How I built the wall

Today, I would like to recall, what I did last summer. The idea sparked because I have been very busy recently, since presentation of our project is getting closer each day. And the time I am going to talk about was one of the most tranquil in my life. I spent around two week in southwestern France volunteering on a construction of an old mill.

It was some kind of Erasmus programme, and my girlfriend and other classmates, who were learning French at that time, were invited by our class teacher. I was learning German, but since nobody wanted to go, I could. So, in the end there were 4 of us going to France. My girlfriend, me and two more guys. And it ended up as a great group! We had so much fun together. Those who know me would tell you how boring I usually am, but since those two guys we were with were so hilarious, they kind of overrided my usual grumpiness.

I also spend those two weeks nearly completely without phone, computer or any other electronic device, since there were just a few places to charge these. And surprisingly, I did not need it. It was strange at first, but I quickly got used to it. And that is also the reason why there are only around 4 photos of that time. And I am going to show you all.

We lived in the second tent from right side. We slept in a sleeping bag. Camping experience. There were around 40 people at once and we took turns in cooking for the whole camp. When was our turn, we simply wrote what we needed and someone got into the car and went shopping to the nearest town.

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Here is one of the buildings of the mill. Some of us were working on a scaffolding there, repairing the gable.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But my job was little back away. I was repairing the stone wall around the plot. Or more like one tiny part. Like two meter long part. And there were usually 3 of us working there, and it took us two weeks. Why is that? Every stone had to be ‘beautiful’. One of the guys who was running the place was very particular about the stones we could use, so we spend hours just chiping stones so they look ‘beautiful’. I learned how to mix mortar. Take a wheelbarrow, add sand, cement, lime and water. Mix it with shovel. Nothing fancy. Just plain old hand work. And so we were slowly building this wall. I do not have any photos of it. But it is there. At least I hope. It should survive few decades at least. I am pretty proud of it.

And this is the photo of all the workers together.

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It was a peaceful time. However it is long time ago.

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Only memories and that one wall still remain. I have new challenges in front of me. And I need to face them and not dwell on time long gone. Let’s finish what we have started.

Cheers

Ondrej

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