That is our secret name for the first stage of house building that starts tomorrow. We’ve been preparing for it for the last several weeks. How many stages are there to this house building you may be wondering? At least two. And the secret name for the second stage of house building is — wait for it — “stage 2 house building”.
Here is a quick overview of what will be, Lord willing, going on for stage 1 house building:
Saturday (as in tomorrow)
We load all tools and supplies into the truck and bring them to the dock where a boat called the Minaum will be waiting for us. The Minaum can carry fourteen tons of materials and we have a total of eighteen tons to move for this stage…so we’ll be making two trips.
While we are loading the materials onto the Minaum, one of us will join a driver to drive to the lumber yard to pick up eight tons of lumber and six barrels of jet fuel (weighing roughly 360 pounds each), which will then be transported to the dock to be loaded onto the ship. (Note the ship above…hopefully we’ll find a place to fit everything 🙂 )
Somewhere in-between these two things, we will head to a hardware supply store down the road and pick up 48 bags of cement weighing about 160 pounds each. This will probably take several trips to and from the Minaum to load and unload all the cement.
Once all this material is loaded on the boat, we all hop on and take it to Biliau (this is still Saturday…hopefully).
Once we get to Biliau, hopefully we will be met by several guys from Maweroro, the village to which we will be moving (originally we asked for three or four guys to hike out to help us; we heard last night that they sent eighteen) who will then help us unload and guard the materials as we have another smaller boat shuttle materials from the Minaum to the beach.
Most likely, shuttling continues in the morning and we finish moving everything to the beach.
Once everything is unloaded from the Minaum onto the beach, one of us will take the Minaum back to Madang to pick up the remaining timber, barrels of jet fuel, and any other materials left behind.
While that is happening, we move the eight tons of materials unloaded from the boat to a location about half a mile away from the beach to an open field where the helicopter can pick everything up. This takes place either on foot…or…by tractor(I’m praying for the tractor option, personally).
Hopefully, on Sunday everything will be moved to the open field and the Minaum makes it back to Madang.
Come Monday morning, whoever of us is in Madang with the Minaum will be getting ready to load the remaining timber and fuel, and the two of us still on the beach in Biliau will be getting the supplies in the field ready for the helicopter to come later in the day.
Once the helicopter comes, one of us will fly into the village with the first load of materials, while one of us remains on the beach. So now, one person is in charge of unloading materials in Maweroro, one person in charge of loading materials at the beach, and one of us will be shipping the remaining materials to the beach! But wait–it gets more exciting!
Once the boat comes back to Biliau, we’ll unload everything from it again on the beach and again move all the materials to the staging field for the helicopter. However at this point, one of us (Jeremy) will then fly into the tribe to actually start work on building the houses, while the other two of us are in charge of loading supplies for the helicopter shuttles.
Honestly, we don’t know how long it’s going to take to ship everything into the tribe. We will hopefully start on Monday and it may take until Friday…but we’re praying we’ll finish as soon as possible…because then we can get into the tribe and start building the houses!
Thursday….or maybe Friday…or maybe Wednesday!
The Minaum has gone back to Madang. We are now in Maweroro, with 86 posts cut to size, 50 bags of concrete, girders, tools, and lots of wood flooring. Jeremy has hopefully already been working on the house since Monday or Tuesday, but now we all hit house building hard.
We’ll start with building a grid to layout everything, then mark the exact locations for the 43 posts for each house, then dig the holes for the posts, mix the concrete, pour the concrete into the holes, set the posts on top, attach the girders, then the cross beams, and finally lay the tongue and grove flooring! Once everything is done, we head back home to Madang to see our families again (having been gone for a total of 21 days) and prepare for — stage 2 house building. But that is another blog post altogether!