I have been trying for days to write this post with lots of fun pictures, but Blogger and the Lapilo internet do not get along very well. It definitely will not let me add pictures anymore. Sorry 'bout that.
Anyway, I just thought I would write a few notes about house building for all those future tribal missionaries out there who read this blog.
1. It will be one of the most stressful times of your entire life. I know what you are thinking...everything about this life is stressful. We move 1,000 times. Our kids don't know where we live or who is actual family. But seriously, this is the most stressful of all that. Trust me.
2. Expect everything to go wrong. Because it will. You are building in the middle of the freakin jungle in a third world country. All your supplies will be junk (unless you bought them from America and shipped them over) and you will only get half (if you are lucky) of what you actually ordered. At least now you won't be surprised when that happens, right? You're welcome.
3. Do not expect the weather the cooperate. It is called the rainforest forest for a reason. It does not care that you have not put a roof on your house yet. It will ruin your plywood floor and throw a rainbow up in the sky like it was happy to do it.
5. Go ahead right now and throw everything you own away. Just do it. Right now. I promise you will be a lot happier when the time comes for you to pay $$$$$ to fly your stuff in. Wait...I will let you keep anything that weighs less than 10 kgs. You're welcome, again. On a related note, put everyone in your family on a diet.
6. If a team is coming to help you (which you will need or else it will take approximately 1 million years to finish your house) then estimate what you think it will take to feed said team, and go ahead and double it. I promise you are underestimating. Even if you are purposefully overestimating, you are still underestimating. So go ahead and do your overestimating and double that. I cannot tell you the panic and guilt that comes from thinking these men who have been working their you-kno-whats-off for you all day in the equatorial sun will go to bed hungry because you did not buy or prepare enough food.
7. Hug your kids a lot and tell them that Mommy and Daddy are not going crazy, and that all this will end one day soon. Bring in special treats for them (I will allow kgs for this one) as you will need to buy their love during this time. No matter how hard you try you are going to be a jerk to your kids. You will be easily annoyed and you will tell them "in a minute" 17,000 times, and all 17,000 times "in a minute" turns into never. Remind them that you really love them and ask for their forgiveness all 17,000 times.
8. Wives, your husbands will be totally stressed out. Remember that need to protect and provide? Well, building a house for his family in the middle of nowhere is kinda the peak of that male instinct. When something goes wrong, let him be upset about it. Maybe you don't care that it poured down rain all night long on and now your floor is a little bubbly, but to him those are weak spots where evil creatures and/or people could come in and kidnap the family that he is supposed to be protecting. His very manhood is at stake here. Just go with it.
9. Husbands remember that without a home a wife and mother is sort of lost. She is doing her best to care for and nurture her family but it is awkward and weird and disconcerting. Sort of like a doctor with no clinic or medical tools at all. Things get done, but they are not pretty. Give her lots of credit for what she can accomplish and keep working really hard to get a "liveable" house.
10. Trust in the Lord and remember why you are there. Spending lots of time with the people will help that. Do the best you can to make friends with people in the village even though you are super busy. It will keep you motivated when you ask yourself, "why are we doing this again?"
Ok, there you go. Do you still want to do this? I hope so, because it is really fun. Are you not getting "fun" from all those things??? Sorry. But I promise there is fun in all of the chaos. Some fun. Mostly you are just powering through so you can get to the really fun stuff later.