Thursday, March 18, 2010

Schweir Arbeit (Hard Work)

La Roquette --- Oy, my aching back! They are working us like dogs here. We have been joined by a Polish contractor named Yustin, and have been building the entry steps/walkway out front. I (Ben) got to do the design for it- which is pretty awesome. So, since Sunday, we have been working from about 8:30 to 6:00ish every day this week. And now my back hurts. The work includes digging away the earth, mixing and pouring concrete, tiling with large stones and cutting re-bars. It is very hard work and every day, I feel it in my muscles. It is very satisfying. It’s the instant gratification that you get while working with your hands that I have missed so much in architecture, a field where it takes months or even years to realize a project. We finished pouring the concrete today! 

Gaby has found a lot of work for me (Betsy), though not as physically demanding as Ben's, thank goodness. I have been weeding, chipping wood, aerating soil with a giant pitchfork, cooking, cleaning, and occasionally helping the men (mostly by digging or carrying things). My muscles are starting to appear too... sort of! But right now I am sore so it feels like they are, haha. We are working 9-10 hour days, much longer than in the WWOOF description, but they want to take advantage of Yustin while he is here, and it feels satisfying to be so productive. We are accomplishing a ton, and this is exactly what I had in mind when we began planning over a year ago: something totally different from the classroom! Every time I want to complain I think, "This is soooo much better than homework!"

They shaved Charlie for the summer and he looks ridiculous. I also saw a newborn sheep on  a walk through the woods, as I passed by a farm.  

Here is a what facebook calls  a "public link" to an online album of our many Cote d'Azur photos. It's the same as Ben's facebook album:

We are new to this whole thing so please let us know if you cannot get the link to work or if you know a better way for us to share pics (we tried flickr, but the uploads are too slow).


  1. Hey Betsy! Happy Birthday!!! I hope you get to relax & do something special today! We're sending you lots of hugs & birthday wishes! Sadie also sends you a tail wag & wishes you were here to rub her belly.
    Love, Vicki

  2. I just found your calnendar below - have a great trip to Israel!

  3. Hello, travelers! Happy Birthday Betsy! What an amazing way to spend your birthday -- hope it's a good one. Memorable, I bet!
    I feel like Grandpa Ich -- the last time I tried to do this my comment never showed up. If this works I'll post more soon!
    Love to you both!

  4. THERE we go! Wanted to tell you both that the snow is gone here, so you can adjust your mental image of the city you left behind. It was 70 on Sunday -- think crocuses!
    Love, again -- dad