78. Construction For Dummies

The family’s bamboo house
And this would be our bamboo bungalow, which we share with an army of killer ants and pesky mosquitoes

After three days of working with bamboo, Louise and I feel our ambitions soaring… We can see it before us: two independent women independently building a bamboo house with their strong and very capable bodies. On our second day here, our Australian host arrived from Bangkok. We eagerly listened as he explained everything we needed to know about our very flexible working hours and all his quaint bamboo farm has to offer. He is currently experimenting with not only aquaponics, but hydro bio- and hydroponics… If you don’t know the difference between the three then wait a few days – we might know it by then. We have spent the days helping Scott with the construction of a new bamboo dorm hut, which you can see a snippet of below, featuring a tired, sweaty and exhausted Louise and Niamh:

Our tasks have included handing things to Scott, looking on as he skilfully manages to drill through the cylindrical wood, and trying not to drown our own sweat. Between those tasks we did manage to provide a helping hand. For example, we assisted him in setting up one of the four sides of the scaffold. Within the past two days we have succeeded in sorting out 26 (or so) sound pieces of bamboo from the immense load that fills another bamboo house. This entailed pulling out one piece, checking for cracks, and making sure it was somewhat straight and long enough to fit the requirements. We then had to measure each piece from a node to a node… yes, that meant that some of the pieces that were otherwise sound got chucked away once again. After this task we were set to drill long screws into the bamboo in pairs.. which can be surprisingly difficult – three people was a minimum when you have very little experience. We needed one to handle the drill, one to push on the bamboo and another to keep the two pieces aligned and straight. But we managed!

As the family owns a pizza restaurant, two of our meals have been consumed there. On our first night at the restaurant we got to help prepare our pizzas, which I sure was  excited about – because they had this amazing stone pizza oven: