As one of our the activities for the day, the team visited Jicaro (pronounced “Hickarow”), small village almost an hour north of Quimistan. The plan for the day included administering deworming medicine, (pyrantel pamoate), fluoride treatment, instruction on proper teeth cleaning, and dispensing tooth brushes and toothpaste. All went remarkably well and showed the learning of procedures from previous visits.
An extensive evaluation was then made of the bridge the children use to get to the school. The bridge is needed to cross a river that is a quiet stream less than a foot deep during the dry season ,and about 5 feet deep rushing water during the rainy season. The bridge is constructed of two very long logs laying side by each from one stone perch to another with a single wooden post propping the logs midway in the river. There is no handrail or support along the length of the bridge.
Bridge Over the River Jicaro
After treating the children at the Republic de Venezuela school at Jicaro, Tommy, Lee, Dane, Jose Pinto, and I walked 100 yards or so down the hill to examine this bridge. During the rainy season, the stream is often over a meter deep and very fast moving. Sometimes it reaches the existing half-log bridge, and the 7 children living on the other side cannot attend school. The proposed bridge would have a reinforced concrete deck, 1.5 meters wide, with a guard rail on both sides. It would be about 2 ft. higher than the current bridge, and would have a reinforced concrete center support. This appears to be a highly worthwhile project, and is recommended by this team for prompt consideration by the HAF Construction Committee.
By the way, the reason you haven’t heard much from Lee before today is because he goes to Martha’s garage every chance he gets to work on a teacher’s desk for the first grade class at the White Dove School in Santa Clara. This will be completed from existing materials, with no purchases required, and will be completed before we leave.