When I arrived in Belize two weeks and two days ago, this is what the buildings still looked like. We had done a considerable amount of work on the inside and held classes here from Easter to Commencement, but we had not done any outside work.
Earlier, Andy Stout had been in contact, in his new capacity with World Gospel Outreach, about a team from a large church in Virginia that was looking for a place to do service. I explained that the only job I had that could keep that many people busy was painting and a little demolition work in the front building residence. He said that would be fine.
They arrived on Wednesday and had two days to give. We had one group get started painting the exterior of the front building, another group painting classroom walls, and a third group doing some demolition in the upper residence.
The classroom work was quite tedious. There is a brick pattern in the poured concrete. It took a lot of work but the group got a first coat of paint on the walls of the 2nd floor classroom and most of a first coat on the lower level classroom walls.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the front building, part of the team removed a wall to make the kitchen/living area into a great-room and removed a weird curved wall that led into a bathroom.
On the second day progress continued.
At the end of the 2nd day we gathered everyone for a photo. The upper floor bathroom had a new wall, the dividing wall was removed, the classroom in the back building had a first coat of paint, and both levels of the front exterior were now green instead of blue and white. (The new exterior paint scheme is dark green that matches our school color against a very light green.)
After giving the team our grateful thanks and sending them on their way, there had to be a decision about what to do next. Should we change directions or continue the painting project. The team had radically improved the looks of the front of the building but the sides still looked old and tired and the overhang still had that gaping hole and vents that needed serious work.
We decided to complete the painting. I hired two local guys, John and Richard, to continue the work.
They continued painting the exterior of the building. And John tackled some other jobs as well. For one thing, the balcony lights are now converted to LED and function properly.
While we were at it, I asked the guys to paint the ceiling in the meetingroom. We had removed the old ceiling and had decided to let the rafters show. I hoped that painting the ceiling the same color as the walls would sort of make it disappear.
While we were at it John put new plycem (a cement board material) on the walls of Ms Candi’s office. (Remember when Ms Candi had to cover it with fabric for graduation?) He thought I was being silly but I insisted that I should properly tape the joints.
And here is a view of the meetingroom as it looks just now.
I would show you a current photo of the classroom but that will have to wait because at noon today we moved all the furniture into one half of the room and painted the floor. We shall move it all to the other side next Friday and repeat.
I would need to count to be accurate but I think we have used upwards of 35 gallons of paint. Paint is not cheap here. Neither are brushes and rollers. We spent nearly $3,000 USD on paint and paint supplies. (And that doesn’t count the 15 gallons that World Gospel Outreach bought.) Whoosh.
But it looks better, doesn’t it??
What next you ask? I shall have to look at the list.
Never fear, those of you planning to come down with a work team, there is still much more to do. Much.