Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cement or Concrete - and when

Not much happened today: our days are filled with work and the usual farm stuff, such as hungry geese and chickens, fence-jumping guinea hens (Perlhühner?), fighting duck boys (it's all about the GIRLS:-) and so forth.

We are building a new duck pond (the one David's been digging out), it is going to be a kind of ring with a deeper pool at the end. In the middle of the ring is a tree and we will put stones around this tree, so they can sit on those stones when they are tired from swimming around in circles :-) We left the branches from the tree as well, because we want it to stay alive and will just put cement on top and around it, which will create natural steps and boulders ("Geröllblöcke"). There will be pictures soon.

Well, in the course of this project I learned something new: the difference between cement (Zement) and concrete (Beton)! Here in the country, people build what they call cement houses. Sounds ok, BUT, cement is just the stuff you buy in bags and the mix which you actually build the house from is concrete (cement plus water plus sand). Well, I didn't know that either! So, we live in a cement house, too. That's what they say:-) Glad it is not falling apart. Well, it is a bit ... we have deep cracks in all rooms, most probably because the house isn't sitting on a very sturdy foundation ("Grundmauer oder Fundament"). People also have no cellars here which might give it a bit of support. And when the dry season came, and the soil ("Erde") cracked open and moved, the house just moved with it and dropped here a bit and there a bit! We are hoping that it moves back again now that we have a nice rainy season, but I think that is wishing for too much ...
We ordered the cement to fill the trench ("Graben") for the ducks on Monday. The people in the shop in the village said they would bring it RIGHT NOW. Well, today is Wednesday, and we haven't seen any cement bags yet ...

Still have a lot of work to do ... better get back to it. More tomorrow!


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