Next morning: Our hearts are open now. We embrace the people there as family when we can. But, we have work to do, and we are encountering new problems at every turn.
Three containers arrived at the Orphanage, still sealed from the port.
Obstacle one: Find a means of cutting the seal. Soon, we had a hack saw. Mission accomplished. The logistics firm that packed the containers made mistakes, and the journey is rough coming up La Montagne. We find the container with the batteries a jumbled mess. However, my first voltage check on the batteries showed a higher state of charge than expected. I read 6.29VDC. This is closer to 50% state of charge than 30%. So, we have good batteries. I could sleep.
Obstacle Two: We had almost no tools, and dismantling the bracing was difficult. The nails in flooring proved hellish to extract. Members were spiral nailed to the decking, impeding the removal of our heaviest equipment. A saw, a failing sledgehammer, two claw hammers, and some violence got the job done.
Obstacle Three: The batteries had fallen onto precious thoughts and useful things. Toys were smashed, and the good containers they were in, ruined. The top of a water cooling tank was crushed, as well. Removal of the batteries required a one-by-one daisy chain, to the ground near the flatbed. We were careful, and the work was done quickly.
Obstacle Four: The Generator. At first, I thought using rails as a spanner beneath, but Brian suggested two-by-fours. We carried it out pall-bearer style, and the lift to the high flatbed required three to a side--and we released in pairs as our portion approached the edge of the flatbed. The generator weighs around 600 pounds. Getting the generator in the power-shed, we used two modes of management. One, an end of the generator skid was put on a dolly. Then, two rails were inserted to lift the other, which helped make rapid progress to the corner of the building. We successfully made two turns, then we changed methods. Pipe was sacrificed to use as well.
Obstacle Five: The Equipment Wall. Assembling everything in Austin came at a price, but we all agreed it was a time saver. Still, the equipment wall weighs in near 600 pounds. We left it in the tightly packed crate, moving it to the flatbed and lifting it the same way we did the generator. Once near the buildings, we un-crated the wall and coaxed it to the ground. The plywood creaked and popped, warning it was too weak to take much abuse. Most of the way, we rolled it on pipes, slowly.
Obstacle Six: Tool Theft. Adrian discovered the corded impact drill had been stolen at the port, threatening near certain failure drilling the holes for the wedge anchors. Luckily, Lionel had one on site. We could proceed.
Obstacle Seven: More Tool Theft. The allen wrenches were stolen from the kit. We discovered nearly half the tools we sent were gone, but the allen wrenches were needed to secure the lugs on the terminal blocks for the battery cables. We found a workaround, when Brian discovered a standard bit for the drill was the same size as the allen fitting in the terminal blocks.
Obstacle Eight: Failing Wall Anchors. When attempting to anchor to the wall, for the battery rack, we discovered the walls were cinder block. The anchors pulled large chunks of cinder from the wall with little effort. Our plan to tie into the wall is dashed. We put one decent mount in the wall for the battery rack, one L-foot in the floor to prevent creep, and one L-foot to level the shelving. For the equipment wall, we built a buck to lean against the wall, held in place by lumber anchored to the concrete flooring to prevent sliding.
We ate dinner at 6pm, and Adrian connected the pig-tail from the gen set to the inverters to put a boost charge on the batteries. From this point, we had available energy in the buildings.
Next morning, we started work after breakfast. Very early in the day, a tall Haitian woman appeared dressed in white, head to toe. She was holding an infant swaddled in white. For more than an hour and a half, she stood there silently. As quietly as she had come, she disappeared, leaving her baby in the shade at the Pavilion. Another orphan joined the ranks, unexpectedly.
Obstacle Nine: The portable generator locked up. It was running fine the night before. We needed it to run the hammer-drill on the rooftop. I pulled on the cord, but it just wouldn't budge. I feared the worst. Suddenly, I remembered a pump engine locking up because the fuel line was left open overnight. The engine flooded so badly, the piston hydro-locked. Could it be? Yup. I pulled the spark plug out, and pulled the cord. Gasoline spurted out of the engine, as it spun freely. A few more pulls, after letting it dry up a bit and reinstalling the spark plug, and the generator started.
Obstacle Ten: About half the wedge anchors would not set. This was impeding progress, and frustrating Adrian to no end. Brian Gamez saved the day! He remembered a tip from Carlos: by putting a few loose strands of fine copper wire in the bores, the wedge anchors started setting--every one of them. Progress greatly improved, as well as our confidence in the racking.