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It’s been a whirlwind week for me in Haiti.  Between trying to work out, work and all of the other daily tasks associated with living here, I’ve not had much of a chance to catch my breath.  Training continues to go well, I’ve increased my run distances and am starting to (finally) feel strong running in the heat and mountains.  I have been getting some good bike sessions in as well.  Now I just am getting myself physically and mentally prepped to do some hard work before my race.

Work has been busy because the J/P HRO Project I was working on last week has had a “broadening of scope” this week and it’s become a much more complex project.  In short, the Ecole Mixte Bethesda in Delmas 32 has some serious structural issues on the second floor of the building adjacent to the one I worked with last week and I am having to come up with a few different proposals for its rehabilitation.  It is very rewarding work though.  I went to the site on Tuesday to survey this particular building with Brent (another one of the University students) and in doing so, we got a good chance to work together for the first time.  After that I’ve been buried in the computer essentially all week, save for a mapping exercise on Wednesday morning.  

Above is one of the “details” I will have to fix.  It is a 1”x1” steel column that has been inserted into an existing block wall’s sill by removing the top layer of concrete and then welding the steel to the exposed rebar….There are 4 instances of this in the second building at Bethesda; they are all actively holding up the roof structure…kind of.

Last night we all took a well-deserved break from everything here and relaxed while watching some excellent cinema.  I never knew how soothing Zoolander could be!  We all definitely needed some laughs after what has been a challenging week.

If architecture fails for me, I’m becoming a male model.

p.s. It seems odd to say this but, we leave Haiti exactly 14 days from now.  Time has gone incredibly too fast here.  I have a good feeling that I will continue coming back though.

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It’s officially one month until Ironman Florida 70.3 and I’m starting to get really excited for my race!  Training has gone quite well this week even though I’ve had crazy deadlines with work and some questionable nutrition on my part.  It will be interesting to see how I transition from my moderate level of intensity over the last couple weeks into a much higher level with a (hopefully) 5 day a week gym regimen.  The bike legs have been feeling great this week and I’m starting to feel much better in terms of my core strength as well.  It seems as though things are starting to align for my season.

On the architecture front, it’s been a crazy week.  I spent Tuesday in the Delmas 32 region of Port au Prince and it was quite the experience.  I went to a new site with one of the other design fellows at Architecture for Humanity to measure existing conditions and to assess the site.  The school we are working on is quite in disrepair and our plans are to essentially renovate it within a very limited budget and hope that the project acts as a catalyst for the neighboring buildings in terms of gaining funding.  Next week a full cost estimate will be generated and used in marketing.  It is a project that would benefit MANY children who need it desperately.  The Delmas 32 region is the one that J/P HRO (the NGO that Dave and I are working with) has been focusing on.  This area was hit quite hard due to the density of the settlement.  There are also plans for a clinic and many multi-family housing structures.  

I’ll be more on top of blogs in the coming weeks, I promise!

The Ecole Mixte Bethesda

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I’m finally starting to feel like the Florida 70.3 on May 15th is going to go well.  Today I felt the best I’ve felt on the trainer in a quite long time.  I was able to hold my high intensity thresholds for a very long time and recover quickly.  This is good news!  I’m also starting to shed some of the winter weight that I need to lose before race season (~10 lbs.) so all things are looking up for me.  I’ll get back to run training tomorrow morning.  Take care and train hard!

CS

p.s. this is my trainer for the next month, jovial jokes welcome.

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It was announced today that Michel Martelly will be the next president of Haiti.  There is a SERIOUS celebration going on in this country right now.  We (the people at the Architecture for Humanity house) were just treated to a chorus of gunfire and honking horns.  It’s a very surreal experience (as many things are in this country).  We have been on lockdown at the house for the day as a security measure only.  All of the NGOs in Haiti do this as a precaution so, don’t worry, nothing has gone crazy!  

Image credit: (AP / Dieu Nalio Chery)

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Today I began my run training for the Ironman Florida 70.3 on May 15th.  The running in Haiti is absolutely difficult to say the least.  I ran with another of my housemates through the hills just a short while ago in the 90° heat.  I don’t think I’ve ever over-heated as badly as I just did!  The hills here are actually mountains and are realistically 20+% in grade!  I would say that after my 6 weeks of running here, I will be in fantastic run shape for the flat and fast Florida course.