Volunteering

Our Canadian neighbors, who put on a wonderful Christmas day get-together, also use the occasion to collect dog food for an impoverished woman in Montevideo who has 44 dogs. Sound like a lot? Last year it was 77.

Delivering the donated food  — 260 kilos of it — they were appalled by what they saw. So they organized. Friday morning we arrived, I and another guy with our weed-eaters with brush blades, others with clippers, all with work gloves and most with Wellies. In a few hours, we had changed the overgrown property dramatically.

Tomorrow, we go to fill a dumpster (volquete; I did boring posts about them here and here) with various trashed appliances, and to continue clearing a path for one of four abandoned vehicles to be dragged away. I will use a “found” concrete column to straighten the leaning fence in front.

Next: repair the roof that blew off because the beams had been eaten by termites, make the house a little livable, install a fence to segregate dogs. At present, when we arrive, she has to put them inside. And what does inside look like?

Glad you asked.

telma-01
Someone’s sleeping quarters since the roof blew off.
telma-02
We don’t in fact know what they do for bathroom needs
telma-03
“We never had children, so our dogs are our children,” says Telma. OK, but 44 — ?
telma-04
It’s not clear that her husband is physically able to do much more. I didn’t take the photo; I don’t know.

Some money is needed for materials. Though no organized appeal has been made, one person (also referenced in one of the boring volquete posts) has made a very generous donation.

Telma expressed her gratitude for our effort: I feel that I’m cared for; that I’m not alone.

Finding volunteer opportunities in Uruguay can be a challenge (everything, it seems, is covered by a low-paid government job), so I’m grateful to our neighbors for organizing this.

Our estimate for repairs is US$ 3,500.

¡Adelante!

 

 

2 comments

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks very much for this information Doug.
    Would be great to see some pics from the outside
    also, antes y despues !!
    And pics of the doggies – where are they ??

    • Doug says:

      I don’t take my camera when doing physical work, so photos are from others. The dogs “escaped” yesterday — the barely-mobile husband opened the door for them, annoyed at all that’s going on without him seeing, apparently – and there appeared to be “only” 20-25, not 44 as we expected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *