Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Where We've Been, Where We're Going - In Other Words, A Summary

I've just returned from our week long international meeting in Mexico where I met people working with NPH in all nine countries (and the people themselves from many other countries from North and South America and Europe), attended a plethora of meetings and gained about 7 pounds from the incredible Mexican food!

One evening I gave a presentation on the Nicaragua construction project. Those attending came from a wide background, so it was pretty general. I tried to touch on the history a bit, but also bring people up to speed with the most recent activities as well.

I won't make you sit through the whole thing (or maybe I just don't want to type it!), but here are the slides with short explanations.

Ok, I suppose this slide doesn't really need an explanation!

NPH Nicaragua has gone through several significant changes in the last few years, only one of which is relocating to the mainland. Through all of this, NPH Nicaragua has tried to both push for change where needed, not settle with complacency, but also understand that real change does take time.

The decision to move off the island has been debated for years within NPH, but the eruption of the volcano in 2005 and continued activity was the ultimate catalyst.

Not surprisingly, moving to the mainland has it's advantages and disadvantages. The reason the island was chosen was to shelter kids from crime, drug abuse and all the trauma they had already suffered too much from. However, living on the mainland is less expensive, creates a larger pool of educated potential employees, creates opportunities for more integration with the community the kids will eventually live in, better access to higher education and medical facilities.

In January of 2007, property was bought to start the project.

Interviewing architects and engineers, planning, revising, talking, revising again. It's been a full year, but we've tried to leave no stone unturned and no person unheard.

This is the latest version of the Master Plan. It continues to be revised as we continue on, but it's more like fine tuning now.

We have applied for and recieved all our permits including the environmental impact permit. We've received bids, and have chosen a contractor for the first four homes in the project.

The contractor has begun work and is moving along. I do my best not to hit my chin on the table as he actually hits the schedule dates. The truth is that he is not a cheap contractor, but receiving a quality product in the time that was agreed upon suddenly seems not only worth a little extra cost, but slightly miraculous.

Construction is movin' right along...

This is the final plan of the first four homes. We're already discussing small changes that can be made to save costs on future homes, but these ones are set. That is one huge advantage of building this building a total of 28 times, we'll be really good at it by the time we're done!

These are the architects renderings of the inside of the home (they have been posted here previously, so that's why they look familiar).

It all looks fantastic, the plans are great, the progress is good, but there is the little nagging truth that we aren't done and that we are far from it.

But, of course, our team with continue to work as we receive donations and someday this kids will be settled all together as a family!


eschwede said...

Wow - the houses look wonderful - I'm so glad you got a real architect! Blessings on all your work - can't wait to see how it turns out.

Nic said...

Thanks Ellen! Our architect has done a great job, but you kept us going too! Give the family a hug for me!

kneek said...

Hey Nicole, I haven't been reading blogs in a long, long time, but just spent half an hour catching up on the last two months of posts. Looks like things are really speeding along. I'm so happy for you. I hope the construction continues along at a reasonable clip.