19/05/2019 Simon ‘Wardy’ Ward is nomadonanomad
I’ve been at the farm in the outskirts of Montevideo for two weeks now and it’s time for an update. I love this place and my hosts are fantastic. My ‘chicken trailer’ is surprisingly comfortable and warm, the food is great and plentiful, and my project regarding turning a rusting pile of crappy old metal into a ‘deluxe’ shelving unit for the farm shop has captivated me and bought out all my as yet undiscovered DIY skills that I didn’t know I had. I’ve always been good at deciding what was needed and how to design something but the actual construction was always left to others with me manning the vacuum cleaner and doing the tidying up.
The first week was just about getting old paint and rust off the steel, and it took a whole week, getting it ready for cutting to size and painting. Then the ‘interesting’ and possibly very challenging part of putting it all together. Would I be up to it? Certainly Matias, my host, was displaying far more confidence in my abilities than I was! The plan changed a number of times as we realised that there wasn’t enough steel for the ‘full Monty’ which comprised 5 units and we would have to settle for 3. No worries, Matias just wanted to be able to display and store more stuff in less space and in a far more organised way.
I got to the part where the construction could begin and the problems kept surfacing and surprisingly I kept finding the solutions and progress, albeit not speedy, was steady, and each day we saw some results. The only real downside here is that the host family’s first language is Italian and so my Spanish is still not getting the workout it needs. Still, I am very much enjoying my time here and I’ve been asked to ‘farm sit’ for an extra two weeks while Matias takes the children to Switzerland but then has to collect his Father from Portugal where he has been taken ill and can’t travel alone.
So here is the ‘project’ from start to finish. It was a great test for me but I really feel that I’ve got to grips with so much and Matias is over the moon with the result and has identified the next stage which is to continue the fitting out of the remaining available space in wood. At this rate I’ll end up as a carpenter! Think of it, Chippy Wardy!
Photos. Rusty old metal. Cleaned, painted, cut to size, installed with wooden shelves and then stocked. The space cleared in other places has been phenomenal.
Indeed, my new-found DIY skills suggest I should start doing blog posts on just this subject. Titles spring to mind like, ‘Ring spanners. How do you grip yours?’. ‘Hit all the right spots with your G clamps’ and ‘Angle grinders. Swiping left and right’ Yes, I realise I need to get out more, but it was the aim of getting involved in ‘Workaway’ that I would learn new skills, and get to know the real culture of South America and these new things I’m learning will all add to my profile and hopefully ensure more and better placements that are rewarding and challenging and the money I save means I can travel a lot longer than I would be able to normally. In addition, and probably most importantly, I’ve really enjoyed the task presented to me and have easily done more than the agreed hours without realising it. In short, it’s been fun and I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved.
Short post this one as I have so much to do! As always, thanks for reading this far and may Odin, Thor and Freyr go with you.
Simon ‘Wardy’ Ward.