I finished the pencil holders! I used this project as a means to get to know my way around the shop, and it worked! I got to know BU1, the shop manager, as well as several other people who frequent the self-help woodshop more than I do. I’m now familiar with the tools, earned the trust of the shop manager, and chipped in a few hours of cleaning which serves as collateral against future requests for use of the shop.
All good right? Well, sort of. Here at Camp Lemonnier we are almost wholly staffed by reservists and individually augmented active duty types. One of several repercussions of that is that the turnover rate here is on the order of 150% every year. So no sooner did I build my shop cred, then did BU1 start packing his bags to get on the next rotator out of here. I’m not selfish here though, I’m thrilled for anyone that has done their time and can get the best view of this place…in the rearview mirror. The problem for me is that the Camp doesn’t have another body to replace BU1. They’re going to assign it as a collateral duty to another guy in the meantime, but that likely means it will be open during regular business hours, during which, I have other regular business to attend to.
I’m an optimist, though. Things have a way of working out, so I’ll chum up with the new guy and get back in there. I have two ideas for my next project; either a plaque with the outline of the continent, or a Charitable Woodworking build for the Friends of Africa volunteer group. I’m still working my angle on the latter…stay tuned.