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posted Jan 11, 2011, 4:46 AM by Ethan Shirley   [ updated Jan 11, 2011, 9:02 AM by Julie Bateman ]
While I often brag of my packing abilities, I inevitably forget something every time I go somewhere.  This time, the victims of my forgetfulness are my USB thumb drive, the blades for my cordless circular saw and the old inventory list from last year.

Don't worry: I'm here safe, and working hard.  My to-do list includes mounting the solar panel, installing in-wall water pipes, putting in screens, building doors, doing electrical wiring, installing toilets and sinks, fixing the "hole in the roof", and then cleaning and finishing the wall covering around the pipes.  The "hole in the roof", also known as our roof monitor ventilation system, has proved problematic for the locals on several levels: first, everybody was convinced the roof would fly off come the first strong storm.  Currently, the theory is that every time there's a storm, water will get in.  I can tell you from personal experience with a storm last night that neither of those things happen; but that's not convincing evidence for everyone else.

I am currently stuck, as I have run out of things that I can do without going to the city and getting more materials (wood, T-joints and elbow-joints for piping, etc.).  And of course, the city is not too easy to get to, as there are no tourists around, there are no rides.

We have been eating dried beef for the past week or so.  The new caretakers here are telling horror stories of how before Christmas it was a week of chicken.  Then the chicken ran out and eggs came in.  There was a week of omelets.  Then the eggs ran out and now we're on the dried beef.  

We're also currently on our last liter or so of diesel fuel, which is the only fuel that can power the generator, which is the only device that can power the water pump, which is the only way we can get water into the reservoir, which is the only way we can drink and eat and do other such irrelevant activities.

Hopefully, someone will come soon to our aid.

There is thunder and lightning on the horizon in every direction, but somehow all except one major storm have missed us entirely.  The mosquitos have yet to appear in force.  We are eagerly awaiting the ariival of our old bloodsucking friends, which are said to color white walls black in the heart of the rainy season.