Saturday, December 20, 2014

President Saballa house

This has been a special week for us.  President Saballa is our District President.  A year ago last October his home was hit with the earthquake.  For over a year he has lived under this blue tarp.  The new building is built on top of where his house was.  When we got here it looked just like this.  There is no floor and they can't do anything until the cement floor is poured.  Norm has offered several times to help but President Saballa had to get the materials and he didn't have money etc.  He drives a tricycle to get a little money.  He is a very devoted District President and spends a great deal of time helping people etc. which means he can't drive the tricycle.

Well, finally this week he told Norm he had the cement and so Norm made arrangements with some missionaries to help him and they took on the project.  My job was to take pictures and I did a good job of it.  There are a lot of pictures.  

There are 7 people that sleep under this tarp.  
This is the new house.  It is just one room.  The door and windows will come later - how much later no one knows.
These are our two missionaries that worked their bodies hard.  They were just dripping wet.
Elder Borrego and Elder Banham.  They live close by us.  Norm's biggest challenge was there were no tools.  Nothing to mix cement with.  There was a pile of gravel which you see here, there was another pile of sand and then he had bags of cement.  We had some shovels and a wheelbarrow.
I forgot to mention that the other Sr. Couple, Elder and Sister Caycayan came from Tagbilaran - 45 min. drive - every day to help.  They know President Saballa very well and they so wanted to help them.  Also notice our twin trucks.  We like being twins.  The other blue vehicle is President Saballa's tricycle that he drives people around in to make a living.  There are hundreds of these tricycles every where you go.  That is how people get around.  On the back of every tricycle the Catholic Church has mandated that they have a scripture written so people can read as they drive along.
This is Sister Saballa's dirty kitchen.   That is what you call it when you cook outside.  They have just put a roof over it.  This will not change.  This will still be her kitchen.
At the side of the dirty kitchen is where she cooks.  She makes a fire and that is how she cooks.  On the right is where they shower I think and behind the yellow things is the bathroom.  All that will remain the same.
Norm and Elder Caycayon starting to work.  Norm got some very sore knees from kneeling on the gravel.  We had only 1 10" trile to do the finish work.   Sister Caycayon is supervising.  She was also a picture taker but she actually did some shoveling.  I took one look at the shovel and my back started aching.  I was smart enough to not test it out.
They are mixing the gravel and sand and cement on the ground with shovels.
These are our Elders and they are mixing right in front of the dirty kitchen.
Elder Caycayan - first pour is under way.

They tried mixing in the wheelbarrow - that worked for a while.  The wheel on the wheelbarrow didn't work so they just hefted.  It saved them mixing on the ground and then hefting it into the wheelbarrow.
A neighbor climbed a tree to get some coconut.  They make a drink that is really a delicacy but I don't like it so much.  The juice is sweet but they scrape coconut into it and you drink chunks.
Elder Halladay has some real help.  This is their grandson that lives with them.  You can see the space between the dirty kitchen and the new addition.
Hefting our newly mixed batch.

A slow process and a lot of work.
This is our first day's work.  It took all morning plus and it is about a fourth  done.

It also poured our first morning.  They are catching the water.
They made us treats and we ate where they previously mixed cement because of the rain.  This is President Saballa.  His wife is in the background holding a grandchild.
We have now moved on to day two.  Elder Halladay saved a space in between for tomorrow.  
This is a daughter who lives with them and her two children but there is no father.  She is fixing dinner for us under a tree.  Cutting up chicken off a bone.
President Saballa and his daughter.

Table where they cook and the side here is a little more food.  The boards are the path they used to carry the gravel and sand over to mix.
Sister Saballa cooking our dinner.
Sister Caycayan helping Elder Halladay mix.  Notice how wet Norm's shirt is.  He worked so hard.
About finishing up the 2nd day.
Cute little chickees running around.

The sister missionaries joined us the 2nd day.  They were actually quite a bit of help.
President Saballa came up with a better plan to mix the cement.  They put sand, gravel and cement together and mixed and then made a whole in the middle, filled it with water and then started mixing the dirt around it.  Then it had to be scooped back into the wheelbarrow.
Oh such a lot of work.  We would never have made it without the Elders.  This is President Saballa showing them how to do it.  Norm was actually impressed with how they mix cement.  He said it was a pretty good way of mixing.
On the 2nd day the Sister Missionaries gave a lesson to their son, Wilhelm,  He is 13 and doesn't like to go to church.  This is inside the tarp.  They have a pretty nice mattress.  Then you can see a corner of a foam and that totally fills up under the tarp.  All around the sides is stacked everything else.  The girl is Liahona and I am going to teach her piano lessons.  We tried a little bit last Sunday and it is going to be a project.

The Sisters have to have an adult with them to teach so while the men were doing cement they invited me in to be with them to teach.  It was truly a humbling experience.  He sat on the bed with his Book of Mormon and the rest of us sat on the floor.  But as the Sisters were teaching the sweetest spirit filled my soul.  They asked me to bear my testimony.  I was so happy I could look him in the eye and tell him how important it was to be obedient and go to church and learn about Jesus because He loves us.  I was so grateful for this experience.
This is Sister Grigg from Springville.
Sister Caycayon is washing up.
This is after our 2nd days work.  There are two strips left for tomorrow.  You can see a stove in the background.  Sister Saballa took a cooking course lasting 12 weeks and they gave her an oven.  A first in her life.  It took a while to get propane but she now has that and she has been baking krinkles and selling them to a school.  I think this is helping out a little.  I think the new stove will go in the addition along with a bed.  They will still use under the tarp for a bedroom but President Saballa is moving his bed inside and he is so happy about that.  I will be interested to go back next week and see how they work things out on the inside.
Elder Borrego from Show Low, the Caycayons and the Sister Missionaries enjoy lunch.
Our third day.  We drafted in two more Elders and the work really did speed right along.
Elder Caycayon and Elder Halladay are filling in the spaces.
Norm came up with a towel to help the knees.
Elder Caycayon is making a front step for them.  This is Elder Banham from Hyde Park.  A wonderful conscientious Elder.
Finishing up.
They fed us lunch again.  This is spaghetti with hot dogs and macaroni salad made with sweetened condensed milk.
The long awaited finished project.  Truly a welcome sight!!!!
The missionaries are putting their hand prints on the step.

I have to say that no one was happier than I was to see this wonderful project come to pass.  It was the best Christmas present I could ever have.  I love these dear people and I am so grateful to see them start to get back on their feet.  It will still be a very slow long process but they couldn't do anything until the floor was poured.  Norm was truly a huge blessing to them to see this project completed. And the missionaries were a huge blessing to Norm.  He couldn't have done it without them.  

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