Building a house is never easy. Building a house with layers upon layers of complexity is even harder. Our Bali house project is well into it’s third year. We were on a roll with the plans and building, moving along in “Bali time”… which is much like “Hawaii time” only slower. Than the obstacles hit. It started when we were side-railed by personal crisis… I cannot blame this project for the breakup, but I can say it had to take the back-burner while we figured things out. Thankfully, our enthusiasm for the house remains so here we are. I like to think of it as our fourth child… well deserving of our attention, this is something that will be good for our whole family. After that, there was the rainy season in Bali, during which time nearly everything came to a stand-still. I know not many people would be able to stomach putting such important work aside for a few months out of the year, but the Balinese seem to handle the yearly ritual with grace and acceptance. The seasons moved on and in the spring our builder was consumed with the “anti-GMO” initiative here on our island. You see, Hawaii produces approximately 90% of the world’s GMO corn seeds… not to mention a host of other seed crops… which despite how anybody feels about GMO, has certainly come at a cost to our land and people. It’s a “David and Goliath” type of battle, but one that many people here feel strongly about. I’m happy that my builder has concerns beyond himself, enough to work hard to get the initiative on this November’s ballot (which it did), so it’s with that in mind that I remind myself to be patient. It would’t have mattered anyway, back in the factory in Bali they were experiencing delays in getting materials due to holdups in customs. Real holdups. Our shipment of Cetol was confiscated so I guess it was more of an outright theft than a delay. Now, with those set-backs behind us, we are experiencing issues with the permit. I won’t go into detail but it’s safe to say the good folks in the building department on Maui are doing their best to accommodate our unusual project. It’s not every day that someone walks into their office and reports they would like to build a house in Bali, have it deconstructed, shipped to Maui and subsequently erected in Hana, of all places. Building in Hana is never easy. I was warned. Building in Hana, with our building department and a house from Bali is downright exasperating.
So it’s with great enthusiasm I share with you these pictures today and news of forward movement! They are currently working on the roof system. Layers of foam, mat and wood are glued together to form panels which are then cut into pieces that will fit on the roof under the tile. Looking at it now, the project seems so big and overwhelming, frightful almost. How and why did I ever think we would be able to pull this off?
In times like this I reflect back to the early days and dreams we had. My baby comparison is not too far off. In it’s early stages, life is good, the plans were exciting and big dreams were imagined. A trip to Bali was adventurous, and seeing the structure was like saying “Hello.” We’ve had growing pains along the way, we’ve poured out money, time, and attention to foster it along. We’ve had agreements and disagreements, compromising and negotiating as best we can. We’ve depended on others in our village to make it happen, we’ve met new people, made new friends, believing in the goodness in people even when we’ve had our doubts. It’s opened our world to a different way of life, specifically life in Bali, thus forever changing me personally, a consequence I did not see coming. Our “baby” is now a “teenager” or at least nearing that point, and I’m finding myself struggling with the real issues of having such a large project veer off into territory I would not have chosen. Painful and frustrating we are patiently supporting each other despite our circumstances; when he gets disappointed and is at a loss, I am here to gently encourage him, and when I get deflated he’s there to carry on. Like raising teenager it’s those in our village that are most important these days so we move forward as a tribe, all working towards the goal of completion. I wish I could tell you someday we will have something worthy to offer, something we could be proud of, something we could present to the world… or at least Hana, but the truth is I still don’t know. The obstacles we’ve encountered are certain to continue; we have the details of the interior of the house, the disassembly of the structure, the packing, shipping, unloading, subsequent erecting and reassembly, not to mention the convincing it will take with the county and some unnamed insurance agency to even allow us to do this. Life is messy. I have nothing but my breath to rely on when I lose faith. That and the belief that all that we’ve sacrificed and have been through is not in vain. Surely we have a chance. Surely indeed.