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posted Aug 3, 2010, 7:07 AM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Aug 3, 2010, 7:09 AM ]

We woke up happily on Sunday knowing that the bond beam was now on its own to dry until the next day. Joao was already busy on site when we arrived setting up scaffolding for building the rake wall – the triangle wall just under the roof. We soon distracted him from his task by trying unsuccessfully to cover the columns neatly with mortar (called reboco in Portuguese), which protects the building from weathering and makes it much, much prettier. The motion of reboco is taking the trowel (I called it the triangle-thing to aggravate the architects - it’s a metal triangle with a handle), filling it with mortar, and flicking it sharply with your wrist at the desired surface. Well we got all those steps down except for the desired surface part, and proceeded to fling mortar at the existing house and all over our worksite. Joao laughed and then came quickly to our assistance, and taught us the tricks of the trade. He tutored us

for two columns and then we charged ahead for the next few, the first two were a 10 on a 10 scale, I’d say the rest ranged between rank 6 and 7. The day moved ahead with Joao working on the rake wall, and us on reboco and later onto a more skill-appropriate task of wheel-barrowing ground-fill (dirt from the other side of the house) for our floor.

 Just before sunset, Bonnie Shirley arrived after quite a journey – a double ankle break two hours outside of Rio de Janeiro in the mountains – and in a hefty cast – and despite all this – with our solar panel, charge controllers, and inverter! We rushed to unwrap the panel from its styrofoam and bubble wrap and we’re happy to find that it had survived its many baggage claims.

 Back to work-site news, we are having a slight change of crew. Joao is taking a two-day vacation in Cuiaba, and will return with two of his own assistants, and Eder is returning to Pocone for good. On Tuesday, Joao will return with his assistants and promises that the building will finish rapidom – rapidly.