Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 9

Today we finally sifted enough soil to make our first mix of mortar for the bricks in the long-drop toilet. It has been raining every day, and while that is lovely, it makes the clay-rich soil here very hard to sift- it took us 2 hours today to sift 3 1/2 tiny buckets!

(Here is our terere:)
But that was enough along with what we did Monday to make our first batch. I felt like Lucille Ball stomping grapes happily as we mixed the sand, soil, and pine needles together with our feet.

Each brick (made of local clay and sawdust, mixed together, these are made to be baked but the ones we are using aren’t) is laid on a pile of this fine mortar, and stacked against the last. When there are holes we just throw a pile of mortar on top and let it splat into the space, filling whatever needs to be filled.

It took us about 30 minutes to mix and use the amount of mortar that it took us three days to make because of the weather, but that made it all the more satisfying. And now we have 6 layers of brick separating the two sides of our toilet!

I did laundry for the first time today, letting it soak in the giant bowl, and then scrubbing it and rinsing it in the river.

As soon as we hung it out to dry (three of us did our laundry today!) it began to rain and we had to take it in again and find creative places to hang it in the kitchen. But, now the sun is back out, the laundry is drying on the line again, and we are about to have our afternoon work starting seeds with Kimberly.

Life in the jungle… one of the cardinal rules is that everything depends on the weather. Sometimes we have to just let our plans go, and I think that is a good lesson for us all. I’m learning to roll with it all, a lesson I love in so many ways. I feel like I’m on island time, which is my favorite time. And isn’t it really the same as jungle time, country time, and native time? Who needs a watch anyway? Here we are doing what we feel called to do when we feel called to do it, and it works well too… and it’s a lot less stressful. Somehow it all still gets done. And if it didn’t, I’m sure that would be fine too.

(Above is our toad friend, who comes out in the kitchen at night. The cats and the dogs all get along with him, which is pretty amazing to watch! He's a brave little guy!)

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