Posted by: unyot | June 17, 2009

Wiped Out

This title can be taken many different ways but the way I mean it is that everyone was very tired today.  I know for a few of us in Field D it was extremely physically taxing.

I spent the whole day (and by that I mean from 5:30 – after picture taking to 11:30 – get-ready-for-the-next-day-time) breaking a rock.  Now this was not just any ordinary rock, it was a 1 meter x 1/3 meter x 1/3 meter marble-like stone (it wasn’t marble it acted just like it – including the smell, which I unpleasantly discovered, smells like rotten eggs when you crack off a piece – apparently from the trapped air mixed with sulfur).  But I did have a lot of help with it.

To start with, this stone was not even in my square.  It was something that was deemed to have to be moved before I could take out a sliver of a balk that belonged to square 7 but was in the southwest corner of a room that is nearly entirely in my square (square 1).

It was up on the top of the balk  which has a lot of loose dirt and wall stones that falls into my square quite often.  (It is good to take it down, but I just wish it wasn’t me doing it.  I want to excavate!)  This very very large stone was on top of a small cobble wall (either it is from a different phase or the builder didn’t like the people who were living inside because it is certainly a widow-maker).  It had to come out before I went down or I might stay down forever.

First thing yesterday morning we began to dig it out (Owen, Tim, and Chris from field C came to help me).  It turned out to be far larger than we had thought so it had to be pushed into the room below to be broken (the room below is about 12-14 feet below the stone).  We banged on it with a sledge hammer for quite a long time but it wouldn’t break (I had two of the local workers helping me).  But after a few hours I was ready to give up on it because I was tired and there was simply no progress at all.

When I took the sledge hammer down to the Islamic village (which had requested it when we were finished) Thomas (the “Viking”/”Undertaker” – or pick your nickname) volunteered to come help me break it.  He had some techniques that he thought might be useful (from previous work breaking marble in another country).

The idea was to get the large stone off of the ground and onto a smaller rock that would cause the larger stone to fracture.  As it was, the stone had fallen onto soft wall-fall dirt which was acting to absorb the impacts.  That is why we were not getting anywhere.

In one hour Thomas, Owen, and I had that stone down to about 1/5th the size.  After 2nd Breakfast Owen, Tim, and I continued for about 45 minutes to an hour and were able to break it into a removable size.  I was spent.  Still am actually.

I probably could have kept working but thought it best to do paper work for the last hour (looking back – that was probably a good decision).  At one point I had to take a GPS reading and my fine motor skills were gone.   I couldn’t even hold a pencil.  I tried to write and found that I was only capable of scribbling.  I am glad I have Theragesic for my hands.  I used it a lot and will do it again today.

I don’t get tired often but hitting on that stone for about 5 total hours was enough to wear me out.  Owen said his back was a bit sore today.  Tim said he had very little energy.  As for me, today was a day when everything hurt and I had almost no reserve energy.  Wow.

I am sure tomorrow will be a little easier (after all I am only moving dirt tomorrow).  Let’s hope that this wiped out feeling only lasts for one day…

a tired, Mr. Cool (D-1 super)Scottie and Thomas Moving the Difficult Rock

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