B3 Blog

Interns Weekly – Week 2

Our third week as interns at B3 was filled with preparations for the end of the year reunion for all B3 students and advisors, or Despedida, hosted at the Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in Norwalk. This involved many different activities, including the physical-demanding moving of materials from the Builders Beyond Borders office to Stepping Stones, as well as less tiring activities such as creating slideshows with pictures from the year, creating a musical playlist for the event, and collecting raffle tickets to win the Mini Cooper brought into the office. We worked the sign in table at the Despedida and are happy to say that it was quite a success. The food trucks were awesome and we are all so jealous we won’t be able to go to Guatemala next year! Did you know it’s possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not down?!


Jake, Natalie, and Emily

Noah, Natalie, Jake, and Emily check in students and advisors at the 2014 B3 Despedida

Interns Weekly – Week 2

Our second week as interns in the new B3 office was one full of fun and B3 activities such as marching in the Memorial Day parade waving the flags of countries and states we’ve visited, as well as holding a booth at Art About Town, an event in downtown Westport this past Thursday. The parade was extremely useful in spreading the word about B3, and afterwards we all stopped by Amy’s for a delicious breakfast buffet. We displayed the mosaics from previous B3 trips that were made up of many individual pictures from each team. You may have seen these hanging up on the walls at the old office! We also chatted with many local residents about B3’s work and what it means to us. This week, we also continued sharing trivia facts! Did you know an ant can fall from any height without dying?


Jake, Emily, and Natalie

B3 interns Natalie, Emily and Noah help out at Art About Town in Westport

Interns Weekly – Week 1

Our first week as interns in the B3 office was a very productive one. It was our goal to help ease the transition into the new office at 66 Fort Point Street. To do this, we performed a variety of tasks including spray painting flagpoles, choosing mosaics, organizing CDs and DVDs from past trips, and sorting carabiners. You also may have received a text from us urging you to march with us at the Memorial Day Parade in Westport! (8:30 a.m., Spot #47, be there or be square) We’ve been having a lot of fun sharing trivia facts at lunch with Amy, Karen, and Carly. Did you know that 9 million share the same birthday as you? Neither did we.


Natalie, Emily, and Jake

High school intern, Jake, and college intern, Noah, working hard during their first week at B3


Life of a B3 Intern – Week 3

A party is only as good as the people planning it and for the past week our goal at the B3 office was to plan the best Despedida to date. Many testimonials from last Friday gave us satisfaction that we did indeed meet our goal, but what are the steps to making the best Despedida to date? Here they are…. Step One, plan, plan, and plan some more. Throughout the entire week everyone at the B3 office including us interns was brainstorming every last detail from what music to play to how many bags of ice to bring. On Monday we took a trip to the venue to really get an idea of the layout as well as timing for the night so we could solidify our plans. So after you have made sure you have more than sufficiently planned the party you move on to Step Two, make everything look nice! What does this entail? Making a large amount of arts and crafts. The entire week we made sure everything looked as appealing as possible from the team signs to the gift bags. We assembled and put our artistic touch on everything we could. After Step Two is completed you get to the final step, Step Three, make sure the night runs smoothly! Making sure we did this step correctly B3 interns, staff, and advisors arrived to the venue two hours early to make sure everything was set up and ready for the party later that night. So although working through these steps was a lot of work it was all worth it seeing everyone at the Despedida having an amazing time.

B3 intern Vncent, student volunteer Lilli, Team Lead Ileana and student volunteer Julie help get set-up for the Despedida.


Life of a B3 Intern – Week 2

Last week, us interns had a lot to do. On Monday we all got up bright and early and headed to the Memorial Day Parade, where we displayed a float showcasing what we do both locally and internationally. After the parade we were awarded the “most creative” float by the judges. On Tuesday we got back to the office and began working on two different projects. Corey and Noah began working on creating a Builders Beyond Borders app for the iPhone, while Justine and Charlotte began preparing of gift bags for the Despideda. On Wednesday and Thursday continuing preparations for the Despideda. We spent the majority of our time organizing coins and key chains into the gift bags, which we will be handing out at the event. On Thursday afternoon Builders Beyond Borders headed over to Art About Town, where we sold mosaics, raffle tickets and introduced the organization to interested adults and children. Overall, it was a very productive week.

Art About Town 2013

From left to right: B3 college intern: Vicent Simboli; B3 high school interns: Charlotte Weseley (not pictured), Justine Belport, Corey Werner and Noah Bender.

Life of B3 Intern – Week 1

The first week of interning was filled with many different tasks varying from creating the float for the Westport Memorial Day Parade to promoting B3 at different local schools to organizing receipts from a Guyana project to be scanned, copied and filed. We have also sorted through the photos that have been uploaded by all the students and advisors to create an iMovie and PowerPoint to be used at open houses and other recruitment events. Beside the interning part, we all obviously make a point that our designated team is the best. We still have yet to come to a conclusion, but of course it’s all in friendly competition. Plus, we all don’t have a problem with poking fun at Karen, Craig and Amy. It gives us all a laugh when slaving away* at the jobs given to us.


Justine, Noah, Corey and Charlotte

*Editor’s note: Phrase used for emphasis. 

