Sense of Humor Failure or NOT

Well………………… it has been two weeks since I last updated the blog and a lot has happened in that short period of time.

Our building of the storeroom continued and it surprised me as to how quick it went along. I think even the labor were surprised at the speed this building was going up and they certainly seemed to have the hang of it down pat after a couple of days. We had 2 crews working on digging sand, filling bag and building walls. Penny was on her way back from Harare to Maun with her daughter and I was going to start eating regular meals AGAIN.

A quick word on cooking for one………………………………… it stinks. For some reason, it doesn’t taste the same, there is no company to share your day with and it is boring. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

Penny was due to arrive Wednesday afternoon and I was hoping that we would finish the storeroom except for plastering and the roof while she was here. Because she had to go back to Harare to sort out Reserve bank clearances etc., and was only going to be on site for a couple of days. Well knock my cotton pickin socks off if …………………………………………………………………… disaster didn’t strike on Wednesday morning.

Apparently at around 4.00am, the back wall of the storeroom decided to fall over………………… not completely but enough to set us back a few days. It was the drive up to the site and I could sort of see what had happened and the labor were standing there waiting for me to explode. It was a case of WTF  and I needed to try to make light of the situation which I did when I climbed out the truck and just went MY BOBO. That sort of broke the ice and they started laughing. So that was a setback and a sense of humor failure. However that all dissipated when I saw the fencing people. They had thought it was a herd of elephants coming through the site and didn’t know where they could hide. The interesting part of the deal was that as soon as I saw it, I knew what had happened. We had a 10 metre long wall going up 2.4 metres and had NO BUTRESSING and certainly not enough rebar.

And Penny is arriving at lunchtime!!!!!!!!

Well we started fixing the problem. A whole bunch of rebar and BUTRESSES tied into the wall with more rebar and …………………………….. this time I was making sure that this sort of disaster wasn’t going to happen again. So we were back on course AGAIN. I have to admit that the barbed wire as an anchor works. There were bags hanging in mid air on barbed wire. I was impressed to say the least.

As this was all going on my plastering lady came and did her bit with the water tank stand and I have to admit we did get that right and it looks amazing. I love the color and the rough adobe look. Now I have to find a way to seal it from dripping water. And yes it probably is not the prettiest tank stank in town but it is as solid as a rock but most of all……………………………… it is UNIQUE!!!!! And I like that

On Monday this week, the building foreman arrived at work to tell me that he had been offered a sub contract job with a friend and that he was leaving for 2 months. What can you say??? Not a lot really and before I could blink…………………………….. he was gone. What to do???? As I mentioned we had 2 crews working and the leader of the 2nd crew stepped up to the plate and took over. And up went the walls and the buttresses and in went the rebar and we got to roof height. So this next week the roof is going on, the door is going to be hung and we should then be ready to rock and roll.

We also started the 1st cottage this week – marking it out which happened 3 times before I was happy with its location, digging out the foundations and then laying the 50 kg fertilizer bags down as the foundation. This part goes very slow as those bags are heavy and as mentioned before, very cumbersome. But they do work as our foundation base. We are raising the fist cottage up off base level by 0.8 metres. So there is a lot of large sandbags to be filled to get to that point before we switch to the regular building bags. The 2nd crew are building the privacy screen for the toilets. We have done this in a spiral and I think it looks pretty cool.

Penny left on Sunday to head back to Harare and I will admit……………………………………. I don’t do very well those 1st couple of days. They are very hard for me and at times are very lonely. But she has had her hands full dealing with all the Zimbabwe Government bureaucracy as she moves from Zimbabwe to here. And all of that stuff is time consuming and some of it actually stupid.

It has meant that I have been a madman for this past week as I have had to go into town regularly to fetch supplies, do payroll, try to work on the farm side as much as I can and also deal with bureaucracy here too.

This week I have to go get my Botswana licence………………………………… which in all reality is not a big deal except for the fact that I have to drive 40 kms to town and be there by 5.00am to join the queque. And that still doesn’t guarantee that I will get dealt with by 5.00pm

So the goals for this week are to get the roof and the doors on the storeroom and have my plastering lady come back maybe with a couple of her friends as there is a lot of plastering to get done on the store room. We need to get the privacy wall for staff toilets up and the plasterers need to get started on that and then the most important one of all is get the first cottage up. Certainly by the end of the week,the cottage should be finished as far as the walls are concerned.

Plastering and roof – that I don’t think so. I better start looking for some dead termite mounds for the plaster. I have said that we would look at a proper cement plaster for the inside walls. I guess the 1st cottage will be the sample run.

There are a whole bunch of pictures…………………………….. Collapsed walls, plastering, privacy wall, cottage foundations and the storeroom with all the workers. I am going to try to upload them today, but if not when I get to town I know I will

Yo’all stay safe, work hard, play hard and trust me, sometimes you have to take the risk. Trust that you will have what you need at the exact time you need it.


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