Sunday, May 29, 2016

On the home run

Building of the training centre continues with many thanks to Rob who came and helped out with internal walls and plastering. For the Timorese crew this was their first major attempt at installing stud frame walls with plaster board (drywall). 

Setting up the steel frame - and checking for plumb

We went for steel framing since timber doesn’t come straight or in standard sizes here. It was a challenge for the guys but they took to it well. The whole concept of plaster board was brand new to them. Rob’s guiding hand was great in attacking the job piece by piece starting with the ceiling for 2 large rooms and 2 units. That means a lot of sore arms heaving sheets and drilling screws. Rob was very patient in showing them how to get a smooth finish with the plaster which takes a good eye and a steady hand. 

Rob teaches Amau the finer arts of plastering

We Aussies are shooting for a completely smooth finish which I sometimes feel is a bit much to ask of guys born in grass huts. But I think they really like doing a professional job which they can feel proud of. I think they’re one of the best building teams in the country. Thanks Rob, for all your help!

Another challenge was getting large and very heavy solar hot water systems onto the two story roof and into position. It takes 6 guys to pick one up and I think the whole team thought getting it onto the roof was not going to be possible. But then I busted out my pulleys and ropes with an old cart from a mate. We rolled the system onto the curved roof and then up a ramp with pulleys. Then we rolled it along tracks into position. All very safe of course. Amazing what you can achieve with simple machines.
Solar hot water - a faith building exercise

On the roof, secured and covered up.

Now we're getting to the end of the main building work. There's still plenty to do in finishing off. We've come to the part of laying tiles which is another big expense. This baby has around 500m2 of flooring. At around $15/m2 laid that'll cost us $7500USD. Long ago I went into red figures so if anyone would like to contribute, now would be much appreciated.

Plastering the main training room

Amau and me start tiling - a momentus occasion that marks the beginning of the end.

This week the new manager - Nino Xavier will begin work with our first job to get ready for the Salvation Army team from NSW, Australia, to set up sound and run a sound system workshop for church sound guys. Hopefully the above mentioned training room will be operational in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Family Fun

We recently did a trip to Ossu staying at a hotel at Loihuno. On the way are old Japanese caves built in World War 2 and rice fields being planted. 

There is a very nice river running through the limestone hills with cool rock formations. 

The highlight was climbing up through a tunnel in the rock and jumping off a 5 m cliff back down to the water. 
Serenity flying through the air.

On the way back we explored the slopes of Manatuto where there are interesting gypsum crystal formations.

Fossicking in Manatuto.

Strange crystal formations sparkle in the sunlight.

Kaiyil is beefing up and growing quickly. He has 4 teeth and enjoys standing up.

Israel got a bunch of nits and conceded to cutting off his locks to reveal a handsome young man.