30 December 2008

The Rabbitat – Phase 1

It seems impossible to just stay at home and relax with 3 and 5 year old boys needing non-stop activity… so for the past 2.5 days we have been constructing a rabbitat*… technical term for a rabbit habitat…

Now the project could have probably been completed in a mere 8 hours with a bag of quick dry cement and skilled labor… but instead Christine got me and her brother Joel while he was recovering from a bout with food poisoning…

Day 1 started with a bang… or snap… I broke the shovel on the first posthole… so we were left with Noah and Kadin’s sandbox hand trowels and a pitchfork to dig the 5 remaining holes…

The lack-of-shovel continued to slow us down when it came time to mixing the cement with sand and gravel… none of that fancy pre-mixed concrete here in Uganda… so I got to bend over like a Uganda woman mopping the floor by hand as I mixed the cement, sand and gravel with the broken shovel blade…

It was during this process that I also discovered why people don’t mix cement by hand… my hands have been dehydrated for the past 2 days and I’m wearing more lotion now that a newborn with diaper rash… but the 6 steel poles were all standing by the end of day one…



Day 2 Joel was feeling better… much to my delight… and we began laying the beams for roof…our major discovery on Day 2 was that 1 meter wide iron sheets in Uganda are actually only 85 centimeters wide… unfortunately we had already nailed in the 8 cross beams with 16 penny nails and they weren’t moving…



So our rabitat is now firmly constructed with 14 crossbeams…

Another personal discovery is that our barbwire fencing really would dissuade would be thieves from crossing… I discovered with while following Christine’s directives to lay the iron sheets as close to the fence as possible… repeatedly…

Due to the width-issues with the iron sheets we finished the day 1.5 meters short of our goal… as we put the tools away I discovered the nice work gloves that a friend left me 2 years ago… if I did yard work more often I probably would have spared myself 97 slashes on my hands and fingers…

Day 3 Joel and I quickly hung the final sheets and covered up all the mistakes I made on days 1 and 2 before Christine could notice…



The discovery I made on Day 3 was that cutting iron sheets is another way to slash your fingers and that I didn’t learn my lesson about wearing gloves…

For now Phase 1 is complete… Phase 2 is building the cages and hanging them under our sturdy roof… this phase will begin after we spend a few days in Jinja with friends bringing in the New Year…

Happy New Year to all!

* Rabbitat is a phrase coined by Flo Paris Oakes… become a fan of her vocabulary and music on www.facebook.com…

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