I imagine that You are probably already informed of the volcano in
Chaiten, Chile that is currently in eruption. Well this smoking
mountain is only a few hundred kilometres from me on the other side of
the Andes Mountains. We have been fine in Bariloche, escaping the
ashes until today.
Today they have arrived. Instead of snow, ashes are floating down over
the city and environs, covering everything in sight. This ash affects
everything it touches, destroying some things, polluting others, and
clogging up the rest. It affects breathing, hinders road transport (my
current concern), stops flights, and closes down the city.
Right now I’m in Buenos Aires, with the hope that I’ll be able to
return Sunday night. Buses to our neighbouring city of Esquel were
cancelled while the ashes were falling. The situation is very
changeable so it will be the day before when this becomes clear.
Not only is it the ashes that may cause travel hiccups but for the
next 9 days farmers are blocking the mayor traffic routes around the
country. They are striking against government control over what they
can grow and export, and also to ask for higher meat prices.
During their talks with the government, when communication breaks
down, they take to the main routes and block traffic. Their main
target is the trucks, but as a result there can be large delays,
exceeding 6 hours.
So for now I continue working on fixing up this old house. My work
involves covering doorways with plaster board, building a mezzanine
floor with stairs and handrail, and helping calculate the materials
needed to finish the work here.
The work is extensive, with rendering, painting, repairs, and many
ceilings yet to be done. With only one week here, my work will be
focused on the most urgent things, that need to be done before people
can occupy this place. Already the bathrooms and kitchen are mostly
finished and usable, with hot and cold water. The rest of the work
will be finished once they are living here.
That’s my lot. Take care and have a great day.