Sunday, October 9, 2011

Build a Table: earn one LIFE tile!

October 1st, 2011

To continue with the extreme makeover of my hut I have gotten my first piece of furniture.  A 5ft long table that will make up my “kitchen.”

I built it with my bare hands, a hammer, some nails, and the much-appreciated help of my neighbor volunteers Ryan and Addy!

We bought the wood at the hardware store in the next community over (Mpaka), where Addy and Ryan live.  Then we transported the supplies on the bus to Malindza and hauled the wood on the 10-minute walk to my homestead. 

It only took three hours on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.  Ryan and his mad sawing skills, Addy and her perfectly straight hammering skills, and me with my two extra hands nailed piece by piece until miraculously a table was built.  I had no idea how to build a table going into this project but somehow it just threw itself together.  We had to scavenge for some scrap wood to reinforce the legs, and worked our way through using the entire evolution of hand saws, but in the end we had a sturdy table that wasn’t going to fall apart as soon as I tried to use it.

Not only did I physically build a table with no power tools, no measuring tape, or table building know-how, but I also did it in a skirt.  Impressive huh?  Of course my host Sisi had to show me up; she helped build not only in a skirt, but also with her 6 month old son strapped to her back.

By dinnertime I was able to prepare my meal for the first time not while sitting on the floor, but actually standing at a table.  Oh the little things in life. 

P.S. I also got my curtains made!!  They are perfect and aside from the whole principle of privacy they add a nice homey and decorative touch to my hut!  All I have left is to build a desk/bookshelf, and some sort of closet so I can get my books and clothes off the floor. 


  1. That is quite an impressive table! I am so happy that you are able to build a home you are proud of.