Monday, May 23, 2011

Building Brick Houses

This week I helped build a house! We actually had two service projects this week which was cool because I think before this week I had only done one. When I was on Divisions in Alvear we helped this lady move and organize a bunch of junk from one side of her yard to the other haha. She wants to do something with the area where all the stuff was so we just stacked it all in a different place. We saw some wayyyy giant spiders thought, holy cow, it was so intense. Every brick that was on the ground was bound to have some ginormous man eating monster under it. I was jumping around and squealing like a little girl. It was really fun though.

On Saturday we met with some of the members of Oeste along with Elder Summers and Elder Barlow (who are the missionaries from Oeste) and poured the foundation for a house that one of their members is going to move into. It was really cool to see how different the construction process is here. When we showed up there was basically a 1 foot trench dug where the outside and inside walls would be. Inside the trench there was rebar box that had a section that was fatter which went from the bottom of the trench to about ground level. After that there was a more skinny part which rose above ground level. On every corner of both the outside walls and where the inside walls would connect to make a T there was more rebar boxes to stabalize everything. Anyways, instead of a nice little cement truck coming in and pouring everything in a couple minutes they do all of the mixing by hand. They do have a machine that is basically like a barrel that spins around and mixes everything but we had to shovel rocks into it, add water, and then of course the cement powder until it had the right consistency etc. Then they´d lift up the back of this machine and pour it into buckets which then had to passed/carried to what part of the base we were working on. Elder Summers (who is just like this big football player) shoveled all of the rocks to make the cement and then the rest of us not so manly-men passed the buckets of cement and poured them in the base, and then passed the buckets back to be filled up again. Haha, it was a pretty crazy process but it was really fun.

After we got the the bigger box of the rebar base covered in cement they boarded up the smaller box which was above ground and we started filling that up with cement as well. Since that part is where they will put the first bricks it has to be perfectly even or else everything will be messed up. This was the coolest part for me, they measured a certain height on a rebar post and used a long rubber tube with water in it to mark the same height on every other post. From this mark they´d measure down to where the cement was to make sure everything was even. You may wonder how water and a rubber tube can be used as a level haha, I definitely was wondering too. They had one end of the tube verticle against one post and the other end placed against another post. When the water in the tube against the post with the measurement was even to the measurement, the water in the tube on the other post would tell them they height they needed to mark on that post. That way if the base wasn´t perfectly even, the little part that came above ground where they would place the bricks would be even. I hope I explained that well enough, it would probably be easier with pictures and in person but this is the best I can do haha.

Haha I have one more funny story for this week, when I was on Divisions I talked to this super drunk old man. He asked me how much it would be to take a taxi from where we were to his house and then said, "Do you know what I want?" I asked him, "What?" and super drunkenly (yes that´s a word) he responded "Five Pesos!" Haha, you just have to imagine that real good in your head because it was quite comical for me.

I think that´s about all that I have for the week, but next week I should be emailing you all from a different city! So this week is going to be kinda hectic but I´m excited. I love Bowen but I think I´m ready for a change haha. And a decent shower, pray that I´ll get a decent shower will you? I´d appreciate it haha.

Well I love and miss you all,

Elder Lounsbury

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