My apologies to my 6 devoted readers for not posting in the past several days. 🙂
Things have picked up quite a bit around here. I have been spending more time out at the property helping out with various different projects. It’s interesting finding out the things that I am decent at and things that I am absolutely horrible at. I’ve discovered though, that my level of success with a project is often linked with how much confidence I have in doing the work before I start. Like my previous life working with teenagers, I find that my best results come when I show no fear. My past attitude when working with construction projects has always been one of fear. Fear that I would mess up so bad that I would end up costing myself more money than I would had I just hired someone to do it for me. Be here, my outlook has changed on that a little because things are so cheap. If I do mess it up royally, it won’t cost me my entire paycheck to start over and try again.
There are 3 main projects we have been working on. We spent a couple of days staining the window frames on the school building, trying to get them done before the company came to put in the windows. Turns out, staining is something that I am not too bad at. I was kind of surprised by this because my past experiences with painting things have been less than stellar. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give myself a 2 in that category. To my surprise, not only am I decent at staining wood, it is actually fairly enjoyable. As Nathan’s son Anthony put it, I get instant gratification from my labors. And being the true blooded American that I am, you know I like instant gratification. 🙂 I guess I should also mention that another reason I’m pretty okay at staining is because I seem to be relatively unaffected by the smell of paint thinner and staining chemicals. Wait, sorry, what were we talking about?
(I’ll pause for a moment and let you take a second to digest that last joke, lol)
We have also been working on building wood stairs to one of the buildings. Unlike the staining, I’m not too good at this whole process. Sanding, or planing, the wood with the electrical thingy is a lot harder than it looks. Nathan is really good at it. That could be because he grew up in the country with a dad that was a craftsmen and was handling power tools by the time he was 4. Unlike myself, who really just started using power tools very minimally the past couple of years, and who’s wife is genuinely shocked every time I use one and don’t severely hurt myself. I would have loved to practice this a bit more but wood out here cost a lot of money. You would think that since Thailand is full of trees that it would be cheap. That would probably be the case were it not for the fact that there is a law here that says you can’t cut down the trees. Go figure. Of course, people still do to a small extent, but most of the wood used here comes from Burma, and thus the price of it is a little more expensive. After planing the wood, we (mostly Nathan, I’m horrible at math) had to figure out the correct angles to cut the wood in order to make the steps. That whole process was a lot harder than I envisioned it to be. I guess I missed the day in Geometry class that they were going over how to figure out the correct angles for building steps. I didn’t feel like a total failure though because the boards needed to be stained, and yours truly was up to the task. I’ll post a picture when we are done. Sorry, I’ve been forgetting to take my camera with me. Maybe the staining is getting to me after all. 🙂
The last project I’m working on is something I actually have some experience with. Computers! We have a month long medical training coming up in September. We will be using a workbook for part of the training, and it is my job to make the PowerPoint for all 114 pages of it. Now that I can do.
Living here hasn’t been without its trials and difficult situations, but that’s no different than life back in the states, or anywhere for that matter. No worries though, a few more staining sessions and I won’t remember any of it anyways. 🙂