Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shelter work - Days 1 and 2

As you can see, I am not updating this blog daily, so I'll try to label the posts to give you an idea of what I am doing each of the days I are here. The shelter work consists of building fencing in order to separate more aggressive dogs from more subdued dogs as well as to make an area at the entrance for people who come to the shelter to adopt a dog. Adoption is actually a rarity, but our local friend, Ericka, works very hard with the shelter and the veterinary clinics to get dogs adopted out by posting dogs pictures to a website. We hope the fencing will then aid her in getting people to the shelter to meet the dogs. There are about 40-50 dogs at the shelter currently, so it is important that people can get to know and see one dog without all of the others around. The dogs are not vicious by any means - they are just very excitable and, lively we'll say. :) They jump and bark a LOT.
We are also laying brick and adding roofing to an area where eventually another local, Jesus, will stay at the shelter overnight in order to protect it. There are thieves who will come into the shelter and take whatever materials they can. We had to get the ends of our fence posts frayed by a welder before placing them in concrete (the shelter owner demanded this and we agreed because thieves would go to the extreme of pulling the metal posts out of the concrete she said)

Digging into the earth at the shelter is no easy task. We use a "spud bar" which is a heavy metal long stake with a relatively sharp edge at the bottom to break ground and then another person digs the earth and rocks out with their hands. This was truly the best and most efficient method - naturally we Americans tried a shovel and a fence post hole digger, but that did not work. The first day we worked from about 9am to about 6:30pm. After flying overnight, then working at the shelter and taking a couple of windy dusty rides to town to get supplies in the back of the truck, I came back to Huankarute to take what was likely the most deserving shower of my life.

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