Service Projects 2014

ALASKA

  • Constructed 15’ x 25’ outdoor cooking facility for use at community meals and events. Cleared and leveled ground for foundation, measured and cut lumber, dug 3’ deep post holes, placed 5 post beams and secured with mixed concrete, erected and stained walls, framed roof, built ventilation windows and installed screens.
  • Assembled and moved old outdoor basketball court and rebuilt a 36’ x 56’ court. Removed rot from decking and base beams, carried materials to building site, leveled ground for foundation, cut lumber, arranged base beams, drilled new deck boards into place, installed the hoops.
    Assisted community elders with chores and small projects, including preparing and delivering meals. For Yvonne John, cleared brush around house and stacked firewood. For Dorothy Titus, repaired and cleared out smokehouse.
  • Organized small day camp for local children. Activities included games, dance lesson, art and crafts.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

  • For the Humane Society, constructed 12' x 12' shelter for horses. Dug post holes, placed posts and secured with mixed concrete, hung exterior wooden walls, installed corrugated metal roof. Also built and painted adjoining storage area for tack and feed.
  • With organic farmer Khoy Smith, laid mulch and irrigation hose, created new growing space with recycled tires, and harvested fruit.
  • With farmers Aragorn and Drake at Half Moon Farm, cleared areas for farm access, gathered and hauled rocks for new walkways.
  • With BVI National Parks Trust, laid foundation for a new structure in Botanic Gardens, cleared brush, demolished dilapidated buildings in Sage Mountain National Park, cleared trash from beach areas.
  • Renovated the home of a Sea Cows Bay community member who suffers from epilepsy. Using saws, drills, hammers and nails, assembled new exterior walls on 16' x 20' home. Repaired doors, cut and installed trim, primed and painted the home.
  • Painted and repaired large exterior fence at the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly.

CAMBODIA

  • For SALT Academy (Sports and Leadership Training), constructed 52 sq. ft. storage shed for soccer equipment. Work included laying clay bricks and cement mortar, framing and installing metal door and roof. Also built 26 sq. ft. shade structure with lumber frame, palm leaves for walls and roof, and posts cemented into old tires as a base.
  • Built six lunch tables and benches and a 6 sq. ft. portable shade structure for the dishwashing station at Mighty Girls house.
  • Organized, facilitated and taught summer classes to approximately 90 under-privileged girls ages 10 to 16 through SALT’s Summer School program. Focused on Cultural Geography, art and crafts, tumbling and swimming, and teaching English.
  • For Kong Pong Seima Primary School, filled large cracks and holes in floor by mixing and pouring cement; repaired and replaced badly damaged walls by nailing 1x5 wooden planks into place. Also donated several hundred books, art supplies, games and shelving.
  • In collaboration with HelpAge, built a rice barn out of bamboo and lumber in the village of Rum Chek for elders to store rice.
  • With Coconut Water nonprofit, created educational films with twenty Cambodian students about climate change, recycling and littering. Also designed and planted a small organic garden for a local woman in need.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC I

  • At the new local baseball field, constructed a wall measuring 175’ long and 4’ tall around part of the field’s perimeter. Pick-axed and shoveled ground for foundation, laid cinderblocks, mixed and poured cement for mortar and a stucco finish. Painted 65’ of the wall behind home plate. Also mixed and poured concrete to complete 26’ x 10’ dugout roof.
  • With local teen ayudantes, organized and facilitated Campamento de Juveniles (day camp) in San Luís for 60 children ages seven to thirteen. Activities included English instruction, reading, songs, sports, art and crafts.
  • Designed and painted 8’ x 10’ mural at the San Luís school. 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC II

  • At the new local baseball field, constructed a wall measuring 175’ long and 4’ tall around part of the field’s perimeter. Pick-axed and shoveled ground for foundation, laid cinderblocks, mixed and poured cement for mortar and a stucco finish. Finished interior walls and floor of dugout with smooth cement finish; constructed 15’ long concrete bench in the dugout and painted exterior of the building.
  • With local teen ayudantes, organized and facilitated Campamento de Juveniles (day camp) in San Luís for 60 children ages seven to thirteen. Activities included English instruction, reading, songs, sports, art and crafts.
  • Designed and painted 8’ x 10’ mural at the San Luís school.

