Joining the country club

Wednesday was ‘community’ day. That usually means working on the Q-hut (the woodworking shop renovation) but yesterday it meant working on the community ‘Bunkhouse’.

The ‘Bunkhouse’ is like a rustic home with a basic kitchen, wood stove and room for some long tables. It sits close-by the school being only about thirty paces away. The current concept for its use is as a community kitchen of sorts but it is also capable of sleeping a few people up stairs in a pinch. It had a bathroom but then it stopped working……….soooooooooo…..

So, the community group decided to fix the biffy, fix up the kitchen and renovate the areas that were looking a bit tired. After a bit of extended planning, the decision was made to expand the kitchen, make a new bathroom, add a front and rear deck and generally ‘spiff the whole thing up’.

The building currently occupies about 600 sq ft down and another 150 up give or take 10%. When we are done, it will be twice as big downstairs with about 400 feet of deck, 300 of which will be at the front.

Money is no object. There really isn’t any.

For the most part, this is a ‘volunteer’ project. We’ll do this project for (we hope) less than $10,000 including materials, labour and ‘equipping’.

On the face of it, you’d think we might have bitten off more than we can chew. You’d be wrong. This community has rallied together for projects larger than this time and time again. You should see the community-built gymnasium! It is gorgeous and the perfect addition for a school (albeit a small one) situated in a rainforest.

The Bunkhouse is a ‘community’ project. So is the Q-hut. This is a group that works! Well, OK, this is a group that mostly works! I am a member, after all. I try to keep my work to a minimum.

What I find really interesting is this: this is a politically sensitive, close-knit, ‘small village-type’ group that has wrestled with relationship issues for decades and yet, it all gets done and gets done well in the end. Any ruffled feathers here and there are pretty-much forgotten by the next project. It is pretty neat to see in action and even neater to see in hindsight. Their (and increasingly our) history is a good one.

Do we know what we are doing? Of course we know what we are doing! We are paying our dues and being part of the community. Think of it as a country club.

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