Summer Time Maintenance
As soon as Children’s Day was over, everyone sort of hit the ground running.
The children already knew some of the projects we have slated for this summer and were actually looking forward to the work as this is when they can earn some extra spending money.
We generally define which type of work comes with living at the Home of Hope and which type of work is considered extra or beyond the normal routine of day to day upkeep. Usually we select two to three projects for the summer which we make available to the older children to do as if they were outside working for someone else… this means they get paid for the work.
Ye Ye generally gives them a short lesson on work ethics based on “a workman is worth his hire” and they really do understand it.
This year we have three major projects that demand attention in a major way.
One is a complete overhaul of the old bridge which crosses our pond. The bridge was build about seven or eight years with some of the first arrivals to the Home of Hope. Treated lumber is not available to us here. The lumber we use doesn’t last nearly as long as it should… and requires replacing fairly often if one compares it to the life span of Wolmanized® Outdoor® Treated Wood. To defray spending the money, we have put off replacing the wood until the bridge is “almost” dangerous. We just couldn’t wait any longer.
The work involves removing all the wood from the bridge. Once the wood is removed, the steel is “wire brushed” to remove all rust and then painted with oil base paint. No such thing as “Rust-Oleum” here in China.. Sure wish there was!
While we wait for the oil based paint to dry (which takes quite awhile) we will pre-paint the wood components. Once the super structure is ready and the oil based paint is all dry, we will install the wood walkway and rails.
I’’m not sure what the resurfacing material is but I think it is some type of epoxy as it comes in two parts and requires mixing. Also, once one stops applying the material (even for a short time like a lunch break) the roller is not reusable.
The third project is to paint the complete exterior of all the buildings and walls at the Home of Hope. The last couple of years, the government has paid more attention to the appearance and finish of the exterior walls than in previous years and in fact this has become part of our annual inspection criteria for our permit to operate.
This project is probably the most extensive of the three due to the height and consequently the potential danger involved. We rent scaffolding and make the children (the older ones of course) tie off with belts and ropes.
The paint in China is not very durable so exterior painting must be done quite frequently. First the entire surface of all the buildings must be scraped to remove all the lose and peeling paint and any other loose materials that may have developed over the year. Once about 25% of the scraping is done, one group will start painting while another group continues the prep work.
The several costs involved for these three projects are: 1.) $750.00 for the bridge work, 2.) $500.00 for resurfacing the pond and 3.) $2,000.00 for painting the outside of the buildings. If you would like to participate financially in any or all of these projects your help is truly needed and will be greatly appreciated. You can make donation by clicking on the “Donate Now” button at the top left.
I really enjoy thinking over Sam’s life as it truly brings positive response to the “some times” asked question.. “Are we really making a difference?” If nothing else, you can see the difference on Sam’s face… from before he had the truth (on the left) and now! Of course we watch and experience the whole thing as they grow.. character, emotional, spiritual and physical!