Archive for March, 2008

The last steps for TOMORROW!!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2008 by earthbricker

Thank you all so much for all the nice greetings and wishes for our house and the party. Even my two grandma’s are following earthbricker and what is going on in Phoudindaeng!
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I decided now to be a little bit mean and won’t put pics of the finished parts of the house on the blog. Yes, you read right. It’s almost – very finished. Only the beach needs to be done! Seriously!

I still can’t believe how lucky we were with all the people who came to help. In the last three weeks volunteers had the coolest suggestions what they can provide for the house. Here for example Clemence is sewing curtains for our Mudhut. So beautiful in the lao-style and with so much patience. In the end we need eleven pieces and it looks like that she is really sewing them all in four days on Penguan’s (Miss T) wonderful Singer-sewing-machine.

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In the living-room we put between the cement-floor and the mudwalls a nice little stone wall to make connection more beautiful.

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I really thought that we will have a bad accident at the last three days of the building-site when Sai arrived with some workers to bring the rest-water tanks. The hole was more than two meters deep and the rings so unbelievable heavy. The asian, american and european continent struggling together.

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In the bathroom we decided to make a different floor than in the living-room. We brought big stones from the Namsong-River and put them in cement. Julie is sitting on that pic on a huge massive stone you will stand on while taking a shower.

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On the second floor we wanted to hide the railing of the stairs. How? We make a table out of it. Actually Mojito-Girl would be so happy. The guys who make it call it “the bar”. You can’t imagine what the final result looks like? more pics of all parts of the house in the next days.

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Julie and I moved in already. Three days ago we spent the first night under the new roof including heavy rain. Awesome.

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This is the front-view two days ago. Eddy built a tricky railing and we had already the first evenings on our wonderful balcony. Come join us tomorrow when we are cleaning up the place and start to party!

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More pics of the whole house very soon. Before, during and after the party!

Big action: 3 days left

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2008 by earthbricker

Yesterday we put in the cement-floor for the living-room. It was a big action. A lot of work and stress but even more to learn and laugh.

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This is a picture what it looked like when we left for dinner. Wayne showed us afterwards a technique to wash away the first thin layer of cement after six hours drying, so that finally the beautiful gravel from namsong-river became visible again. Also on that pic you can see the great stairs to upstairs. Can you imagine that Eddy who built the main part of it, never built stairs before?

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Today the roof of the balcony got half-finished. Wayne wanted to learn how to use elephant-grass as a roof-cover, so Onkeo and Goe show us that and we will have a nice natural roof at the front.

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We use that roof-material only on the balcony, because it starts leaking after two or three years. Tomorrow the elephant is on and we will start partying at our balcony!

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Also today the first guests for the house-warming-party on saturday arrived. David who made the blue-print for the house with me came back!

6 more days: Student Attack

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2008 by earthbricker

Like almost every week-end the last two months, the local youth showed up to help at the mud-house. All of them go to the English-class at the Phoudindaeng youth center and are absolutely fantastic and nice people. With their help, we could go on with painting very fast. It is so much fun working with them, what you easily can see on the picture. By the way, don’t ask me what the girls from the class did today. Normally they show up too and support the party.

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When they come we always have lunch together. Today we had green papaya salad, fried egg, meat-soup with blood-cubes and classical sticky-rice. Mojito-Girl?! This food is provided by your bar!

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Happy Days

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2008 by earthbricker

Here we go!!! The day I was dreaming about the last four month was TODAY!!! It was like in a bad Bollywood-Movie. When our Carpenters put on the last shindles, it started to rain! I got nervous like always the last few month when I noticed the noise of falling rain-drops, but then I noticed, no more covering anything at any time at any place:

WE HAVE A ROOF!! YES!!

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We were discussing what material we use, but in the end we took the cheapest. I don’t know the name or what it is made of. Scusi. Probably most of you think that a natural material would have been more beautiful, what is maybe right, but the problem with most of these bamboo or grass roofs is, that you have to change them every two-three years. But who cares today. WE HAVE A ROOF!!!

