Hello Blogmuffin readers, I have unpacked and dusted off the old slide carousel.
Here is a quick wrap of my travels, or a lot of pictures of me being an ass. Please enjoy.
It all started between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Whoa sorry about that, I do not have to go back that far.
After suffering through a crappy flight we arrived in Northern Ireland and made it to where were were going to bunk for the next two weeks.
Not too bad. If you think that nice, the people who hosted us were amazing. They were nice enough to have us back. They made us feel more than being at "home", they made us feel like a member of their family. They were so nice, I did not steal any towels or silverware.
We were charged with the task of doing finishing work on two homes.
Here is a shot of the two we worked on in 2002. They are still standing. That shows they have great site supervision, they could overcome me wielding a hammer.
So we worked on a lot of the little things to get this house ready. In fact we were able to hand the keys over to the families so they could come in and start doing some painting. Now here are some actions photos for you:
No, its not me trying to duck working, sadly this was me working on cleaning sewer lines, with tape all over me. The picture we sadly do not have is my hand wrapped in a plastic bag cleaning out bricks, glass, and old Buick Skylark, along with the nastiness that lurks in the pipes, all the while it is hailing.
This is a bad combo folks. I am amazed that this did not end in tears. But surprisingly enough I kicked some ass. You should have seen me miter cut. Oh I mitered cut the bejesus out of some shit. Oh look I have a picture.
Look you can slice cheese with that edge. God I am retarded, but I am still so damn proud of this stupid corner. I was so proud that I went all Jim Hacksaw Dugin afterward. The only thing missing was the American flag. (I promise to find that one and post it)
After they explained it was not a pogo stick, they let open some whoop ass on some beligerent pavement.
Here I am hold up a shovel very nicely.
This is before spending an afternoon shoveling hardening pavement which is such a pleasing way to spend a day. But it was all worth it, especially when we saw one of the future home owners come by with her daughter and show her where her room will be.
Even though we had a small group we got a lot done and with no injuries. I will say that it was an achievement. There were moments that I doubted that this trip was going to even take place. In many ways it all worked out perfectly.
So what did we do while not building? Well we lets see.
We took some time in Belfast as I mentioned before. Here are a couple of highlights
Tour through the trouble spots in a black cab.
First to the Protestant areas.
Then we crossed into the Catholic areas, but first we had to go by the "peace walls".
Large East Berlinesque type walls build to keep the peace, by trying to separate the two communities. Some areas have gates that close at night to keep people from coming in and cause problems. These walls do not insure goodwill. But even with these measures. You still have kids gathering throwing insults, rocks and other items. In a nutshell this is why I keep coming back, so that one day these walls come down, by choice not force. Okay enough of my sappy droning.
Here are some shots from the Catholic areas:
First is the Sein Fein office and the second is Bombay street where this community which was fire-bombed in 69. As you can see that the people living there still are contending with items coming over that wall. They have installed large slanted screen that hopefully allows any harmful items to roll away from the house.
We also stopped at the Clonad Martyrs memorial Garden for IRA members killed and non-combatants who lived in the area.
Also got to see what a rubber bullet looks like, they are not cute and cuddly especially when they are fired above the waist. This was a problem back in the 70's and 80's.
But enough of the bad, let us get back to the nice of Northern Ireland.
Wait I saw this and caught a laugh.
But now back to our program. Even though I was damn ass cold (but as a southern Californian anything under 50 makes me panic), we had great weather. We also took some time to go down to Newcastle and the Mourne's.
It was a great shot till I got my fat head in the shot.
Oh crap I am looking at the clock and I have to go. Well this trip recap is off to a great start. Now if I can finish it before I leave for Chicago to watch the World Champs beat on the Cubs.
Sorry for all the spelling and grammar, doing this on the run.