We left Jamaica Saturday and most of us staggered into our own beds in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Krystal ended up getting stuck at our place due to the weather and is still trying to push home to Iowa as I write this Wednesday night. Jamaica--the real Jamaica, not the plastic resort fluff around the edges--is wonderful and hard. Folks here make only $20 or so per day if there is work, and most materials and tools if you can get them can cost significantly more than they would in the States. Even if you have money a trip down the mountain for a $2 part can take a half day or more and $75 taxi ride. But that is why we came, to see what we could build with the stuff around us. No cheating and running to Home Depot.
The limestone is the Bones of the Earth here. The floor of our bath house is mainly the bedrock chiseled flat (okay flatter, or at least more even). The spirals that make up our walls rest mostly on big outcroppings of stone. There is one huge one though that we pried loose from up the hill and skated down the slope right into its socket. More pictures and sketches are coming, partly so what you see will make more sense, but mostly so the local crew continuing the work will have something to go on.
The bottles, glass and plastic, are seemingly the only increasing natural resources in Jamaica. They grow wild by the sides of the road in great clumps, and once in a while someone will tire of one of the clumps and set it on fire so the reek of burning plastic is almost an incense. But we were able to gather hundreds of bottles. The locals helped. Some were quite happy to see them picked up and not burned. The glass bottles went into our walls, cut and taped together so the sun comes through the colored ends and lights up the world inside the walls. Folks are quite eager to see what we come up with for using the plastic bottles. One of our Mud Sisters (my daughter Sarah Mud) built a little gadget to turn plastic bottles into plastic string, which our local friends wove into dish scrubbers and other cool things, but seriously email me at Info@unclemud.com if you have better ideas for what to do with an almost unlimited supply of plastic bottles and trash. We will be back to use it, possibly as soon as May, we just have to get the next crew together. Let me know if you want to come with. Thank you again to our Patrons who helped make this adventure possible. --Uncle Mud & Family.