It's been five weeks since we started building our house, and now it's up to roofing level. Next week we hope to get the lumber needed to do the roof, then all that will remain is plastering the walls and painting (as well as plumbing and electric and other finishes). If things go even remotely as planned, we should be able to move over to the new house by early October. Can't wait!
This building project has been a lot of fun and has also given us a lot of frustrations. We've really enjoyed buying materials from our Ik neighbors, injecting cash into the local economy. The Ik have supplied the 'aggregate' (hand-made gravel), the water (carried by hand), and the 'hard-core' (larger rocks gathered by hand). Often the Ik have been cheated by contractors who never pay for goods or work, so we're grateful for the chance to build trust by paying our debts and following through with what we say we'll do. It's also been exciting just to see the progress made each day on the house!
The main frustrations we've experienced have been unreliable suppliers and people trying to take advantage of us at every turn. I can't tell you how many times guys bringing us building materials have said 'we're coming tomorrow' and never come or even tell us that they're not coming. It's hard to plan or get anything done when you can't rely on people's word. It seems to be a widely accepted business practice here to tell people what sounds nice even if it isn't true.
In the meantime, while we wait to move, we've been loving having Terrill's mom Velma here with us. In this busy time of house construction, Velma's spending time with Janet and Lemu has been an immense help. And it's just wonderful to have someone else here to go through daily life with. Janet and Lemu love their grandma and will surely miss her when she goes (as will their parents)!
Grandma has been playing with them, teaching them colors and numbers and American English, and putting up with their endless antics. Here is Janet practicing writing the numbers 1 and 2:
When Grandma leaves in ten days, Amber's twin brothers will be visiting us for a couple of weeks. And when they leave, Terrill's uncle Calvin and aunt Mary Jane Schrock will be coming over for a couple of months! We certainly are blessed this year with people to help us shoulder life's burdens.