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7/06 to 7/10

posted Jul 10, 2010, 5:45 AM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Jul 10, 2010, 6:40 AM ]
Back to the site! We at last have more than just bricks in the ground! The architects surprised us with tee-pee-like-structures mounted all over the site supporting the re-bar for our soon to be columns!

It's starting to be easier to believe that there'll be a building there within the month. The lumberjacks have been busy at work in the forest, and we are about ready to take the crew to retrieve our locally-sourced beams. We also have some very fine scrap wood to make tables, desks, and animal carvings.

The engineers have been hard at work to finish their biosand water filter, and we at last had to give back their giant water container and find a new one. The abandoned field station (read - materials lot) provided a lopsided oil drum fit for the purpose, but it proved to be quite the task to get back to the site - about two miles away. We had been laboriously rolling it down the road when a bull-dozer roared past. Seconds later with our heads down from the dust, we heard that wonderful beeps of a giant machine reversing and a friendly face motioning for us to put the oil drum in the bin and then to our surprise motioning for us to also hop inside. Belief it or not, that's how we now have a new water basin for concrete mixing (the concrete mixer continue s to be three shovel-holders).

Continuing the ridicul
ousness, Joam (the groundskeeper) decided to capture a caiman (small crocodile) that was wondering around Eduardo's lodge and drag it over to the site with one of the GIEU students, Robert. That not being enough, Joam proceeded to unleash the caiman, tell us all "Tudo bom (All good)", give us a thumbs up, and then walk to the other side of the street, leaving us with a not-so-happy caiman to deal with.

Jo, a GIEU student, pl ayed crocodile-hunter and after a bit of playing lassoed the caiman and delivered him to the nearby swamp, with Liz, a GIEU student, a nd Greg, one of our water systems engineers, holding the tail. We hope he/she made it through the night.

Now some not as exciting news on construction, we have decided where to locate our two septic holes, a gray water hole (for shower and sink wastewater), and our artisan well (that will go thirty meters down). We still have a bit more digging to do, and then some brick-laying within the holes, and then all (waste) systems are a go!

Last night (7/9), two very exciting pieces of news. We poured our first column, with our friend Alino (construction contractor working down the road at another lodge) fortunately on-site. And second, Melanie, a GIEU student, has commandeered the kitchen and took over dessert responsibilities, and cooked a delicious unnameable bread pudding with chocolate, bananas, raisins, and I think some cinnamon and coconut. Yum.

The GIEU crew is with us on site until the 13th, after which they will return Cuiaba and visit the gorgeous Chapada waterfalls.

We also currently have an English Language Institute with three students (Gercione's daughters and a niece), along with the kitchen staff. Mindy is in full force, and Gercione demands that they learn English in three days.