Friday, December 9

Tying it all Together

I've learned a lot of new Spanish words while doing construction. Lots of times the word itself isn't really new, it's just being used in a way that I'd never heard of before. Cuchara, for example, means spoon. In construction, though, it's the trowel used to throw mescla (mortar).

Another example is the word cadena, which I've mentioned before. The cadena, which is literally translated "chain", runs horizontally along the top edge of the construction to strengthen the walls. Every few meters, vertical posts called castillos (castles) rise up from the piso (floor) to the techo (roof). The cadena is poured along the top of the tabique (bricks) and connects all the castillos. This process holds the structure together and makes the building incredibly strong.

Our goal was to get the building ready for a roof -- and by November 10, we were very close!!!

With the tabique laid, all the men could focus on preparing the wooden forms.
Doug's special assignment was to connect 4 inch bolts to the metal in the cadena which will be used to attach the roof.

Have I mentioned how hard our young men have worked? Every day, they are up with the dawn, getting their chores and schoolwork done early so that they can devote the rest of their day to hauling sand, gravel, tabique and bags of cement up to the back hill -- and delivering coffee and making runs to the store for Coke and potato chips, too! A couple of the boys were staying up till 10 or 11pm to finish Algebra homework and getting up at 5 to do chores. Dedication! I sure love and appreciate my teenagers!!!

Once all the wood was attached, secured and double-checked for level, it was time to pour the cement.
Bucketful by bucketful the concrete was moved from the mixer to the wheelbarrow to the scaffold to the top cadena.

On November 14, the wooden forms were removed, the site cleaned up and the very-important-basketball hoop was installed. The men celebrated the completion of the walls with a couple of games of 3 on 3.

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