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posted Jul 30, 2010, 6:05 AM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Jul 30, 2010, 6:50 AM ]
Our carpenters came on time, now we are the slow ones – as we neither have our bond beam poured nor all of our wood on site, I think we are adopting the culture pretty well. They were thankfully very understanding. James and John took the opportunity to show them their computer model of the roof design, and the carpenters agreed to return on Monday to start work.

Ethan and I commenced Plan B of lumber collection. We have been talking of this swamp and that forest and now we have another forest – we’ve had Ethan’s GPS to visit all of our trees and soon enough they’ll be a map. This forest is about a twenty-minute walk from the lodge, and had a well-traveled nature trail called St. Cruz. Anyways, about ten minutes down this trail we have 20 skinny roof beams, and then another five minutes we have 15 medium-size roof beams, and then another five minutes and we have 19 of our giant (5-m to 6-m) thick roof beams. The giant thick roof beams, called vigas, are the first ones needed by the carpenters and ideally located at the farthest bit of the trail. Fortunately, we only need to get them to the side of the Transpantaneira (the road running through the Pantanal), and Eduardo’s truck will then take over. We deemed the 6-m vigas too much to handle, and so spent the morning hauling our 5 5-m vigas. About halfway with the first viga we started to realize why in the world we got such a great price for lumber – half or more of the battle is retrieval. Well worth it though, this wood already looks like it’ll make a gorgeously framed roof, and as we have an open ceiling all the better.

On-site, James and John are still hard at work on the bond beam formwork  - making sure it is synched and secure for the two days that the concrete needs to cure (dry). And thanks to Joao, Eder, Mercedes, and Giorie, the bathroom walls are nearly complete.

The lumberjacks delivered on their promise, and just before sunset we had ten freshly lumbered pieces of formwork. As this lumber was just across a nearby field with only a bit of scrub, we decided to test the off-roading abilities of Gercione’s car. It made it across the field, it steadily held the ten pieces of lumber, it drove for about a minute and a half, and then a giant creaaaak and snap our ten pieces went flying and we luckily realized that the rusty roof rack had given out at one corner. As the sun was setting fast and the mosquitoes congregating to wherever we were, we abandoned our lumber and decided to return in the morning to collect it the old-fashion way.