Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Channeling My Inner Construction Worker

There are a few words in Romanian that I know backwards, forwards and upside-down. Wall is one of those words.
zid                     wall
zidul                   the wall
zidului                to/of the wall
un zid                 a wall
a zidi                  to build (a stone wall)
am zidit un zid    we built a stone wall, although that is redundant

At our hall this week, in the blazing heat of this surprise bit of summer that won't let go, we are zidding a zid! And I am helping. I am striking the mortar and brushing it, and learning the difference between bee holes and cat eyes, both of which need to be filled in with mortar after you strike it. I also learned that concrete blocks are really heavy and, this sounds very sexist, better left for the big boys to lift. Seriously they are very heavy.

Our Romanian friends are used to building with concrete blocks, except they used horse manure in their mortar in Moldova. My little friend Laura remembers as a kid having to get in a big vat of it to help mix up the smelly stuff with her feet. I doubt that manure based mortar is in the California Building Code, so on this project we are sticking with mortar from a bag, not a nag. I'm sure they are so sick of hearing me use the word zid, they can't wait for this to be done so I can get on to other words. There is one more day of the wall build. Tomorrow we (they) put on the top decorative piece, and we come behind and clean up. It promises to be another blazing hot day, and by now the wall is getting kind of high for this shorty. The showers have felt great at the end of the day.

After I got done zidding today, I did my Tuesday bread delivery. Long story short, each Tuesday we get a huge supply of day old food from a wonderful store (Totally Joyous?) and deliver it to people who need it. I have four stops, one is at the apartment where many of our Moldovan friends live. I pulled up tonight and got the giant blue Ikea bag of bread out to lug to Galina's home (she distributes to the apartment) when I heard Jessica, Jessica Help! A little boy in our congregation was being picked on by a teenager in the apartment. That bratty thug was grabbing my little buddy behind the neck and pinching him. So, still dressed like a construction worker and just darn scary looking, I marched over there. I told the teenager, I see this kid two times a week, sometimes more, and I'm going to ask him every time I see him if you are still hurting him, do you understand? I'm surprised I didn't threaten him with cement shoes or getting buried in the zid. Tomorrow I'll have to work on my mafia accent.