Nov 122014

11th November

Yesterday was not a very efficient day at work. We had looked forward to getting off ground and up in the height, but of course we could not climb high in the A-frame to do any work, so a little carrying and digging was all we could do on site. Two from the team decided to follow another project today, to avoid another day without any meaningful tasks. The remaining two of us headed for the build site as normal.

The two workers were busy mounting the roof cladding when we arrived. We were set to carry the aluminium sheets from across the road. The crossing beams for the floor had to be adjusted and some sawing and chiselling was work we easily could manage. The builder himself was in a great mood today (payday?) and bought us doughnuts and soft drinks to celebrate that the roof was on, he even followed us to the jeepney when we left to show the neighbourhood that he was the lucky one having us in his team.

We were presented the fact that we also will build a comfort room to the house. This is a toilet and shower room, placed above a septic tank behind the house. This require us to dig a new hole (and we thought we had done our share of digging!) about 150×110 cm and 120 cm deep and build a septic tank out of concrete blocks in it. The digging will start Monday, and then the Australians are gone and I will be the only volunteer on the build!

A most welcome bucket bath and some laundry to be done when back home, before heading for the community Centre to see if there were anyone in to discuss my plans for future houses. I met Ester and she listened to me and saw the plans my brother has made for an alternative way to build a house. I have to do some more research on the material list for the two options, but I am quite certain, the new way of building will cost less and be faster than the way they build today.

Ended the day sharing a bottle of wine as I was invited over to a Norwegian girl’s last night party. I have heard a lot about this girl and this was my last chance to meet her. After a while all the young ones went Down Town, I went home.

12th November

A bit frustrated today; the work that we were expecting to do, the two workers had already done. Instead of finishing the roof last night as they said they would, they had done the floor beams we were supposed to do; and sat on top of the build when we came to site. As long as they were up there, we could do nothing else than await them to come down. I decided to stay and see how things developed, the rest of the team left to find another project to follow.

I stood my time, but as I left, I said I would probably not come again this week, as my wish is to do some decent work while I am in the Philippines, and this build does not allow that at this stage. I will check over the weekend to see if building the comfort room and septic tank can give me some challenges. They are also talking about painting the house, I do not know if that is in the budget, but that is definitely something I can do. I do wish to follow this house and see it finished, but I do not want to spend my time in the Philippines watching two men working. I hope there will be an alternative project for me to participate in tomorrow and Friday.

It is Christmas!

Christmas trees and lights all over. Music on the radio and at Robinson’s (the Mall). Jingle bells and I wish you a merry X-mas…. The young girl staying in the same homestay as I am, brought home a small Christmas tree and decorations for the family today (they lost most of their Christmas decorations during Yolanda). They have already decorated the tree.

I started to dig in my memory to find easy things to make for Christmas; such as different kinds of paper baskets, Santas made of yarn and so on. I stopped at Robinson’s on my way home to buy coloured paper, cotton wool and other useful materials for such activities. The girls at the Girls Club might like to make some decorations. The Santa prototype is now hanging on my wall.



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