Upon returning from Canada, after a brief stop in South Dakota on our way from Colorado to Iowa, we find ourselves in Council Bluffs, IA where a family has graciously offered to help us build the bus.

At this particular junction in the building process we have reached the front room; the main living area: dining room/living room/kitchen/driver’s area. Beginning Monday, we organized, unloaded, and began the construction of shelves, cabinets, and face frames! We had quite a bit of help as the man at whose house we are working is a custom woodworker part-time. Allen Hatfield, a long time friend of our family is helping out and his profession is general contracting. There have been several others, some working outside on hardware, some working inside on hardwood, but in just three days, there is already drastic progress!

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These are the cabinets on the right side, in the picture directly above this is our headboard, (aptly named considering the many times I’ve whacked my head on it in the last three days), and that is where our entertainment system will reside. essentially it is a shelf bolted and screwed by brackets into the frame of the bus at 5 separate points. The shelf is right over the driver’s area and is currently over the steps leading up into the bus. Thus, a 6’2 person walking up may have 1/2 of clearance when walking straight, however, I rarely exit the bus in the same manner as I enter and thus have no clearance above my head. It’s tricky, but somehow I’ve managed to nearly every time hit my head on that shelf. We’re intending to cut the middle of it back a bit to avoid this kind of thing happening, but until then…

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The microwave is mounted. We haven’t put up all the shelves on the right side of the bus around the microwave, but it’s the heaviest and most difficult to mount. So, it’s definitely a triumph that it is in, done, and out of the way.

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This is the shop, Allen Hatfield is headed towards the door, Dad and Josh are holding up the wall of a generator box while Clif, the man’s whose shop this is screws in the wall. We were able to buy back the generator from the old bus and it is going to sit in this box after we line the box with an insulation.

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That would be the generator. It is currently help up by a miniature crane; due to its massive size and weight this was the easiest way to get it out of the bay underneath the bus. We’re working on getting it hooked up and running here this week before we head to Uganda this coming Wednesday.

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The box that it sits in was also engineered to fit a fan and vent built in, as well as several access shafts. Essentially this will contain the generator. Today, I’m working on technical things and such, preparing all electronic devices for the trip to Uganda: downloading apps and movies, clearing a laptop to give to our Ugandan contact, and general troubleshooting and correcting everyone’s problems whatever they may be. I won’t get a chance to work on the bus today, but tomorrow will be a big catch up day; I’ll have to get up early, work late, and things will be a little different. But different is good. I suppose I’ll enjoy my day off while it lasts.

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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