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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Today's Yard: New home

A friend emailed me several months ago that he was moving out west and would I like to have his tipi poles?  Of course I would.  So, since I was in Georgia and the poles were in Virginia, I asked Sue to pick them up.  Which she did.  In a monsoon.
Meanwhile, I ordered a tipi to go on the poles.  It arrived in Virginia last month.  I didn't.  I recorded music in South Carolina, visited one of my daughters and her family on my way north, and finally caught up with the lodge yesterday.
It has been about a decade since my eighteen foot tipi died of dry rot after years of hard use and lots of great camps.  This time I got a smaller one.  I figure I camp by myself and I'm older than I was...  so a fourteen foot lodge should be fine.   Less canvas, less poles.
So yesterday after parking the motorhome, I set up the tipi.  Loaded stuff for rendezvous into the van, slept, loaded more Stuff, took the lodge down, loaded it...
Now the motor home goes to the shop for electrical work and I'm going rendezvousing.

It looks so wrinkled.  Yeah.  New canvas is like that.  Give it a camp or two.  The instructions specifically say not to stretch the wrinkles out.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Andersonville Civil War Village, and the POW Museum and Civil War Prison

I stayed at the Andersonville City Park campground in mid-April, on a beautiful spring weekend, to explore Andersonville GA. It's a pleasant small campground right in town. $18/night, and you register at the Visitors Center at the Drummer Boy Museum.

I set up camp and set out to explore Andersonville.
The first thing I did after setting up was to walk to the Drummer Boy Museum.

Lots of artifacts
and mannequins
dressed in
Civil War attire,
and a model of
Andersonville Prison
in the middle of the room.

There is also a pioneer farm, which includes the original jail, a blacksmith shop, and a functional mill.
This is the Cherokee Rose, Georgia's State Flower.
At the entrance to the RV park is the Old School House Antique Shop, one of several in town.
I was there browsing when a local man came in to show the people there what he'd scored at a yard sale: Some 27 volumes of Little Leather Library books. Yes, once upon a time you could get a tiny book of Shakespeare along with your Whitman's Chocolates.
I was charmed by the architecture and landscaping of this historic log church just downhill from the campground.
When I left Andersonville, I visited the Andersonville National Historical Site. This includes the POW museum, dedicated to POWs in all wars.

Prisoners would arrive in Andersonville by train and be marched to the main gate of the prison.
There really was no prison. Whatever could be scrounged served as housing.
The only water source was a sluggish stream through the middle of the prison camp, with the latrines downstream but other sources of pollution upstream.
"In desperation, a group of soldiers began to pray for water. Soon, a storm broke out, and thunder roared, and where lightning struck the prison ground, a fountain of pure spring water erupted. Whether it was the prayer or construction of the prison that caused the underground water to well up, no one knows, but that clean water saved the lives of thousands of Union soldiers, and continues to flow to this day." (quote is from site linked.)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Plains, GA, home of Jimmy Carter

It was a beautiful day to be outdoors, walking around on the farm where President Jimmy Carter and his brother and sisters grew up. The farm is now a National Historic Site.
Enter through the back porch...
I loved the stove in the kitchen, having cooked on one like it.
Jimmy Carter's bedroom
The living room, with radio and piano, where the family gathered.
The front porch
The blacksmith shop
The family's store

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Habitat Houses as Built in Foreign Lands

After going through through the extreme poverty settlement, the path leads on to examples of Habitat building projects as they are built in various countries. These are not American McMansions. They are safe, solid homes that fit in, in the countries in which they are built.

The first country on the path is Mexico. It's a cozy block house with a courtyard and indoor plumbing.
Also in the Latin America / Caribbean area are Guatamala and Haiti.

This house in Guatamala features a block cookstove.

The Haitian house is a core house. It is designed so that the homeowner can add on to it later.

The Africa / Middle East section shows houses as built in Kenya, Botswana, Malawi, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Congo, and Tanzania.
The Asia / Pacific section featured homes as built in India, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea.

This house for India has built in concrete sinks and counters and laundry sinks.

In the back corner, that's a wood fired water heater.

I know that bathrooms are different in different parts of the world, but the extent of my "world traveling" has been the Bahamas and Germany, both of which use the same sort of plumbing we have in the USA.

In places such as Sri Lanka, they use toilets like this one. The one in the house for India is similar.
The New Guinea house is on stilts due to the monsoons there.
There is also an exhibit showing how blocks are made from local materials.

Many of the homeowners work off their equity making blocks for their houses.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

This post, and the next, will be about my visit to Habitat for Humanity's headquarters in Americus, GA.  If you don't know, you can read about who they are and what they do on their website.  I'm going to assume that you have heard of their work, and go on to show you about my visit.

They have set up the GLOBAL VILLAGE AND DISCOVERY CENTER so that we can see what they are doing in other countries.  But first they want us to know what conditions are like in some parts of the world, and to understand how very needed plain, basic, decent, sound, functional housing is.

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.
Coincidentally, at the current USA minimum wage of $7.25/hr, a worker could earn about $1,231 in ONE month, not the 31 months it would take the minimum wage worker in Lima.

What really got me is the 728 administrative steps over three years. Really!?!

Come with me... Enter the reconstruction of a poor settlement, imagine yourself living there, trying to make a better life, trying to survive from day to day...

You would try to make a home.

You would use the community outhouse...
You might raise a chicken or two if you could.
You would gather for worship.

You would teach your children.
There would be stores, meager stores..

In my next post I'll show the examples they've built here of the homes they help people build there.
Right now, though, I'm going to watch the fisherman and the dog on the point across the sparkling sunlit waters and count my blessings - not that I can count that high...