ECUADOR I

  • Completed renovations of 20’ x 30’ performance hall at la Escuela de Educación Basica de Patate. Work included moving 21 tons of dirt to fill 3.5’ deep foundation, leveling the dirt, hand-mixing twenty-five 110 lb. bags of cement, laying and leveling cement floor, building three internal walls using 450 cement blocks, rebar and concrete. The facility will host cultural events and school assemblies and will serve as an office for education officials.
  • Began construction of 10’ x 15’ lavamanos(hand-washing station) at la Escuela. Cleared and leveled the ground, laid rock and dirt foundation, mixed 1100 lbs of cement, laid and leveled concrete foundation, laid 90 bricks and mortar to frame the structure. Also primed and painted 1300 sq. ft. of exterior walls.
  • Planted approximately 600 sapling trees in communities surrounding Patate as part of a reforestation effort and to prevent landslides.
    In the Galapagos, removed invasive moss and weeds using farm tools and picking by hand.

ECUADOR II

  • Completed construction of 10’ x15’ lavamanos (hand-washing station) at la Escuela. Sifted sand, hand-mixed cement and used trowels to place cement onto cinderblock base, dug trench 1’ deep and 100’ long for plumbing and drainage, placed tile and grouted seams, installed faucets and prepared structure for use by school students.
  • Also at la Escuela, laid tile and grout at 20’ x 30’ performance hall; painted 500 sq. ft. of exterior walls.
  • Planted approximately 500 native plants and saplings in nearby rural community of Sucre to enhance roadways and prevent landslides.
  • In the Galapagos, removed invasive moss and weeds using farm tools and picking by hand.

GUADELOUPE I

  • In collaboration with L’Office Municipal de la Culture et des Sports, facilitated day camp for approximately thirty local children. Classes included English instruction, games and skits. Also at OMCS, painted 10’ x 10’ wall, did beach cleanup and picked up trash at football stadium.
  • At Ecole Maternelle d'Etang Noir Elementary School, built 300 sq. ft. weather structure to protect kids from rain and sun. Dug four 2’ holes, placed posts and filled holes with concrete, constructed framing for the roof and painted. Transported 2 tons of sand to cover 250 sq. ft. of tree roots, and planted grass for ground cover. Built wooden fence around large mango tree to keep children off the tree and reduce mud; built using re-used shipping pallets and wooden trim; painted fence and concrete base. Constructed picnic table and bench, landscaped, and painted 7 large designs on playground. Also repaired large stairway by filling cracks with cement and painting a protective coat.
  • At Ecole Maternelle Coccinelle de Tacy Elementary School, broke ground for weather shelter by leveling ground for foundation, digging four 2’ holes, placing posts, mixing concrete and filling holes with concrete. Built fence using shipping pallets and 2x6 planks for supports. Painted fence with design of a sun. Landscaped and painted designs and hopscotch-style games on playground.

GUADELOUPE II

  • At Ecole Maternelle Coccinelle de Tacy and Ecole Maternelle d'Etang Noir elementary schools, designed, cut lumber, built and sanded three 6’ picnic tables and painted each with different designs.
  • In collaboration with OMCS (L’Office Municipal de la Culture et des Sports), organized and facilitated a day camp for approximately thirty local children. Classes included English instruction, games and skits.
  • Worked with Guadeloupian street artists to design and paint colorful murals on 350’ stadium wall at entrance to town of Capesterre. Also painted large murals at Fish Market and Bokit restaurant.

