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Last day of the build

So onto the last day of the build…..a sad day because it means that we

will soon be saying goodbye to the wonderful people that I’ve been surrounded by for the last week. The photo to the right is of our fearless leader posing by one of the walls. Thanks Mike and Conner.

The floors that we poured on Thursday are cured enough for us to walk on them. Wood is very expensive and so we need to reuse the wooden boards used for forms to pour the concrete window and door support beams. This means that it was not possible to finish all of them in a single pour. So we pull the backing boards off the cured pours from the previous day and reuse them for some of the remaining sills. With each pour, we were able to complete a quarter of the overhead sills. This meant that the volunteers would never see the house shell complete because the sills will only be finished the following week. The professionals hired by Fuller will finish up the house over the next month.  Ah well..
Our last day is spent putting stucco on the walls. Some of us are ferrying buckets of sloppy mortar that the artisans will load up onto a float and then using a trowel flick it onto the wall. When they did it, 98% of the mortar stuck to the walls. They then smooth and level the surface of the stucco using a straight edge piece of wood. Pretty simple concept.

So, Jeff and I decide that we’re going to give it a try… I load up the mortar onto the float, I transfer about a cup to my trowel and flick it onto the wall. Splat. And seventy five percent is on the floor. Ugh.  Ok, try again with more of a sweeping motion, which results in a higher retention on the wall. About fifty percent now. But the cupful is slammed on the wall as a lump. Great, I just managed to give the wall a pimple. Third try, more flick with the same sweeping motion. Ah, much better spread this time but almost no retention on the wall. This is a lot more difficult than I thought. I load up the float again and continue with my attempts. By now, all of the artisans have stopped their progress and are watching my attmpts with much amusement. After about five floats of mortar, mostly of which landed up on the floor, I decided that I was just wasting mortar and Jeff took over. He was much better and was able to consistently achieve a sixty-plus percent retention. After a couple of minutes, we both decided to leave this to the professionals because we were wasting mortar. We can’t do that to our teammates that are mixing the mortar for us.

The rest of the team is busy loading up the building rubble so that it can be carted away. It is a slow day because of the limited supply of wood and the skills needed to stucco the house. As such, we have the afternoon off which we use to walk around the town and to enjoy our cold water showers in the heat of the day. The showers feel great but you’re just as sweaty within ten minutes of the shower.

Here is the house as we left it

And the fantastic team of volunteers that I had the privilege to work with and get to know. The lady sitting next to me is Marie, the new house owner

In the afternoon, we did a walk around town and played with some of the kids. Here is a video of the windmill that I can’t remember how many times I did over the week.

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