News‎ > ‎


posted Aug 3, 2010, 7:06 AM by Julie Bateman

So early this morning, the sun was just thinking about coming up, I was surprisingly awakened by Ethan who unknown to me had made a date with Fiao late yesterday afternoon to pick up the little bit of lumber left near the swamp and nearby forest early the next morning – and Pantaneiros love their early morning. Ethan rushed out, I threw on my “clean jeans” (the ones I wear after I shower and typically just to dinner so they are never dirty), rushed out to the road and joined Ethan on the ledge over the tractor wheel. And then Fiao was in gear, and groggy-eyed I looked back to find a dead cow being dragged by two if its ankles. Could not dream of a better start to a day – the cow had been sick for a while and reduced to basically skin , and bones.  Onwards, Fiao expertly drove the tractor into the field and toward the forest with the our luggage bouncing along behind, and just as we neared the forest, the rope slipped and Fiao decided it was as good as spot as any for the cow to remain as the vultures’ breakfast – one of the more efficient waste management technologies in the region, the alternative is burning the trash (plastic and all) in a trash bonfire). Getting the rest of the lumber with Fiao and his tractor was too easy to even describe, and in under a half hour we had returned to site with the final addition to our lumber stock.

 The day rolled on, and it looked like we would have to wait until the next day, Sunday, to pour concrete into our bond beam. John and Ethan were finishing up the synching and screwing our latest formwork boxes (the ones from the forest), and Joao was securing the earlier ones. Then it hit 10 am and Joao decided that John and Ethan could hustle and finish while we poured the first part of the bond beam.

 The pressure was on for the next seven or so hours, mainly just on John and Ethan, we just kept handing buckets up to Joao and moving down the beam. Late afternoon, John and Ethan climbed down at last, and by sunset we poured the last buckets of concrete in the bond beam.