MISSISSIPPI I

  • In collaboration with North Gulfport Land Trust, made renovations to historic home damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Work included hanging sheetrock in 12' x 18' room and mudding seams for a smooth finish. The house will provide high-quality, low-income housing that also benefits the Land Trust.
  • With Pascagoula River Audubon Society, made dozens of decoys of Least Terns, an endangered coastal bird. Used templates to trace decoys onto plywood, cut figures with jigsaws, and painted to look like the Least Tern. Decoys will be placed on beaches to attract more birds to nesting areas.
  • Repaired boardwalk over the swamp at Audubon’s conservation area. Removed rotted boards, measured, cut and drilled 25 new boards into place. Also at Audubon, cleared invasive plant species using weed wrenches.
  • Patrolled beach to keep people out of sensitive nesting grounds on 4th of July; educated people about bird habitat and behaviors. Constructed two large birdhouses for Audubon and Land Trust.
  • With community member Derrick Evans in Turkey Creek neighborhood, cleared brush, removed vines from historic homes, pruned oak trees, and built two swings for neighbor kids.

MISSISSIPPI II

  • With Pascagoula River Audubon Society, made dozens of decoys of Least Terns, an endangered coastal bird. Used templates to trace decoys onto plywood, cut figures with jigsaws, and painted to look like the Least Tern. Decoys will be placed on beaches to attract more birds to nesting areas.
  • Repaired boardwalk over swamp at Audubon’s conservation area. Removed rotted boards, measured, cut and drilled new boards into place.
  • For Turkey Creek Community Initiative (TCCI), used handsaws, garden sheers and weed eaters to clear dense undergrowth and re-establish the nature path to Turkey Creek Blueway. Also with TCCI, cleared plant debris from roof of historic home in order to avoid wood rot.
  • For Avis Hinson, an 87 year-old community member, spent three days clearing overgrown yard, including removing invasive plants.
  • Built two sets of stairs for community members David and Sandra Greer, who coordinated more than 5000 volunteers after Katrina. Measured wood, cut with circular saws, and drilled into place for small stairways.

MONTANA BLACKFEET I

  • In partnership with the Blackfoot Land Trust and Nature Conservancy, replaced 2000 sq. ft. roof of community building at the Yellowbird Woman Memorial Ranch (Flat Iron Ranch). Removed old asphalt roof, repaired damaged wood, secured new underlayment and a metal roof. Also with Nature Conservancy and Montana Conservation Corps, removed the invasive plant, knapweed, from high traffic area in Browning at a local museum.
  • With Blackfeet Tribal Office and Home Improvement Program (HIP), constructed 257 sq. ft. multiple access wheelchair ramp for an elder in Seville. Prepared site, dug foundation for cement pillar blocks, framed two decks measuring 6’ x 10’ and 5’ x 5’, a ramp measuring 4’ x 43’, and a three-step staircase. Also constructed and installed 108’ long railing.
  • With Blackfeet Bundle Holder, Nolan Yellow Kidney, assisted with annual Sundance ceremony. Prepared food for dancers, removed large teepees and canvas lodges at completion of the event.
  • With Crazy Dog Society and Blackfeet Bundle Holder, Larry Grounds, helped prepare the Okon Medicine Lodge, a sacred Blackfeet ceremony similar to the Sundance. Dug holes for medicine lodge, erected 12 teepees and took them down at end of ceremony, dug holes for portable toilets, prepared food and gathered firewood. Girls were given honor of lighting the fire that began the ceremony.
  • For local elder Eva Cobell, scraped and sanded old paint on home’s exterior, caulked, prepped, and painted her 16’ x 40’ home. Also helped elder Dale Pepion at his ranch by pulling weeds and moving indoor furniture to prep for a new floor.

