Friday was moving day for the entire ECHO team, either to the next project or for a little R&R. We waited to say goodbye to everyone and then headed to the grocery store to resupply. We left Riverside Retreat Center after lunch. We stopped at a Harvest Hosts site Friday afternoon. Our HH site was a beekeeper. We arrived there mid-afternoon and went to the gift shop for a visit. One of the owners was there and spent time explaining to us a little about the bee business. They take almost all their bees to California about this time every year for the almond pollination. We learned that almond trees require the bees and the quality of the bees impacts the almond production. After the almond blooms are gone the bees are shipped to other areas of the country and end up back at their home in Florida for the winter and then the cycle resumes the end of January or early February each year when they again return to California. It’s a huge business. We love to visit Harvest Hosts sites and learn new things.
We had a very quiet, peaceful night and Saturday morning drove on to our next project in Dundee, FL. We are parked at Camp Endeavor and will be working for the next two weeks about 5 minutes away at Dundee UMC. The third week we will be doing some work at the camp. The weather is beautiful, the camp has nice flat sites with full hookups and is next to an orange grove. Life is good. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Praying for all those who are ill and all those taking care of them. Please stay safe and healthy!
Wow, it has been a busy week. This team has accomplished more than we ever thought would be possible when we started three weeks ago. Today we learned that we completed more than our friends at ECHO thought we would do as well. On our task list on day one was removing the old bamboo structure and building the new one, pouring the concrete for the seed bank slab, and replacing the pedestrian bridge deck boards. There was also the storage container to be emptied, and new flooring installed and there was pressure washing if time allowed. As of this afternoon all those items were completed plus sometime during week one, building a wall in the propagation area was added to the list and that too was completed. ECHO actually thought the next team (not NOMADS) coming in two weeks would need to complete the new bamboo shed and possibly other items on the list.
Finishing the Bamboo Treatment Shed
Finishing the Seed Dryer Slab
Finishing the Storage Container Floor
Before and After
This was such a fun, talented, hardworking team. It was such a blessing to us to be able to assist ECHO in their mission of helping feed the hungry around the world by teaching them location specific skills to grow enough food to feed their families. The work and mission of ECHO is amazing. We will continue to support them with our prayers and hope to be able to return here one day.
Monday morning we all returned to ECHO to begin our last week here. It’s been a great place to work! Anne and Max returned to the foot bridge with Gregg and Karen to complete the installation of the deck boards and complete it we did, just before quitting time! However, that did not complete the work. Jhon (yes that is the correct spelling) brought us some bright yellow aluminum safety plates to install. We didn’t get the installation completed until Tuesday morning – 23 safety plates with 18 screws per plate. It took until mid-morning to complete. One project complete.
Wanda and Janet returned to the wall project Monday morning making great progress. They completed the wall about lunch time today. Project two complete.
Suzan, Kevin, Ken and Vi returned to our largest project, the bamboo pressure treatment shed. Monday they completed the installation of all the stringers. Today they began the metal work. Max and Greg rejoined that team this afternoon. By the end of the day, all of the roofing was installed except two pieces of metal. It is looking great! We are getting close on this project.
This afternoon Anne, Karen, Wanda and Janet pressure washed the Price building (office building) and began on the sidewalks. We will see what tomorrow brings but the plan is to pour the concrete for the seed dryer. Maybe that will be another project complete. Only two more days, and lots more to accomplish!
Friday was a day of rest, errands and chores. We went to the produce stand again for fresh fruit and mango jam and then decided to explore a little and went to the Lehigh Acres Publix instead of the one on our route to ECHO. It was a larger store and didn’t seem so crowded – a relief. We still aren’t comfortable in crowded stores. Totally unexpected, we drove by a Culver’s, so of course we stopped for ice cream, so it was a good day. Saturday we rested some more and went back to the Caloosahatchee Regional Park for our exercise. We looked at some different places to go but Caloosahatchee is just so convenient and the flora and fauna in the other parks in the area is about the same. We reversed our track from last week and so of course saw some different plants and trees. Funny how just walking the opposite direction does that.
Today was a grey, chilly day. We of course began with our worship service. We continue to be grateful for our connection to home through our weekly worship. This afternoon we headed to another LaBelle park and went by way of the Fort Denaud swing bridge across the Okeechobee waterway. This bridge swings open 90 degrees rather than opening upwards like a drawbridge. You don’t see this type bridge as often. Even more different, the bridge tender is in a small concrete building at the side of one end of the bridge. When a boat wants to go through, the tender presses the button sending the arms down stopping traffic. When all the traffic as off the bridge, the tender then walks to the halfway point of the bridge, presses the buttons to swing the bridge 90 degrees (the tender rides the swing). When the vessels have passed, the tender closes the bridge, walks back to the tender building, raises the arms allowing traffic to pass again. Guess the tender gets lots of steps every day. Lucky the weather is generally nice. Wonder what happens when there are storms.
After returning from our little afternoon road trip, the team met at the sling shot range and all shot rocks at hanging cans. They also have an archery range here – some of the many activities for the kids at summer camp. We were planning a little competition but decided we were all such bad shots it really wouldn’t be worthwhile. After playing for a while we had a fire at the swings by the river. It was a nice socially distanced get together for our last weekend. Now it’s time to get ready for our last four days of work.