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Now the party-guests for the house-warming-doing-nothing-for three-days can come…including Mr. Monsun.

Countdown: 11 days!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2008 by earthbricker

At first I want to give you an unbelievable number. I estimated how many people were helping on building that house. People who helped an hour or who stayed a month, all of them working together, making that project one of the best experiences of my life. About four-hundred “Thank you” go out to all of you. Our house is soon to be finished!

The last days we are working faster than ever. The 29th is coming closer and we decided to give it a try to finish the house so far that we can have a big big party in there! After that we will burn it down. Maybe. Most of you will think that this is impossible but we will see!

On that pic you see how Julie and the funny french crew make the color for the paint. The mud needs to be crashed so small that it’s particles fit through a mosquito-net. We decided to paint the outside wall in earthern-color, so it will in the end look like the color of the bricks. The bath-room and the living-room will be beige or white. The mud-dust is mixed with lime-powder and water. After that, we have to wait for three days until we can use it. Short before we paint, we add boiled tapioca-flour as a glue. We will have to paint two times.

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Eddy came back after two weeks to finish the house with us. He was always talking about a mulberry-leaf-design on the outside-wall. Yesterday he finished it. It looks amazing. Here you see him at the beginning of his work. Today he started to build the stairs in the inside.

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This was a very special moment for me. The raising of the central-beam of the roof. The canadian carpenter crew is working very hard on that part of the house. The next two days they will already start to put the shindles on the top.

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The side-view here is covered by a tarp we had to put on, because everything looked like rain. Luckily the rainy-season gave us another chance, but we are warned. As you can see on the wall on the right, that there are also vandals in Laos. Somebody put a classical heart on my house! Only because that guy is a very nice person, I’m not wiping it out!

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This pic is from yesterday when the carpenters got there after-work-beer. Today the roof looks already different. The rafters are finished and the strapping close to be finished.

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So, this is the latest pic from todays evening. 11 days more. I’m looking forward to that house-warming-party. Wherever you are, get your things packet and come!! We start piling the Beerlao in the fridge.
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Countdown: 19 days

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2008 by earthbricker

On the 29.3.08 will be our house-warming-party! You are all invited! For us that means that time is running out. The roof, the paint and the floor is missing. But it’s still possible and I decided to get up at 6 a.m. and not 7 a.m. Yes Mum, it’s me.

We had problems to find a carpenter who could build the roof, but as naive as I am, I was just lucky that Dan and Chris showed up, two very nice guys who are experienced carpenters and who like the challenge to put a roof on a strange house like ours. They started two days ago together with Goe and Onkeo who want to learn how to build a roof. It will be not easy but I will sleep so much better when that roof will be finished. Tonight Julie and I had to get up at 5.30 because it was raining and our lao weather specialists had said in the evening before that there is no way that it rains that night.

The lao-canadian roof-top-joint-venture having fun in five meters height.

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All I can do now is updating the blog with new pics and the brand-new wisdom that plastering needs more time than raising a wall! I never thought that. Tomorrow we will have finished the third layer and painting starts soon.
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The front view. Can you see that we were working very hard the last two weeks? No. Plastering is from an distant view not very thankful.

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The house from the slash and burn field view. How can I leave??

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Faster Plaster

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2008 by earthbricker

For the last few days I was in Bangkok to pick up Julie. So I’m really excited what Goe, Onkeo and Wad did in the time I was away. I will update with new pics very soon. This picture is already a week old. The walls are finished now and we started to plaster as you can see on the left side downstairs. We will have to make three layers on each wall after we paint it with a mixture of lime, mud and tapioka flour. The next days we will start with the roof too.

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But now we meet some friends for dinner at the Mekong River Banks in Vientiane.

Servus Julie and Peter