I was not the typical jack of all trades since I lacked most of the skills to be called one. But my desire to learn new things combined with the tenacity to see any project to the end would qualify me not as a quitter.
When I helped build my small rest house, I was probably over my head. My carpentry skills needed much to be desired.
But, I am proud to claim that I personally fixed the thatched roof, made from locally made materials, with only a few quick and short lessons how to go about it.
Sure, for an expert, the roof could be installed in less than a day. On the other hand, it took me more than a week to finish one side and another week to finish all. That was literally on the job training.
My neck got stiff looking up. Both my arms defied gravity because of the tying process. I had to be a contortionist while checking my balance atop a bamboo scaffolding and at the same time aligning my body to reach corner spots.
For all the hardships I encountered, I was satisfied to note that my job passed the mark. (By the way, the roof had to be replaced every two years because of wear and tear due to the elements.)
The only unfortunate incident during that time was when a curious insect dropped from the roof and onto the collar of my shirt. It would not have been a problem if it had not entered from the back.
Imagine I was in a precarious position on the scaffolding and some crawler managed to journey its way to my waist. I felt it was trying to proceed South so I jumped down from my perch.
My kumpare (father of one of my godchild) was alarmed by my careless stunt. He asked, “What’s the matter?”
I shouted, “it’s a centipede! It’s going there.” I pointed to the crawler’s destination.
“Quickly! Drop your pants!”
I did not think of the consequences of someone seeing me in the buff. I just wanted get rid of the crawler from reaching its target.
In one swift action, I did it. I saw the centipede dropped to the ground and escaped through the grass,
“Whew! That was close!” I exclaimed excitedly.
Beads of perspiration fell from my forehead while the clammy feeling was slow to disappear from my system.
My kumpare doubled-up laughing.
“You could be a macho dancer!”