Today was my first lesson in Ugandan construction. Measure twice cut once. Our local carpenter was familiar with this phrase, he'd learned it from a missionary team from Mexico. It served him well. Despite the rounded concrete wall, the slightly unlevel floor, and the mysterious obstruction behind the wall he did a bang up job. He even let me help. There are many limitations he has overcome. Hand saws, I've seen roadside tablesaws at furniture shops but it's a bit out of his price range for now. Wood glue, either he didn't have any or the country doesn't have any, not sure which. That reminds me, note to my wife: please bring my wood glue, should be the brownish bottle with the gorilla hand on it. While I'm at it:
-Bubble level, both if the boy can find them
-Drill bits (orange case)
-Needle nose pliers
-Concrete screws, sorry you'll have to go to Lowes for them but they will do loads of good.
All of that is probably way too heavy to just add to someone's luggage. Maybe just go out to the shed and have the boy photograph…
Sorry, maybe this would be better for a private email. But I do want it in the public record all of the things we thought were necessary. We learned much of the things we did prepare for by reading other's experiences over here. And of course when I say we, I mean my wife. She read about a nasty fly called the putzi that defiles your clothes while they are hanging out to dry and give you worms. So now I have to buy an iron with which to steam kill them. Trust me I'll have the most crisp boxer shorts possible to prevent… (perhaps I better put that in the email)
There is a couple of dogs on the property but no tennis balls so they've given to playing catch with rocks. They'll play with anyone so perhaps the boy can teach them with a ball. Honey, see if you can find some tennis balls, they can go in his carry on.
The next step to our kitchenette renovation will be some electricity. If you look closely in the corner you'll see the shadow of a wall socket that once was. Which means there might be a line up in the attic just waiting to be dropped down. Of course what else might occupy that attic is probably the stuff of nightmares and might not want to be disturbed. Maybe I'll wait till I can find a bigger flashlight and a flamethrower.
Enough silliness. We visited a model farm this week and started compiling our own profiles of what to pursue in our farming goals. We turned the compost a couple of times, ideally in thirteen more days it will be humus. In the classroom we got training on going beyond a community's farming practice and getting to understand their worldview and not only how it influences their farming successes and/or shortcomings but their culture as well. Next week we get into several villages to begin sharing sustainable farming practices.
Oh and did I mention the family joins me Tuesday?