lots of activity around the homestead today. the contractors have been here to stucco cement the walls of the house. four guys, 30 bags of concrete, 1/2 truck sand, 2 cement mixing bins and a few hand tools and away they go. when they bang on the walls to chip off the high spots, the whole cinder block wall shakes. they are going to be at the job all week.
one of the joys of my working so hard prior to my departure is to be able to provide things for the family. improving the house, fixing things, upgrading equipment- all benefits i can provide. of course, it helps that the wage scale and materials prices are so much lower in thailand. the bid for the whole job, including materials is around 600 USD. the same job in the states would be more like 6000 USD, maybe twice that. they are going to apply cement to the whole house, inside and out, fix a leak in the roof and a small list of other things for that price. the house will certainly look different when they get done. and then i get to paint the whole house. which is a job Tok feels confident that _I_ can do. on the other hand, at these labor rates, maybe i'll just go ahead and have the guys do it. doing this stucco job would take me a month, and probably not look nearly as nice.
there is significant exchange in my direction also. i never have to cook. the meals i get here we would pay 40 USD a day for. there are always clean cloths for me to wear. i have a sweet and caring companion, an endearing grandmother and a very low maintenance teenager in company. since mama and teri don't speak any english, i don't have a lot of talking to or from them, so not a big load for me!
my sister had been hoping to come to thailand whilst i am here, but her 'temporary' job turned into a permant one, so she will come another time. means tok and i will have a little money to holiday some. i'd like to go down south to the ocean, maybe do some scuba diving. we'll see.
I am in southeast asia April 19 - July 20 2007 ::: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/