the days roll by quickly here. time is relative, fluid and driven by activity or the lack of it. out here in the country, days are very much driven by the sun. rises at 5:30am, dark by 7pm. after dark, there is not much to do. we don't work under flood lights. the chickens start squawking and crowing early. the relative cool of the night begins to slip away as the sun starts to heat everything up. Tok usually gets up before me, as she has to make food for teri before she goes to school. mama is up early also. i lay in bed for a while, half awake, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood. when Tok or mama starts pounding chilies in the motoar and pestles, the knock knock knocking penetrates even the deepest doze.
i lose track of days. teri will still be her in the morning when i get up and i am surprised. well, it's saturday - no school. oh. or we will be coming back from town and the weekly market is set up beside the road a few km out of the town. wow, it's monday? it is? the workers show up around 8am, siesta during the hot part of the day around 2pm, and leave around 5. or 4, or when they feel like it.
i have my list of projects. i try to work on the rockery for the waterfall twice a day. if i make cement and set rocks in the morning, the cement will be set and i can make another layer in the evening. yesterday, Tok and i went to her uncles house and cut a piece of green bamboo. inch and a half thick and 25 feet long. we used that as a support pole for adding some corrugated tin to extend the roof out back. wee needed to cover the area of the new sink, and the space beside that where mama cooks on her little 3 corner wood stove. somedays i am busy all day, other days it's off and on. if we goto town to buy food or for appointments, it puts a big hole in the day. when the sky is overcast, it is cooler and we tend to work outside more. clear sunny days means heat and sweating. you move slower, drink lots of water.
yesterday, the sky grew dark, the wind came up, and the sky dumped rain. and i mean dumped. the roar of the water pounding the roof required raising your voice to say anything. rivers of water appeared in the yard, flowing under the new room and off to the fields out back. there is a 24 gallon jar behind the house where a eight foot piece of gutter empties into. the jar was one quarter full when the rain started, overflowing when it ended. i like to take my showers outside using the rainwater from this jar. normally we shower with well water. the water from the well is very hard- when it drys there are deposits of minerals left behind. the rain lasted only half and hour, the sun came back out, and we went back to work on the roof. i can only imagine what the 'rainy season' is like. thats in late july to september. i haven't been here for that time. yet. the soil here is very silted clay, so after a rain the ground turns to sucking, sticking goo that adheres to the bottom of your shoes til you can hardly walk from the weight.
progress on the new room is being made nearly everyday. they have put the roof on. i held out to get these brilliant metallic blue battens for the new roof. looks beautiful - but the only place you can see it is from up on the big road, as the crown of the roof points to the west, along the property length. someday we'll have too re-roof the rest of the house with the same tiles so you can really see it. the overhanging roof for the balcony will run north-south, facing the big road, so you will be able to see the beautiful tiles from there. one of Toks massage customers has a furniture and construction shop. she got us a good deal on new windows and a door for the new room. we also contracted with her for painting the house inside and out. no more dull cement walls!
the budget is looking rather squeezed. Tok told me last night, that we haven't accounted for building a stairs and roofing for the stairs to get to the new room. we may have too use a ladder to get up there until i get get some more money together. that will be rather weird... but oh well. typical for a re-model and new building project eh?
i asked Tok what Lom Sak - the name of the town nearby - means. she said "lom" means like when you are stuck in the dirt and can't move, as when your car gets stuck in the sand and the wheels just spin. "Sak" is a tree they grow here for house building - it's very strong, grows straight up with few branches. so Lom Sak means "tree that is stuck in the dirt and can't move". or something like that. I also asked about Dong Khwang, our village name. "Dong" means 'Woods' and "Khwang" means 'can't go in' so the village name means "Impenetrable Woods". and of course i have to add - or something like that.
more photos: bugs, and working on the house, and country life
Nu and Tok
I am in southeast asia April 19 - July 20 2007 ::: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/
Great to read your Blog, as me and the wifey is embarking on a simillar project in her village near Phutthaisong. Keep going!