B3 Interns 2013



Trabajueños Day Five

We started our average morning by waking up at 6:15 for a 6:30 breakfast of pancakes, fresh fruit and eggs. Although we initially divided ourselves into 6 groups of 4, we learned that this was ineffective and switched to groups of 3. Whether we were clipping and tying wires, digging our trench, making cement and “estribos” (square metal pieces that need to be hand bent and fit around the rebar to ensure earthquake resistance), or finishing up the brick walls, we always found ourselves occupied. After five hard days of work, it all seemed to come together as we placed the final brick (may we mention-an hour and a half after we had anticipated being done). This signified to us that not only had we built a brick wall, but rather a new beginning for the citizens of Sonrisa de Dios. With the intense heat, NicaPhoto’s freshly made lemonade motivated us to stay determined and consistent in our grueling workday.

We had a delicious lunch of vegetables, beef, rice, plantains and salad, which kept us going for the next four hours. It was virtually impossible to navigate our worksite without hearing the harmonizing of Adele, singing of show tunes, quoting of movies, and dancing to Dubstep. Overall, the workday was more than successful and it was evident that even the stubborn maestros appreciated our hard work (which let us tell you, is hard to achieve).

After the construction was done for the day, we all (with our amigos) played a soccer match while catching up on our past two days. The smiles of our little amigos never fail to impress us, further emphasizing how much our time and effort really has impacted the community as a whole.

After returning back to the Modulo, we had thought we were done with activities for the day. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the arrival of around twenty “bixis” (which for all of you readers who currently have no idea as to what we are talking about, they are these little tourist bikes comparable to those in New York City). We really got a feel for the town of Nagarote, and got to see some amazing views along the way. At one point we even got the opportunity to climb this tower to see the sunset overlooking the entire town. Also on our tour, we got to see what we were told to be the oldest tree in Nicaragua, with its life span surpassing 1000 years.

After our entertaining tour, we were finally back at the Modulo. We can honestly say that we have never before seen such a stampede for the showers! Until dinnertime, we occupied ourselves with constant games of catchphrase, cards and bananagrams.

We had a delicious dinner, which consisted of French fries, chicken tenders, vegetables, pasta salad, oreo cakesters, strawberry Fanta and some sort of mystery desert (which was actually quite good!)

All in all, we would classify our day as successful, enjoyable, and rewarding. Circle was a great way to discuss our thoughts on the afternoon and the interactions with the locals while sharing our hopes and goals for the project.


Emma and Charlotte

Trabajueños Day 4 in Sonrisa de Dios

At 5 o’clock in the morning, completely unbeknownst to anyone in the group, an unbelievably loud marching band woke us up. It is a tradition in Nicaragua, and in Nagarote especially, to wake up on the morning of your birthday to the sound of a band, and as Sam Carpenter 53, it was a pretty exciting occasion. Sometimes the Nicaraguans will celebrate at 12:01 and will blast any music they can if they can’t afford the band. After a breakfast of birthday cake and some other goodies, we went to the worksite. Our accomplishments for the day included finishing half the trench, getting the brick walls high enough to lay the support on, and starting a new wall and the other half of the trench. At the end of the workday, we came back to the Modulo and got all dolled up to go out to dinner in Leon. Wilbur, our guide, took us to different focal point in the city, sharing its history as well as his own. We also got in a little shopping. It was one of our most productive and fun days yet!

Trabajueños Worksite Update

Rachel and Bobby Eddy weigh in on their experience in Nicaragua thus far…

“The Late Show with Bobby and Rachel”

Dearest parents, guardians, grandparents and Bruce’s posse,

Today was our first day in the town of Sonrisa de Dios.  We were welcomed warmly by the villagers, who dazzled us with their moves and grooves on the dance floor.  One man sang the popular Nicaraguan song “Nicaragua, Nicaraguita”, which is translated as “Nicaragua, my little Nicaragua”.  His voice was the equivalent to the brightness of 1,000 moons in the dark night sky.  We are not exaggerating.  Many of us got the opportunity to meet our amigos.  They were charming and friendly and invited us to join them as they tore up the dance floor.

We began the mixings of the rich, cream and sadly elusive cement.  Bruce [Miller] began the rigid, competitive selection of Cement Solution Employees.  Unfortunately, we have yet to begin laying the bricks; however, we intend to begin at 7:30 am sharp tomorrow.  We cannot wait to share our experiences with you, and intend to blog daily.

Thank you very much for your continued support!  Stay classy, B3!

Your devoted servants, Rachel and Bobby Eddy

February Nicaragua Update Four

School childern celebrate the end of school in the village of San Ignacio.

We visited San Ignacio and Pablo Antonio Cuadra today – both being La Esperanza Granada (LEG) projects.  It just so happened to be the last day of summer classes for the San Ignacio school and as we pulled up to the school, we found the kids and the LEG volunteers celebrating with dancing (and loud music!) and games. The children were excited, happy and very curious to talk to us and see what we were taking photos of.  Luckily most of the kids were dancing and playing, so we weren’t overrun with requests to get pictures taken.

After that we went to the Pablo Antonio Cuadra school. Up to this point everyone has told us that there is no rain in February – that’s it’s very hot and dry. Well, I’m not sure what’s happening because we got caught in a downpour! Everyone still swears that this is a fluke and that it surely will be hot and dry, but we’re doubtful. Bring your rain jackets everyone! It’s still hot, though!

Smiles and excitement all around  – everyone is eager to meet the Americans!