Another Busy Week

Friday, January 15, 2021

The team continued to work on the structure for the bamboo pressure treatment area, the foot bridge at the gift shop, and added another task of demoing and rebuilding a wall/fence for a storage shed near one of the gardens.  We all  moved around working in the different areas and got a lot done.  Wanda and Janet got the fence/wall demoed and began the rebuilding process Thursday afternoon.

All the large beams are now in place for the BPTA.  Each of the beams are two 2x12s laminated together and 18 feet long.  We have no idea what they weigh but they are very heavy.  The facilities staff used their tractor and brought in some extra help from other departments to help us get them in place.  It all had to be carefully orchestrated to keep everyone safe and we are very thankful to be able to say there were no injuries to NOMADS or staff at ECHO.

The foot bridge has had all the structural members replaced or reinforced and now has a firm foundation.  The deck boards are about 2/3 complete.  Everything is looking good and progress is being made.

The slab for the seed dryer is scheduled to be poured Wednesday.  We have four more days to make as much progress as we can.  We pray that we will be able to complete what the Lord has planned for us to accomplish and the rest will be for another group arriving next month to complete.  It was another successful, busy week.

Back To Work for Week 2

Monday, January 11, 2021

Sunday morning we were surprised to get up to a temperature of 36 and heavy frost but today we loved that we were back to a low of 53.  Love that southwest Florida has only a day or two of winter.  So we have had our day and now we can get back to an early spring with pretty flowers and fresh strawberries.

It was another beautiful day for us to head back to work.  We had devotion with the staff at ECHO again today and then Max, Anne, Karen, Ken and Vi went back to the bamboo pressure treatment area.  Now that the footings are in place and the concrete cured, we began working on reinstalling the French drain that we worked so hard to remove last week.  We then covered the trench with stone.  After that we began working on putting together the scaffolding (we are missing a few parts.) and preparing to install the ledger board.  The board is ready and holes are drilled.  Tomorrow morning with some help/strength from the rest of the team we will get it installed.

Gregg, Kevin, Suzan, Wanda and Janet spent their day working on the bridge in front of the gift shop.  They removed the wooden deck boards, and assessed the structure.  It is in need of a few repairs prior to the installation of the new Trex deck boards.  (Thanks, Suzan for the photos.)

Restful Weekend

Sunday, January 10, 2021

We needed to rest Friday after the physical week of work, so rest we did.  We also did some laundry and bought groceries.  The fresh local strawberries are in so we had angel food cake with fresh strawberries and whip cream for Max’s birthday.  (We waited for the weekend to celebrate.)  That night we enjoyed another Zoom meeting with Anne’s family.

Saturday we used All Trails app to find some local hiking.  Number one on the list was the park we drive by on the way to work every day – Caloosahatchee Regional Park.  The park is about 770 acres along the Caloosahatchee river and through mangrove areas and subtropical habitat with hiking trails as well as separate dirt bike trails and equestrian trails.  There are primitive camping sites but unfortunately no RV parking.  Beautiful, peaceful park and not crowded. We would definitely recommend it.

Today, was another beautiful sunny day but started with a heavy frost and a temperature of 36.  We failed to check the forecast last night were a little surprised when we had to turn the furnace on this morning.  Guess that is what happens when you become accustomed to always having moderate temperatures and don’t think about it changing.  We of course enjoyed worshiping online with our home church this morning and then had a quiet day at the RV park, resting and taking care of some mail and paperwork.  It was a very nice weekend.

Great Team, Great Week

Friday, January 8, 2021

This week the entire team has worked very hard doing strenuous manual labor.  Sorry, we were very tired in the evenings and basically took showers and collapsed.  So, to catch you up:  Tuesday was another beautiful day but it was 39 degrees as we drove to work.  The cold front had arrived in south Florida.  We were all bundled up to start the work day but the sun and the strenuous work had us shedding layers by morning break.  We began the day with everyone back at the bamboo pressure treatment area, BPTA, (our highest priority task) taking down the remainder of the bamboo structure, cutting it up and hauling the pieces to the recycling area.  We then tackled digging out the French drain that ran beside the building.  It had to be removed in order to set the forms for the post footings for the new structure.  After getting all the demolition completed and debris cleared out, we divided up the team.  While some of us were working on the French drain at the bamboo treatment area, others built forms for the footings, and others began working in another area of the farm prepping and setting forms for a new slab for the seed dryer.  The building materials for the new bamboo pressure treatment area were also hauled to the site.

Wednesday morning it was all hands on deck at the BPTA to dig 12 holes for the post footings for the new structure.  We were all really surprised that we had all the holes dug by lunch.  What a team!  Then began the slow work of working with Elliott on the exact placement of the forms in the holes.  While Max, Anne, Ken and Vi worked on that portion of the project, Suzan and Kevin completed the forms for the slab for the seed dryer, and began work on emptying the storage container with Wanda and Janet. As usual, team leaders Greg and Karen were helping out everywhere.

Thursday was the big day.  Thursday morning we completed setting the footing forms and cleaning out the storage container.  We then got everything set up for the concrete.  Beginning about 2:30, we dumped 80 pound bags of concrete mix into the concrete mixer, added water and then transferred the concrete to wheelbarrows and shoveled it into the holes.  It was about 38 bags of concrete mix.  We complete the pour and finishing about 5:15.  What a week!  We thank God for safety and health.