Sunday, May 25, 2008

Building and more building. And a snake.

Okay, relax. It was a baby snake. That’s not where I’m going to start this entry anyway. The creepy stories always go in the last paragraph.

This week we celebrated a fairly exciting event—the installation of a culvert on the mission’s entry road. Dwight has been searching for months to find the right culvert at the right price, and last week he finally found it! Two actually. These things weigh close to ½ a ton each, so loading and unloading them was quite interesting to watch (for me). Funny how it’s always interesting to watch other people at work. I mean, I could have lent a hand, but I was the designated photographer, so I was otherwise engaged, so to speak. :) Everyone was quite proud of the finished product. The doors for the grain shed also finally got finished this week. The shed was built earlier this year with adobe blocks (produced by a machine that was donated to the mission), but the doors were a bit slower in coming. The carpentry shop has a LONG “to do” list as I imagine all carpentry shops must. But finally this week, after months of waiting, the doors were finished and installed. It think they look too nice to be hanging on a shed, but the wood we work with here, for the most part, is all hardwood and quite beautiful. It can be as tough to cut through as iron at times, but it’s well worth the effort!

This is inside the grain shed. Palettes (also made from beautiful wood) were made for the sacks of maize to rest on. Safe storage of food against rats, weevils, dampness and theft is a big challenge for us, and we hope we’ve now got a handle on at least a few of these. With rising fuel prices and this year’s poor crops, the food shortage is sure to turn critical. (This is Mushu, making sure things are rat-free).

Here’s one of the other ongoing projects in our ever-busy wood shop: window frames for our house. Yay! I must say that now that the walls are going up and our house is starting to resemble a real house, I’m much more enthused about all the work it is taking/will take yet to build it. The older you get, the harder it is to start over again.
This week we received the official “ok” to start work on the training center. Dad and Dwight went to the site to “shoot some levels” (no weapons involved, by the way). What they discovered about the proposed site—chosen because we found water there—is that there’s much more of a slope than meets the eye. Hmm. History repeats itself. We discovered the same thing where we’re building our house too. The guys asked me to take photos of them showing the difference in levels from different vantage points. Looks like a scene from “Honey, I shrunk the kids” to me. Once this construction gets underway there will be a whole lot more work for that wood shop! Snake paragraph (aka last one): I almost stepped on this little guy this morning. Dwight and I were merrily walking along and suddenly my feet started doing the backward two-step...a-a-a-a-g-g-h-h-h. I think my conscious mind only kicked in after the danger was past. It’s funny how one’s senses at times can kick in with a reaction to something before the brain has entirely registered what is going on. He was pretty small, maybe 7” long or so, and being juvenile made him pretty hard for me to identify. I think he’s a boomslang (tree snake) with that stubby nose and huge eyes. Yes, Boomslangs are poisonous. So we gave him the proper respect that poisonous snakes deserve, and since he was little and not in our immediate backyard, we let him carry on his merry way, head up and weaving side to side.

PS: btw, someone (Dan from Three Hills, Alberta) discovered some information about our sterilization pot. It’s actually an accessory that’s used to sterilize dressings INSIDE a larger, pressure-cooker like pot (like the one pictured in the previous blog post). Well, that’s good to know! Thank you Dan.


Anonymous said...

That culvert is a great landmark for where to turn off the highway - so the "plastic bag in the tree" is history??
A 7" snake? are you sure he's not longer than that??WOW!!\
Great to hear of progress - in Gods Kingdom its a necessity - Blessings to you, Love Amy & EB

Amanda said...

Aww that snake is so cute!!
And the construction appears to be coming along well...yay!

Royden Lepp said...

boomslangs are chameleon's #1 predator.

(incase you were interested)