Belize Blog Post 6 - If You Want Mud...

Day 36 - 14th Wednesday
Had a weird thought today. Wonder what I'll do when I leave here?

See, I always leave things eventually. And often my plans don't work out like I thought, so sometimes I don't make a lot of plans. Like, when I loaded up my motorcycle to go explore the world, I had no plans of going to Belize. Sometimes I get distracted by shiny things. I might end up going for a job somewhere. Ewww!

Yesterday we (Dan and I) welded up some brackets to mount the wood beams to the walls for the porch, so today Jack and I got most of them installed. We ran out of the flux coated wire for the MIG welder, so the last one isn't ready to install, but we were able to work around that in the mean time.

Its hard to budget time here, seems to be tough to get an honest 8 hours of work into a project without something happening. Like today! We have a couple storage sheds for tools and supplies, and then we also have lots of tools stored in one of the rooms of the volunteer house, because its more secure. Well, when John went into town, he took his keys with him, so we had to work without some of the tools. Because tools are heavy, most of us didn't come here with a full set of tools, so there is always something you wish you had.

Dan and Stanley went shopping today, looking for a place to get the shielding gas for the MIG welder. Its usually either Carbon Dioxide, or a mix of CO2 and Argon gas (I think, I'm only certified as a jungle welder, remember?) Anyway, in many parts of the world, MIG welding is pretty common, and so is CO2. I mean, a Coke soda machine uses CO2 for the fizz. So at first we thought that would be really easy to find. Then we got to thinking, most of the places we go to eat give you a Coke in a bottle... hmmm ... apparently they went to like 8 or 10 different places, welding supply places, etc, and came back with no CO2.

They did find coffee filters though. Yeah, yesterday we'd looked in a few stores for coffee and filters. Found lots of coffee, no filters. Really. Its like its a whole different country here.

Chuck and Carol left today, so now we have to actually wash our own dishes. And we are currently cut off from the world again, as they took the remaining functioning vehical with them, it was a rental car, so it seemed fair they took it with them. There is still the bus service, but that's not real practical for getting things like welding gas, big pieces of steel, and drinking water. There are parts of life here that I don't think we're adapting well to.

I've seen locals riding bicycles carrying bundles of fire wood. And a shotgun. Sometimes at the same time.

Sheesh, its only 6:40 pm, I'm showered, fed, and exhausted. It wasn't all that hot today, guess I'm still not used to a real day of work. Lately we'd only worked part of a day before we ran out of something or other!

Day 37 - 15th Thursday
7:14 PM 15-Nov-2012
Today was interesting. If someone had told me that in one day I would be doing all these things, in one day, I'm not sure I'd believed them. For example...

We moved a big metal truck box across the yard by rolling it on pipes over planks, pretty much how I'm sure the Mayan's built temples. If you're curious, it works pretty well. Go figure.

Then after Dan finished putting the brakes back together on John's Diesel VW Rabbit pickup (1981 era classic!) we took it on a test drive, there by testing both the laws of physics, kinetic motion, and probably some spiritual growth in there too.

Once the test drive was completed, we got out and kissed the muddy ground.

We then further tempted the fates by using electrical power tools in a monsoon rain storm. I was not further encouraged by the fact that I was the one that had repaired most of the extension cords. Sure, its good to use a multimeter to test a cord for faults, but its another step of faith to actually use the cord when its floating in a puddle. Still, seeing that the frog didn't die made me a bit brave.

Later in the afternoon, I was once again taught about how many ways it is possible to screw up tongue and groove lumber. My brother Kevin used the same kind of stuff on his home remodel project, and after a while he gave up trying to explain how to measure and cut the stuff. Today they gave up before even starting and just put me up on the roof. I guess the agreement was either I'd fall screaming to my death, or at least stay out of the way. We're not really that far off the ground yet, but there is concrete, and exposed rebar sticking out of the ground. Oh, and the ladders we're using are made from bamboo. And cracked, twisted, and possibly still growing. And everything is still wet and slippery from that monsoon earlier.

If I ever volunteer for a mission project, I'll have to be sure its still in the ground breaking and footing foundation stage, not the roofing stage. I hate roofing, ladders, heights... really, I'm not afraid to die, its just the whole pain and suffering part before death that seems so inconvenient. just saying.

The running joke is that we'll be getting our metal roof trusses tomorrow. Yeah. Right.

Still no CO2 for the welder. It would be just so typical to get the metal and not be ready to weld it.

I'm tired to the bones again.

Day 38 - 16th Friday
More wood went into the roof today. Well, the roof of the porch, we're still not working on the roof yet. We think the actual steel for the actual roof will actually get here on Monday. Ignoring what was told us when they thought it would be here today. Yeah.

We also still don't have the gas for the MIG welder yet. Oh well.

Decided to take the afternoon off and come in for some internet time. So here we are.

More later, probably.

By Carlin Comm posted on 2012-11-16