Unexpected surprise

One evening a few days ago we all “dropped our jaws”. All of a sudden a young man with a big backpack stood in front of us. A guy that looked very familiar… but I did not believe my eyes… until I hugged him. Then I realized it was not a mirage:

Vincent had come to visit us!

He has been travelling in South and Latin America for the last four months. We knew that he would come back to Europe July 4:th. So we had joked with him over mails and facebook that we expected him here the 5:th… But of course we never ever thought he would come all this way! But he did! What joy! What  a declaration of love that he had endured all the hardships of  hitchhiking all the way from Paris to us in Järbo. He had slept under the open sky and on gas stations and put up with a lot of diffiulties during  five days and nights to come here.

He came in time to meet the other volunteers that were around still a few days. On the picture below  he is checking their last hours of work on the outside of the chapel:

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Vincent stayed with us from July 17 to December 14 last year. He helped with  just about everything on this little farm for five whole months, and not the least he worked hundreds of hours together with us and others on the chapel. He has really seen the chapel “grow”.

Here are a few comparisons:

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July 2012 Vincent is intertwaining the gap above the coffee-window on the “back side of the chapel.

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July 2013, Vincent is polishing some clay away from the coffee jars while the final layer above the same window is drying. You see the still wet clay at the same spot where he looks out on the picture above!

 

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July 2012 Vincent is filling the gaps between the coffee jars.

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Here looking at the result so far.

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August 2012 Vincent is scruwing to the wall, the fireproof boards that the fire inspector recommended – although clay is very fire proof…

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In the same spot, July 2013, we have embedded that board in clay mixture and painted it with flaxseed oil a couple of times.

 

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September 2012 Vincent and Lärkan is creating the roof.

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July 2013 Vincent is checking that we finally are coming to the phase of covering the roof with tarmac paper…

We now have had some nice relaxing days together with Vincent and we are thankful for these days. Memories shared, and he has told us some of his amazing experiences from the other side of the globe.  Soon he is heading back to France to meet his family and start planning for his future hopefully to “stay put” somewhere around Nantes. He is planning not to travel as much for a while… ^^

Thank You Vincent for WHO YOU ARE to us! I also send many thanks to our Heavenly Father for this wonderful young man and his friendship and cares for us up here in the “wilderness”.

 

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Thick layer soon done and ceiling prepared for paint

For several days, several persons have been working on the “back side” of the chapel.

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Here Bruno and Samuel are building the thick filling around the coffe jars, hiding all edges and planks of the frame that are holding the jars in place. NICE work, but it takes a lot of time!

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We are so thankful to all our volunteers for their time and efforts!  It is many details in clay building when you want a good long lasting result. For example a surface without cracks…. Therefore there are many steps, like above, spraying with water to prepare the dry wall, then  painting with slicker, and finally with a few different blends filling up the flat wall so it becomes nicely rounded. Above You see Jonas working with the piece of wall over the entrance door. He is persisting and doing a wonderful job.

At the same time, these last few days Samuel has done a big job indoors, many hours of cleaning the inner surface of the ceiling thoroughly. As You might remember I wrote previously that probably the planks were not dry enough when we put them up last fall and during the winter they have got some black mold. But now they are getting cleaned and prepared for new paint! Samuel has spent many hours balancing on planks high up…

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On this picture You see Bruno helping out with the same job at the lower parts of the ceiling and the unifying wooden “ring” on top of the walls.

But mostly of course it is a rather sticky work with different clay mixes. At times our kind helpers thinks it is a bit too trying and messy with the throwing of the clay on walls and the stickiness of all tools and our hands…  But some like it more… like myself. I love working with clay!  And at least on this picture it looks as if Moritz is perfectly OK with the sticky work!

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Good thing there are no loud machines or other disturbing details, so there is always “room” for  conversations and laughter in the midst of the hard work : )

Filling out on the “back side”

It has been several days again that we have not worked at the chapel. There are so many things that has to be done during the short and intensive building period here up north…

Lately we have been busy building a garden shed. On the farm we really need a roof to save and hide things under, for example wheelbarrows, flower pots, rakes and shovels especially during the winter… And lately that shed has been created. In a funny way. Pallets that we got for free gave the structure. Then a lot of creativty …

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We raised the building next to the little greenhouse, on the “border” between our more private area and the “course area”. Of course we have used this shed also to show several techniques to build with clay. After all this farm is the first educational center of clay building in Sweden. Our goal is to inspire!

One – for many unexpected – technique, is to use old worn sheets to create “snakes”…

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Bruno made the measurements…

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Camilla she sewing…

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and here Bruno and Jonas are filling one of the snakes with a clay mixture

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To the left, at the bottom on this wall You see “snakes” put in place. On this picture Jonas is making one segment of the wall with a mix of pine cones and clay!  We have a lot of fun also showing that it can be very cheap to build with clay! We plan to lay platser on the outside, but to keep the surfaces visible on the inside of this garden shed.

Finally today we returned to the chapel and started to fill out the missing parts of the outer wall on the “back” side of the chapel. I was so happy that some of our team could return to the chapel again!

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Behind me You see Jonas filling out the top of one segment. I do the bottom part of the next. I am so happy that we got started with this today, this thick layer will take quite some time to dry. Therefore I did not want to postpone it any longer. Tomorrow we continue!

So, soon this sight of many “corners” and flat areas between them, will only be a memory:

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Soon the chapel will be nicely “rounded”, or “kiwi shaped”, as I have had as a vision since a few years. Step by step… Or maybe rather i should say “handful by handful” of clay mix we get there.  : )

And many, many kind helpers from all over the globe have assisted!  Oh, how many hands that have patted these walls! So many persons have shared our vision of the future beautiful chapel by giving of their time and efforts. All of them have been willing to get dirty and sticky all over in order to achieve this goal…. is it not  fantastic?!