Johan’s Diary- 24th of January 2016
7:30 I wake up to my alarm. Slept really well last night, and did some small improvements in the tent that seemed to work as I intended. Again it is a beautiful morning, with many cloud veils around the mountains as the sun tries to penetrate. There is dew on the ground so it has probably been quite cold in the night.
For breakfast I have, porridge with apple and cinnamon and two mugs of coffee that I drink in the morning sun. I send a few text messages to Sophie. Again, a lot of birds that keep me company, even a man settles down with me, very special man, he seems so kind but he and his two brothers have no speech, so they communicate with a home made sign language. All three of them work with construction of Home of Hope.
09:00 I take a lap around the building site, as the first workers arrive. Today the first layer of the outer masonry walls are to be laid in moderation and some decisions are to be made, it feels good to be here in the beginning. I really feel I can contribute.
It’s cloudy and immediately becomes quite cool, guessing it’s at a max of 10 degrees.
09:30 Everything is done by hand, a man washes and wets stones, one sands the stones, one to two mix and carry mortar, two carry sand from the road 50 meters away and then 15 meters uphill and fill their baskets. A man sits and bends rebar (reinforcing steel used as rods in concrete) that we will use later. The rest carries the stone or walls plus Asha, Shyams wife who cooks. She provides two meals a day. We have a total workforce of 15 people, plus myself!
It is fascinating to see how the speech impaired brothers communicate and how other people understand them through simple sign or just a glance.
During this time, I go and measure so I can draw an updated version of sketches from real measurements.
11:30 Now the workers take a short breakfast break with food and a little rice beer.
12:00 The work starts again, and there is some discussion of how I want the front of the family home and walls to look. Some of the workers have already bricked quite a bit today, but with a little patience and reasonable comprehensive instructions, we solve how it should look.
I eat a small lunch consisting of coffee and a tangerine given from Shyam earlier, and it tastes very good.
14:30 It is lunchtime now, and the workers have rice and stew including rice beer, everyone eats with a good appetite.
Throughout the day, there has been lots of activity in the village temple, the one we built out of steel sheets after the earthquakes. Shyam says that they honor their deceased relatives seven days after their death, it continues with every seventh day until the end of the 49th day.
15:00 The work starts back up again and now I have finished the drawing, this is helpful for it immediately becomes an opportunity to adjust some measurements.
Really feels like I’m here at the right time, guessing that it will reduce problems later on when the dimensions match up right from the start.
16:45 Now the work area is starting to be finished for the day, and everyone is helping to clean up the work place by cleaning tools, washing boots, and gloves that we gave out this morning. They were all very happy and grateful for that. Normally they are working with just flip-flop and no work gloves, which is not very safe in many ways when working with concrete and stone.
17:30 I start making my fire. It is pretty cold outside and it has been all day. I send pictures and text messages to Sophie and SMS to the kids.
I begin to heat water for dinner, as today it is lamb stew with coffee.
It starts to get dark, and the night sky is cloudy. It is so much darker than before as it has usually been clear with moonlight. A flock of birds appear that make noise, so it make me feel like I am in the middle of the rainforest. I take a few pictures but it’s difficult when the lighting conditions are not so good.
18:30 Mealtime now, and tastes delicious. Rounds with a cup of coffee and a licorice dumle toffee! In the distance you can hear the jackals howl, there are apparently flocks of these here, Shyam told me yesterday when I asked what it was that howled!
Starting to write in my diary.
19:30 Finished with the diary and should just crawl into the tent, but will probably do a bit of crossword today too.
Feel very satisfied with the day, that’s all from me!