Friday, May 27, 2011

Just a quick note late at night. Things went well today! We got more people to hewing and those with two days experience did much better. We also got the pitsawing on line, which means a great relief to those in charge of production. This means more timbers out of one log, which means less chopping into huge logs. If this sounds pathetic to the experienced timber converter, then my hats off to you. Because this is a lot of work, no matter how you go about it.
So just in time for the first students arriving we've at least got a little bit of game to feel confident about. If the weather holds we'll do just fine. Meanwhile we're having a really good time. More tomorrow. With pictures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I guess blogger takes care of a decent layout for me. Excellent!
There it is: a field full of logs! We'd like to turn it into a field of timbers and wood chips. As you can see, some timbers are slightly oversized. That rectangle is a 6 by 8. Granted that is a picture of the butt of the log, but 30 feet away on the other end things don't look too much better. Thankfully the learning curve is steep. Well... it's either that or complete self destruction. And Poland is much to pretty to be limping around with a bowed head. The person hewing is Arek, our local hero. He speaks great English, can solve all sorts of logistical problems and swing an axe! We'll make good use of all those talents!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Materials and Crew arrive

Well, I havent't figured out how to intelligently upload pictures, so this post will look odd...
In order clockwise: 1)Our site in the Skansen, an amazing open air museum. We haven't seen the quarter of it ourselves. The logs are spread out and getting ready to be assigned a job. 2) The daily thunderstorm. Far away today, thankfully. 3) Our shipment of Gransfors Bruks Axes. A beautiful sight. 4) Home sweet home at the Sosanki, a former red army retreat. This is the biggest of a few cabins. Quite rustic. Quite lovely.

The food is wonderful. I feel I can eat endlessly every time I sit down at the table. My favorite to date is a Crepe style pancake with Ricotta type cheese, folded in quarters and served warm. Closely followed with what I would spell like this: Zeppelini. A potato dumpling shell filled with ground pork. About the size of a fist.

The crew is now all in Sanok, half of them have had their first day of work. We're establishing ourselves, building sawhorses and shelves for tools and putting up tents for shade and eventually inevitably rain. The Telehandler has spread out the logs and we'll start hewing tomorrow. There is a lot! of work ahead of us.

More tomorrow!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

getting here is a process

Hi All!

Yes I made it here. We made it here. The five members of the lead team for this project and the Guild president made it to Rzeszow Airport and took a bus to our home for the next 7 weeks. This is a former Soviet Army R&R facility with simple cabins. Our host is called Adam and speaks a bit of German, which made me quite important for the first few days. Yesterday a polish speaker from England arrived to join the crew. That spreads the load!

We have our logs. The site has way more slope than you would imagine from the picture... Our tool crate has a rendezvous with customs of undetermined length, the log moving machine won't show up till Monday around noon. The materials for sawhorses and other miscellaneous things might be here Tuesday... The usual delays and challenges.

But hey! At least we have a spotty internet connection thanks to a young kid in a computer store in town, who it turns out is only too shy to speak a rather passable English, if encouraged. Now my laptop serves as the wifi hotspot for a bunch of american mosquitos trying to suck the blood out of the internet.

One thing that worked instantly is beer and vodka. Within three hours of arrival, Adam had broght over plenty of local beer and two beers into the night he went and found the five liter bottle of forest spirits. This elixir has gotten the name 'bison grass' for its color and flavor giving ingredient, and we have way less respect for it than we should have. Only one of six has a complete memory of that first night and we woke up to finding Jim with a blue eye and Alicia with a cut big toe. blood all over the terrace and floor... Joel assures us that both incidents were innocent and unrelated accidents, and that we all behaved very well, if seriously debilitated.

Pictures soon. Once I get back to using my 8 year old camera which makes much more manageable files than that hot shot expensive new phone I bought. I'll let you know if I decide to go with a polish simcard and a new number!

Enough for now from a jetlagged Ger

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Packing up

Hi All

This is new and I will be doing it from a new country. So cut me some slack!

Yes! I will be in Poland, Germany and France. Building a Synagogue roof, a shelter for school kids and a roof for an old barn and house. Details to follow.

Just a quick reminder that international rates are seriously out there. Calls as well as texts. So I will be selective in picking up (2.29$/min in Poland!) and brief in my replies (50c/text anywhere). Use this blog or my usual email to get a hold of me. I'd love to hear from you! I will answer in more detail!

So lets get this part on the road!