MONTANA BLACKFEET II

  • In partnership with Community Health Representative (CHR), built and painted 8’ x 12’ x 8’ storage shed for local community garden project. Shed was constructed with wood with an asphalt roof.
  • With Crazy Dog Society, painted exterior of 2000 sq. ft. home belonging to local elder and Bundle Holder, Larry Ground. Scraped, sanded, taped, caulked, primed, and painted with two coats of paint.
  • With Girl Scouts of America, nearly completed large playground in Blackfoot, a small reservation town. Built two tire swings and large climbing structures out of recycled car and tractor tires, and a “jeep” structure with reused fence posts and tires. Also constructed 6’ x 6’ wooden lookout platform: designed the structure, transported materials, dug holes, cut lumber and drilled boards into place, mixed cement, and secured old tires for the base.
  • With Blackfeet Tribal Office and Home Improvement Program (HIP), stained 257 sq. ft. multi-level wheelchair ramp that was built for community elder by previous VISIONS program.
  • With Blackfoot Land Trust and Nature Conservancy, completed painting of main building at Yellowbird Woman Memorial Ranch (Flat Iron Ranch). Scraped and sanded old paint, taped windows, doors and trim, painted and stained the 1900 sq. ft. building.
  • With Blackfeet Bundle Holder, Johnny Day Rider, helped prepare Sundance ceremony. Dug post holes and helped construct main lodge, gathered brush, dug holes for portable toilets, chopped firewood and maintained the fire, erected teepees and took them down at end of ceremony, prepared and served food.
  • With Keepers of Our Language Camp and Crazy Dog Society, cut willow branches and carved into stakes and buttons for teepees, prepared barbeque, gathered firewood, and skinned a buffalo.

MONTANA NORTHERN CHEYENNE

  • At Dull Knife Community College, designed and constructed 8’ x 12’ storage shed. Work included demolishing handicap ramp, leveling ground and setting concrete sleepers, framing floor, walls, door and roof rafters, installing plywood floor, sheathing and hanging walls, installing siding, sheathing roof and securing steel roofing material.
  • With Shoulder Blade Senior Center, helped prepare and serve lunch to approximately 60 elders on a daily basis. Made goody bags from donated items, stocked pantries, watered plants, cleaned lunchroom and kitchen, accompanied seniors who needed transportation home, spent time interacting with the seniors and hearing their stories.
  • Organized and facilitated activities for local children through Kids Kollege program. Theme was Healthy Living and activities included exercise, games, coursework, art and crafts.
  • For Head Start preschool, designed, cut, built and sanded two 6’ picnic tables and benches.
  • With Second Season Youth, cleaned old utility building, the future site of community-organized kids center. Completed trash cleanup at local park and Crazy Head Springs. Also mowed lawn for long-time partner Cheyenne Children Services, which is run by local elders.

MYANMAR

  • With Phaung Daw Oo students and staff, implemented recycling and garbage program at the school. Purchased several dozen bamboo baskets and plastic bins for trash, recycling and organic waste. To launch the program, organized and performed skit about recycling and environmental awareness to two hundred students.
  • With Phaung Daw Oo pre-college students, designed and taught English lessons to range of groups: orphanage children, ethnic girls dormitory, beginner and advanced English students; also led art and crafts, games and workshops.
  • Partnered with pre-college students for excursions and cultural exchanges, learning about Myanmar education system, organic farming initiatives and environmental activism; spent one day at Shwe Kyaung monastery school working on English and games with approximately two hundred students.

NICARAGUA I

  • Began construction of second story of an albergue, a community center and clinic facility for visiting doctors. Built 8’ x 12' false ceiling with wood platforms and beams, assembled rebar lattices, mixed and poured 20 bags of cement to create floor for the second story.
  • Organized and facilitated afternoon day camp at the Carlos Riso school for students ages 8 – 16. Activities included basic English instruction, singing, sports, art and crafts.
  • Cleared quarter-acre for campsites at Bosawás Biosphere Reserve using pickaxes and shovels to remove brush and level the ground.
  • Dug 20' long x 2' deep trench to lay piping for latrine at elder's house.

NICARAGUA II

  • Continued construction of second story of an albergue, a community center and clinic facility for visiting doctors. Built 25’ x 40’ false ceiling with wood platforms and beams, assembled rebar lattices, mixed and poured 140 bags of cement to create floor for the second story.
  • Organized and facilitated afternoon day camp at the Carlos Riso school for students ages 8 – 16. Activities included basic English instruction, singing, sports, art and crafts.

