3-26 Construction Projects

Shelves are awesome.  They keep the books off the floor.

We’ve been on a stint of construction recently.  Before I left on my Brisbane adventures, I decided further shelving was required in my house.  So I built some.  In the process, I got my saw taken away from me and got one shelf built for me, but since then, three more have gone in.  Jason installed one while I was gone and we built another two in the last few weeks.  The last one I finished up yesterday.  I am going for function, not beauty.

Last week, serious work got started on our bush kitchen. They’ve been talking about it for a while. Like, months. While I was in Australia they dug the holes and placed the posts. Then a hurricane happened. Then a dead happened. Then people sort of lost momentum. It stayed a kitchen skeleton for about three weeks. Last Tuesday, they cut the bamboo and attached three of the walls. On Thursday, they cut a huge amount of natangura leaves and we pulled the “bone” out. That took basically all day. On Tuesday of this week we pinned the natangura into long strips of “shingles.” That took all day, as in dawn to dusk. On Thursday, we attached the natangura to the roof. Then we attached the front wall. Now, we have a kitchen! Of course, there are still the odds and ends to finish up. Things like the last layer of grass to block the peak of the roof, a door and shelves are all still missing, but I have a place I can cook. This is awesome. (Expect a post about how to build a kitchen later.)

The basic shelf

I was feeling inspired to build things. Today I put on the carpenter’s skirt and had at it. I went out into the bush and chop down a couple of branches with my bush knife. I managed the find four good forked branches to hold the two long straight ones. I don’t have any rebar for my fire pit yet so I will be using green branches for the foreseeable future. Wish me luck on not spilling my food into the fire. Still using only a bush knife, I dug out the fire pit and dug the holes for the forked branches. Now, I have a kitchen with a “stove.” Or something that will pass for a stove until someone gets around to finding some rebar.

It is an ugly chair, but it holds weight!

I figured I’d take a nice sit down on my stool and enjoy my new stove. Of course, my stool is also my coconut scratcher and a cut my hand. This inspired further construction adventures. I am sick of having not enough chairs and catching everything on the head of the coconut scratcher. So a built a chair. It is an ugly chair. On the other hand, it is a chair. I used all the leftover bits and pieces of wood from the kitchen and my shelf building projects to build the frame. That means that all of the pieces are basically a chunk of tree hacked off at each end and skinned of bark. None of them are straight. I consider some of those angles to be custom fit. Then I used leftover bamboo to make the seat and back. Jason is currently sitting in it and it hasn’t fallen over yet. I take this is a good sign. That was just the afternoon’s work. The mornings work was much less interesting and involved a lot more paperwork and toilet talk.

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