Ilivetolearn's Blog

September 30, 2012

day four of the build

Filed under: food/groceries,on the road — ilivetolearn @ 9:55 pm

Day Four was somehow less satisfying than the first three. There wasn’t quite so much dramatic progress, and there was a lot of re-doing of things we had already done. When we got there, the pros were cutting notches at the tops of the walls and sliding in beams to hold up the roof (Bill hopped right up on the scaffolding to help them sister two beams together to make one long enough):

Then they put the zinc panels up:

And then we worked on the window and door openings so the wooden frames could go in. Notice that the window openings look pretty square and neat in the above photos. Well, to cram the frames in, the workers proceeded to chip out concrete, in some cases knocking holes so big we had to slather on pounds of mortar to fill them. This was how they looked when we had redone them after the frames were inserted:

And then James made them all square and beautiful again:

We amused ourselves checking out other houses in the neighborhood, like this cute old-fashioned one behind Angelica’s:

and we watched the next-door neighbors chop down a huge mango tree, and we found this banana tree nearby:

The bananas are full-sized (6-7″) and the weird purple flower hanging below them is enormous! We bought bananas almost every day from a woman on the main road near the build site. It’s amazing how much shopping you can do here without leaving your car. One day we had just stopped–barely off the road, looking for a store–and the minute one of the boys said, “I wish we had a bottle of cold water” an 8-year-old appeared at the passenger-side window with…a huge bottle of cold water.

September 6, 2012

day 3 of the build

Filed under: on the road — ilivetolearn @ 10:12 am

Today the Habitat professionals–Lucas, James, and Vasco–worked on framing out the windows and building the slanted walls at the sides of the house. We got some grunt work–removing nails from (and scraping dried cement off) the boards that were used for yesterday’s concrete course:

so that these boards could be used again. Mostly they became parts of the scaffolding. They were transported, or course, on female heads:

We also got to build up the back wall of the house

and take many wheelbarrows full of dirt into the house for the subfloor

Notice Evan wearing winter clothing–he started off each day (when it was probably 50 or 55 degrees F) in sweater, scarf, and hat while the rest of us made do with T-shirts and lighter coverings. He’s acclimated to the REAL tropics in Burkina Faso and claims to be cold all the time.  Notice also Bill napping under our mango tree in the background. And to the left of Margo’s shoulder is the cooking area, where this is the daily scene:

The mountain of shima for lunch. Some of the bushes that make up the hedge (and also serve as a drying rack for laundry and a place to hang various pots) are piri-piri plants, so we get freshly-picked hot peppers to smash into the bland shima. It’s starting to feel like home here.

And the house is starting to look homey, too: end of Day Three:

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