Teamwork, trusses and tacos

Teamwork, trusses and tacos

Post by Cyrus Rivetna, BSAS, University of Illinois and MArch candidate, Lawrence Technological University

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 – On-site construction.

We started the day with an excellent fresh omelot and Oaxacan cheese cooked fresh for us at the hostel.  When we arrived at the site, we began assembling the truss on the ground; we completed one side, then needed the entire team, including our Oaxacan friends to turn the truss over to complete the reverse side.  By late morning the truss and center post were complete and ready to be hoisted into place; but first it was time for a break for lunch.  Sarai arrived with unbeliveable "tacos dorado con queso y flor de calabaza" (fried tacos with flowers from the squash plant), and fresh pineapple mint juice. After that, we all needed a short siesta.  

The rest of the afternoon was spent hoisting the tower into place.  All of us "gringos" were hesitant when the Oaxacans tied the rope to the truck with the intent to pull the truss up, but we were assured not to worry, and that they knew what they were doing.  Sure enough the structure was up in a few minutes with one rope tied to the back of a truck.  We quickly assembled one of the diagonal braces, but the other required a short pause to widen one of the foundation holes. Fortunately, Eduardo the backhoe driver was onsite, and able to dig through the solid rock to get the hole at the right depth and size.  By the end of the afternoon, the concrete was poured, and the structure was up and standing proud, but by design, was looking like it was about to tip over.  The day ended just before sunset, with the entire group enjoying shots of locally made Mezcal, provided by Roberto.

 – Cyrus

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