Back From the Jungle

March 31, 2013 by Josh Jackson

While Shannon McIntyre (who put up the early Dispatch from the South and who, with THLLC partner David Hooke, comprise the true population of southern Gnomes) will no doubt be adding further dispatches, I couldn’t resist a post of my own (Josh).  Having made the drawings for the frame, and with the most experience in compound roof framing, I was fortunate enough to be invited down for the final week of cutting Hip and Jack Rafters and to assist in raising the frame.  And what a raising it was!  David and I originally met while working together on The Mountain School’s new cow barn and we both agreed that a community project, like these, offers something magical.  Rarely have I felt so immediately and deeply welcomed and rarely have I seen people work so hard, so selflessly, and so kindly together.  I suppose it is in keeping with their name – The Friends.  Of course, the Costa Ricans refer to them as Los Quakeros, and you do have to be a little crazy to undertake a 30×60 timber frame with clearspan kingpost trusses in tropical woods and no crane and all the joinery cut by volunteers!  As I sit in my office at home, looking out on snow still covering the hill behind the house and nursing a still tender finger (pinched between two horses as I moved them and, I believe, the worst injury of the week), I think of the fresh mangoes, the walk from house to jobsite through cloudforest, the many smiles and long days of pulling together and I say to myself, that is my kind of crazy.

Shannon McIntyre and Liz Johndrow enjoy the commute

Shannon McIntyre and Liz Johndrow enjoy the commute

Morning light on damp cypress hip

Morning light on damp cypress hip

Bridge built by one of the original MonteVerde Quakers, Wolf Guindon

Hanging bridge in the cloudforest reserve built by one of the original MonteVerde Quakers, Wolf Guindon

Interpreter David Guindon with truss scaffold behind

Interpreter David Guindon with truss assembly scaffold behind

David chats Tim Sales, Kathy checks out the site

David chats with Tim Sales while Kathy checks out the site

One truss up, four to go in the timber frame meetinghouse in the Quaker town of Monteverde, Costa Rica

One truss up, four to go

Timber Frame raised in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Phew, they phit!

SketchUp model of the Quaker meeting hall and connecting courtyard cover

SketchUp model of the meeting hall and connecting courtyard