For more information on Uber Shelter please visit our site and to see pictures of our newest shelter design in Haiti click here.
We returned on Wednesday and did a few more repairs to the shelter that needed attention. This prototype Uber Shelter is almost a year and a half old and this is the third time it has been relocated (from Indiana to Colorado and now to its new home in Haiti). Although it is a predecessor to our current design, we decided to ship it here and give it to a family who could make good use of it. Wednesday night we stayed at Magdala's sister's house, and enjoyed the relaxing evening watching the sunset and chatting with Magdala and her family. We sat for dinner, held hands during the family prayer, and ate cornmeal porridge together under the glow of a kerosene lantern.
On Thursday we began the build early with a new idea for a leight-weight foundation to distribute the weight of the shelter more evenly on the soft soil. Think of snow shoes for the shelter. Once squared, in place and level, we drilled holes through the two pieces of lumber where earth anchors would be located. Next we pounded the earth anchors deep into the ground and tensioned them out using the tools that were provided for us by Platypus Earth Anchors. These anchors secure the shelter from any vertical uplift that could happen in strong winds. The foundation was ready, so we spent the rest of the day assembling the frame, and spent our second night with Magdala's family. In previous builds, the shelter has gone up in one day, but we thought it wise to take our time under the Haitian sun.
|snow shoes for the the shelter made from 2x6s|
|Magdala's daughter Ketura helping us clean up before sun set.|
|Louie and Jackson installing walls and windows. Also notice the shelter resting on the "snow shoe" frame|
|Kencity, Magdala's neighbor, helping tighten bolts on the second floor|
|Ketura's version of the Uber Shelter. She might be on to something...|
|Roof supports in place prior to adding the canopy and a view of the sleeping loft|
|From left to right: Jackson, Kencity, Genesis, Val, and Finel. Ketura and Louie in the background|
This week we bought parts from the hardware store to improve Magdala's house. After assessing the design and how Magalas's family will be using it, we decided that the emergency/transitional nature of the shelter design did not fully meet Magdalas current housing needs. We decided to replace the canvas roof with one made from corrugated metal and also add plywood reinforcement to the walls for security. We will be cutting and installing these upgrades over the next few days. We also took a documentary filmmaker out to see Genesis' shelter, brainstormed on our next steps, and invited various aid organizations to come evaluate the shelter.