of the cistern coated in the granite. Once that is completed they will acid wash it and give it a coating of varnish.

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Now they are working on a new column for the front gate as well as a more Jubilado  friendly entrance ramp. Once completed we will order the gate as well as the two portones for the new wall at the back of the house.

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Carlos is standing on the sawhorse, he is a wonderful concrete maestro, Juanito is the boss and we have had them do several things on our home over the past several years.  Actually Carlos worked on putting in the original interior walls when we bought this house.

David Zambrano has been instrumental in making this work possible, without his guidance we could never have had all this done is such a short time. Get well fast David.

Tents being Constructed in our Neighborhood

This afternoon a huge military truck filled with tents backed down our street.

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Behind it came at least two dozen guys ready to pitch tents for anyone in our neighborhood who needed one.

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Here a just a few of the smiling guys.  Thanks so much for all your service to the people of Ecuador.

When Will the Shaking Stop?

It was 42 days ago. Just a short 6 weeks. Joe and I were getting ready to move to the bedroom and read for a while before going to sleep. I was standing in the kitchen and Joe was in the computer room. Then the shaking started, things started to crash to the floor and Joe running grabbed my hand and we found ourselves out on the driveway shaking. Not from being scared but because the quake was still moving us about.

That was a time that will never totally be erased from our lives.

Today as I look at two pair of shorts sitting on the couch near the front door, a bag packed with our personal papers sitting ready to be taken out, it reminds me that every day for the past 43 days we have had some sort of earthquake or aftershock.  Yes, Joe and I and our neighbors made it through it with little physical harm to ourselves or our homes but the stress we still feel is unbelievable. We’ve been through a number of earthquakes previously, but nothing like this in its violence and duration. Lifelong Ecuador residents said the same.

If a shutter rattles, an almond fall from the tree onto our roof or a wall creaks we are both jumping to run outside.  If I turn over in bed during the night I feel Joe tense up.  I can’t imagine how those who lost a loved one, lost their home with all their belongings or were injured feel when they feel yet another aftershock.

I never totally understood Post-Tramatic Stress, I totally get it now!

 

David Zambrano, Artist

I learned something new today. I learned that David our neighbor is an artist. Today I went to his house looking for his lovely wife Helena and what I found was David working on the second painting below.

This first painting hangs in a prominent spot in the David’s family dining room.

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This next one is an unfinished work.

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I do not know much about art but I do know what I like and I like both of these paintings.  Anyone need any original artwork for their home?

Investing in the Local Economy

Ever since we moved here to San Clemente our neighbor David Zambrano has helped us with so many jobs around this house I can no longer remember all of them.  While we were staying in Manta, David took care of our home, our yard and our plants.  When we came back my plants were more beautiful and lush than I could ever had gotten them.  I do feel he has a green thumb.

David is great with electrical or plumbing problems but on occasion he has done some small woodworking for me as well as small concrete jobs along with a bit of painting. If he cannot do it he will find someone who can.

When the earthquake hit on April 16th, Joe got me out of the house but we were in shock, we just sat on lawn chairs out on the driveway.  David and his brother Pilli made a quick check of all the neighbors and then came back to get Joe and I.  They walked us through our house sweeping a path through the debris as they got us into our bedroom and found us shoes, shirts and flashlights. They found two folding chairs on our patio and walked us down the street to a waiting car, where we were treated like royalty and taken up the hill to Pepita’s home to wait out the tsunami warning.  David came back several hours later and took us to our home. Again, he needed to sweep a path to be able to get to the bathroom and into bed.  I cannot explain how much this meant to Joe and I.  It took us days to stop trembling when we felt an aftershock and some of those aftershocks measured over 6.

Now we are starting the work that we have been planning for the house for the past year.  This is the time to do it, this is the time to invest in this community so it can heal. If you have projects that you are looking to do in the next year, I ask that you do those projects now, infusing money into the local economy.

So far we have contracted to have wood cabinets built for our kitchen, a block and concrete wall built at the back of our property and bamboo fencing for two additional walls in our yard. This is not replacement for damage done it is all new items that we were planning to add over the next several years. Next we will be hiring maestros to build two doors for the back walkway as well as a new wood gate for our drive.

Many people are not working right now, have no income coming in and have damage to their own property. If you are living in Ecuador and are thinking about investing in your property and can give work to those in your community please do it now.

It will make a difference in the quality of life right here in Ecuador.