Wednesday, January 11, 2012
All quiet on the mongoose front last night. We hopped up ready to work on our fence project but learned that the truck carrying the fenceposts had broken down and that they were not delivered this morning after all. We immediately shifted gears and sent a crew off to buy the things we need to help us spruce up the small one room schoolhouse nearby. We bought cleaning supplies and paint, having gotten the okay to apply the color that Lily chose for the interior: yellow.
Once we got organized with our new purchases (sort of) we sent a small crew to the school to clean and prep it for painting while the rest waited until we heard that the posts had finally arrived and hurried down the hill to start setting them into our freshly-dug holes.
A good number of the village volunteers on this project were on site when we arrived, moving the heavy concrete posts into position and setting up the components to mix concrete. We organized the first of many bucket brigades to move rocks from one place to another (mostly uphill, of course), to get water to the mix point and to move the concrete itself up to where it was needed. We love our bucket brigades because they mean we all get to work and no one’s burden is too awful to bear.
We are glad to be getting to the bulk of the fence project and we are equally glad that we have another place (the school) to put in some productive time. We have had painful amounts of downtime in the last couple of days, which is just not our style.
It is our style, though, to answer questions from the third graders in Mrs. Hamilton’s class at Southwestern Elementary School in Hanover, Indiana. Here are their most recent questions and our answers:
1. Have you seen any snakes, and will you take pictures of them? Travis, age 8 and Zane, age 8
We have not seen any snakes yet. If we do, we will definitely try to get pictures.
2. Is this the only way to sharpen machetes? Eli, age 9
No, people also sharpen them with hand files right out on the worksite. The contraption on the bike, though, gets them much sharper much faster.
3. How did they get the sharpening bike out to the worksite? Jennifer, age 8
They carried it out from one of the houses nearby.
4. How deep do the holes need to be? Logan, age 9
The holes are about two feet deep and a little more than a foot wide. Once a pole gets in there, we fill it with lots of rocks before pouring concrete in to set the pole.
5. Why did you decide to eat the slug? Tim, age 8
Some of the females challenged him to do it, so he did.
6. What flavor was the birthday cake? Kasper, age 9
Chocolate. With strawberries, but no icing.
Darcy hard at work. Check it out, Noodle and Doodle!
Dennis chillin' like a villain: so fresh and so clean
Hilary getting some help from Elisha
Lily getting to know some kids around the school
Moving cement with a bucket brigade
Muscles -- Working together to move concrete uphill
One of the locals mixing concrete barefoot
Our friend Martin's grandson
"Professor Shawn"tossing buckets with perfect form
Setting one of 27 posts
Sia getting water from the river
Teamwork: Martha and Praygood trying not to get cement all over themselves
The day begins
The roots of the tree of life
Work in progress: The posts we are putting up to support the fence