Today I put the shower-stall project on hold since I couldn’t go much further without doing some finishing and assembling (which I couldn’t do because I didn’t have the finishing materials) so I dove into another woodworking project – also water related – a cabinet which will support our sink. Yes water related projects are a theme since we have running water outside and we want to get it in. So we are collecting all the pieces that are involved in having water indoors (sink, shower, water heater and washing machine) so that we can call in a local professional do to the water installation for us.

I fumbled about a lot as the salvaged wood pile is getting slimmer and good findings are harder to come by. I finally managed to get the first pieces cut and planed and assembled – this is the top frame into which the sink will fit. It was a tricky frame to do since it had to accommodate the size and fittings of the sink. The simple way to do it is to make a counter-top surface and cut out a hole for the sink – but that strikes me as wasteful. In our case the cabinet is the exact width of the sink with a small extension counter to occupy the space we have for it. Designing and building the frame was tedious … but it worked.

I then cut to length all the remaining pieces (it was the end of the day and I was tired) – I now have a ton of planing and sanding to do but we will soon have a sink cabinet … and soon after that running water! so many details in something that was so obvious to me all of my life.

I also drove to the village center to pick up a few things – including some finishing materials for the shower stall … oh and also harvested another batch of corn with our neighbor. Tomorrow we will cook it (rocket stove!!) and freeze it.

Also, working around me was a local villager who we hired to continue the cleaning up of the yard around the house. He made good progress. But, most interesting was learning about him. He is of the gypsy community of the village, around 30 years old, married with three kids – they all live in an improvised house of one 5 by 6 meter room with no running water. They have one electricity outlet that they run from a neighbor (they can’t afford to hook up their impromptu house to electricity) and they use it to operate one light-bulb for the kids to study with. The neighbors rip them off and charge them  half of their electricity bill. Their (heating and cooking) stove broke when their improvised cardboard roof caved in and broke it (we invited him to join us when we build our rocket stove – but he declined saying everybody would laugh at him when they saw the barrel). He seems content with his life. He is consistently (and unimaginatively) to convince up to let him bring his wife to work with him. The gap between our lives and mentality is a huge reflection for me.

There is a very strong (and probably not completely unwarranted) prejudice against gypsies in Romania. Romanian look down at that and are careful around them. Our dogs (I haven’t gotten around to telling about them – there are three!) were very aggressive towards him – more then usual. We had to tie Indy (the pack leader) to let him work. Andreea explained to him that she is a very aggressive and dangerous dog – that he shouldn’t come around without letting us know. She is being protective of our home. It’s a very strong prejudice!



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