PERU I

  • Constructed two bathrooms at Pronoei Illary, an elementary school built by VISIONS in 2013. Work included demolishing an old building, clearing brush and leveling ground for foundation. Built 8’ x 10’ stalls using cinderblock, rebar and hand-mixed cement mortar. Used wooden beams to construct roof framing; secured durable plastic roof. Installed door and toilet for each stall. Also built 10’ tall x 25’ long cinderblock wall to separate school from the road.
  • Also for Pronoei Illary, constructed 8’ x 20’ outdoor eating area. Removed bark from nine Eucalyptus tree trunks, dug two 3’ deep post holes, placed posts and filled with cement. Built framing for walls and roof with posts. Installed durable plastic roof; used concrete wall for the back of building and left other walls open.
  • Constructed cement irrigation canals at 18 rural locations. Mixed 1000 lbs of cement at each site, carried concrete in buckets and lined the 1’ deep x 1’ wide x 30’ long canals with poured concrete.

PERU II

  • Constructed cement irrigation canals at 18 rural locations. Mixed 1000 lbs of cement at each site, carried concrete in buckets and lined the 1’ deep x 1’ wide x 30’ long canals with poured concrete. Canals are part of a rural water conservation and farming initiative.
    At Pronoei Illary elementary school, hand-mixed and laid concrete floor for 8’ x 20’ outdoor cafeteria; installed bathroom plumbing, fixtures and door; designed and painted mural at eating area.

ISLAND PASSAGE—Middle School

  • With Green VI, an organization working to bring recycling to the islands, constructed two large storage containers using re-used building materials.
  • In conjunction with Social Development, built and installed new kitchen cabinets and shelving in the home of Ms. Lillian, an elder of East End community. Also constructed 4’ x 4’ wooden porch for a Sea Cows Bay resident.
  • With organic farmer Khoy Smith, spread seaweed mulch, cleared brush, harvested coconuts, and built 6’ x 6’ concrete compost bin. Worked with Aragorn and Drake at Half Moon Organic farm to construct rock pathways.
  • Painted concrete exterior wall at the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly.
  • Cleared brush and debris at Humane Society’s new facility.

NORTHERN PASSAGE—Middle School

  • At Dull Knife Community College, finished final touches on 8’ x 12’ storage shed. Work included building and installing shed door, installing bird blocking, sealing shed with spray foam, building walkway, cutting and installing trim, repairing existing railing of entryway, and painting.
  • For Cheyenne Children Services, removed carpet on entry ramp and replaced with sandpaper grip, painted railing and door entry, raised sunken porch and replaced cinderblock footings with cement sleepers. Extended existing rain gutter across 16’ building. Designed, built and installed two 7’ x 6’ swing-open garage doors.
  • Organized activities with local children through Kids Kollege program. Theme was Healthy Living and activities included exercise, games, coursework, art and crafts.
  • With Shoulder Blade Senior Center, helped prepare and serve lunch to approximately 60 elders on a daily basis. Made goody bags from donated items, stocked pantries, watered plants, cleaned lunchroom and kitchen, prepared hors d’oeuvres, and spent time interacting with the seniors and hearing their stories.
  • At Head Start preschool, laid tile and grouted 10’ x 10’ entryway.
  • For a local elder, removed porch furniture, washed and painted 10’ x 100’ outdoor porch.
Steambath Construction in Alaska




Alaska



 
Mr. Bryan and VISIONS Participants in the British Virgin Islands




British Virgin Islands



 

Shade Pavilion in Cambodia




Cambodia



 

Making a Path to the Beach in Dominica



 

Sifting Sand in the Dominican Republic




Two-Story Community Center in the Dominican Republic


 

The VISIONS Crew in the Dominican Republic



 

Bathrooms Taking Shape in Ecuador



 

Completing the Bathrooms in Ecuador



 

Construction of Teacher Housing in Ghana




Ghana


 
 
Boardwalk Reconstruction in Guadeloupe
 
 
 
 

Frame of Environmental Walkway in Mississippi



 

Completing the Walkway in Mississippi



 

Participants Cleaning Pete Wetzel's Burned Home



 

Mr. Wetzel's Home After the Clean



 

Mr. Wetzel and the VISIONS Crew



 

Working on the Community Center in Nicaragua




Nicaragua



 

Participants in Peru




Peru



 

Middle School Participants on the Montana Northern Cheyenne
 
 

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