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9 august 2001

I just got back from walking around downtown Glasgow.  This morning I got up at about 9:30am and made my way down to the Picture Gallery and Museum for a few hours.  My feet have been really killing me, they are bruised from the walking and working in Zonca.  That's one of the reasons I came back here, so I could rest my feet.  Back to Zonca and the workcamp.  Days in the kitchen were long days.  Usually after dinner I tried to wash dishes, but sometimes we'd wait until the next morning.  When we washed dishes in the morning we were always pressed for time.  When we washed dishes in the evening, people in general would use more cups, so it always seemed we had some more dishes to do anyway.  The hours were definitely longer on the kitchen crew.  Sometimes we also did some wood collecting or some other odd job around the camp.


While not in the kitchen, we did a variety of work around the village Zonca.  The first couple of days Kuba and I cut hay to clear the area around the camp.  We used scythes to cut the hay and Stephano showed us the technique.  It was blazingly hot those two days.  I managed to burn myself due to sun exposure.  Other days I would help work constructing a wall where the Zonca lift would terminate.  This was difficult work because we needed large stones.  Eventually the wall was getting tall enough to make it difficult to hand carry the stones to the top of the wall.  One day while I was on another project they constructed a hoist to lift the stones from the base to the top of the wall.  It worked very well.  We even used it to lift a large truss for additional support for the lift structure.  There were a variety of jobs on the wall.  One of the most difficult was getting the stones.  We were fortunate that the source of stones was very close, a broken down house. Hoisting the stones was also physically exhausting, but you typically got to rest between stones or traded off with someone else.  One of the easier jobs was at the top of the wall.  I got to do this a few times, it was nice.


One day Kuba and I were working the wall.  I was finding stones and hoisting them up while Kuba was working the top of the hoist.  We also used these black buckets to collect smaller stones.  Kuba tossed one of the buckets down and it rolled down the hill out of sight.  I had taken the time to hit the restroom and when I came back Kuba was preparing to make the decent to retrieve the bucket.  I had to give up my socks and pants because there were a lot of bushes with thorns, etc.  Kuba had been working in shorts and sandals that day and somehow convinced me to make the swap, unreal.  Kuba had done some climbing before so he had a pretty easy time.  Alberto, one of the Italian volunteers, belayed for him.  Kuba was constantly yelling at him to keep the rope tighter, it was pretty funny.  You couldn't see Kuba, just hear him yelling at Alberto and swinging the machete.  After about 20 minutes Kuba reappeared with the bucket.


After the wall began to grow we needed to back fill between the trail and the wall with dirt and smaller stones.  Some of the dirt we took directly from the trail.  More dirt was taken from excavating other areas like where the oven was located and from a local's house where a mud slide had left a bunch of dirt.  That particular day I worked the wheel barrel from the various locations back to the wall.  It was a tough day, I was sweating like a madman.  I was completely drenched in sweat both before and after lunch. The meals were always better after getting a shower and relaxing a bit.  For a day or so I also worked one of the fountains, clearing away dirt and rocks to make it look nicer.


Towards the end of the workcamp I worked on a part of the trail between Sepiana and Zonca that had been washed away.  It was a pain in the ass down there for a few reasons.  We had to walk about halfway to Sepiana to get to the location, so making our way back up to Zonca after working was difficult.  Additionally the stones were not close to where the work site was located, that made getting larger stones that much more difficult.  One time I had to get a bucket of small stones up the hill.  I had found quite a few of them when I had lost my footing and spilled most of them, d'oh!  The last day we worked we managed to complete the path.  We weren't always working and eating, some days we had fun.  On the Maya end of the year, the Green Day, we hiked from camp over a couple of mountains to another town.  The hike was nice and along the way I made up a poem about Zonca:


Zonca my Zonca, beautiful blue skies

Zonca my Zonca(slap), damn horse flies

Zonca my Zonca, sleeping in the hay

Zonca my Zonca, have a nice green day

Zonca my Zonca, way up in the sky

Zonca my Zonca, is that a peach pie?

Zonca my Zonca, a lot of people came

Zonca my Zonca, what was that dogs name?

Zonca my Zonca, long grape vines

Zonca my Zonca, pass me another stein


There's more verses to this poem but I don't recall them right now.  Lea and Gerry just got home so I'm going to take a little break from writing.

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