Days that Followed
The days have started running together with a typical routine of schedule – up by 7, meeting at 7:30, walk or ride to restaurant for breakfast, ride to the nearby village where we work till 10:30, walk down the road for an ice cream or soda break, back to work till lunch at 12:30, back to work till 4, then relax on the terrace while waiting to shower; nap, read or write till leaving for dinner at 6:30; then walk to the Internet café or elsewhere before falling into bed.
Walking down the road for our morning break time was always a welcome event. Chickens, geese and cows meandered down with us. I think the local shopkeeper loved to see us coming, also. Cokes and ice cream reigned supreme. Even the "road crew" stopped to visit.
We have all done a variety of jobs. Windows and doors have been framed.
Concrete blocks and roof tiles have been unloaded from trucks by using the bucket brigade technique of passing them down the line of helping hands.
Paint rollers were cleaned and used once again to paint rooms white, pink, purple and yellow. More concrete was mixed, dumped into wheelbarrows to be transported to our waiting hands and scooped into the holes of concrete blocks that were stacked to form a foundation.
The days became a blur of work activities. We had enough variety that nothing became boring. Each morning, the “big boss” P.Q. would gather us round him for explanation of our day’s expectation and safety reminders. By the last couple days, he felt we were well-versed enough on the safety aspects that he passes on that part with only a reminder not to get too tired or too complacent and forget what he had said previously. We succeeded in not having any injuries more serious than blisters, calluses and a few minor scrapes or bruises. I managed to cut myself only on a dinner knife when I was served pizza. That was a real joke after I had spent so much of my time with the power saws. I tried to pass on any heavy lifting jobs because of my fear of aggravation my old hip replacement. Besides, Larry always does all the sawing at our house and this week gave me the opportunity to use the power tools. Some of the other females got to explore the macho realm of power tools also. One your lady lawyer took great pride in the big drill that was used to screw down into flooring. Another gal worked wonders with the concrete drill. And we all marveled at our other 62-year-old lady who hauled huge rocks non-stop one day. Our team leader relayed the story of how the Romanian workers had originally hesitated to give the females any of the heavy work years ago, but now they fill the wheelbarrows just as full of concrete for the girls as they do for the guys. There is always enough to be done that the wimps like me can find some less taxing work to do if desired
One day we filled each of the many concrete block holes with cement in order to weld together the three rows of blocks that comprised the aboveground part of the foundation. This called for many hands using pie pan shaped scoops to pour concrete into the blocks’ holes. It became a challenge to see how smoothly and quickly it could be done and we all reveled in our efficiency. The same mentality worked well with bucket brigades as we unloaded a huge truck full of roof tiles.