Brazilians are very proud that they produce nearly all of what their people need, and imports very few things. But--from our viewpoint, as we live in a small rural town--it seems like everything is made so cheaply down here. Maybe, as we eventually have easier access to larger stores in Curitiba, we will find tools, furniture, housewares, etc. that are of more reliable quality. In the meantime, I'm sure that I'll be adding pictures to this post, as Dennis tackles more broken items.
Both front and back door locks are very loose, and will probably fall out soon. There are huge gaps between the two doors and the door frames and floor--we probably will have to live with the side gaps. But I plan on hand sewing two cloth tubes and fill them with rice, to stuff into the floor gaps (when I can find some fabric, which isn't sold in this town), so the wind won't come whistling through. Our front door lacked a hinge pin and was warping; we found it and put it back in.
Our table and chairs (brand new when we arrived in May) started coming apart soon after we arrived. After wood-gluing, nailing and screwing didn't work, Dennis tried the electric drill he bought to re-hang the curtains (see below) with another bit--it was stripped. He bought a screwdriver--it was stripped! Finally, he bought brackets and a heavy-duty screwdriver (with metal harder than screws) to fix the chairs. We THINK that the chairs will survive now; the table is next; it is wobbling. The door fell off of our bedroom armoire (clothes closet)--Dennis bought bolts and washers and another bit for the power screwdriver, and re-attached the door. Then a drawer front on the armoire came off...Fixed that--check! Two drawers on our dresser got REALLY stuck. He's still working on those--they keep getting stuck.
Our curtain rod fell out of the wall. With 27+ holes in that wall (you can see a few of them in the picture above), molly screws thru the large holes didn't work, so Dennis bought an electric drill with a bit meant for drilling thru cement (our walls). We have high ceilings, so Dennis had to make another trip into town for a ladder to reach that high (remember, our chairs were in dangerous condition), some simple heavy duty hooks and an extension cord to reach across the room from the only available plug-in. The first time he used it, the bit was stripped. He ended up pounding wooden shims into the large holes, then pounding the rod hooks into new holes he made by hand. The second time he climbed up on the ladder, it "melted" under his weight. So funny! We put it out back so people could climb over the ledge. The ladder just melted more. Dennis hopes to find rebar, to stick up the inside of the hollow ladders legs. He thinks he can save it yet---???
We bought a small, simple desk-like table to give me some work space in the kitchen. Its drawer kept falling out; so Dennis straightened the runner and it works well now. There is no central heating here, so we rely on small electric heaters. During the 3-4 months of cold weather, we have gone through three small heaters, thanks to switches whose flimsy plastic are first to break. Dennis carefully wedged a screw into the switch of our third heater and it lasted us two more months, until it melted the plastic around the switch and died. We've agreed to not touch the switches on our 4th (newest) heater, which has been packed away until next winter (June down here). Here's a "Tender Mercy" story: Yesterday, I picked up the heater, intending to warm things up. I tripped over a leg of the clothes hanger, fell to the floor, and dropped the heater. I was fine, but I kept saying over and over, "Please bless the heater!" I plugged it in--nothing...sick. Several times during the night, I prayed, "Please bless the heater." This morning, I confessed to Dennis. He initially reacted with "You broke our brand new heater?!" He plugged it in--it works. Thank you, Heavenly Father!
We got out our brand new fan, since some days have been really hot so far this spring. Yep! We broke it somehow when trying to stuff it in a corner during the winter. Never fear--Dennis is here! He inserted screws into the plastic holes and VOILÁ! (French) It works just fine now! Uh-Oh! Another door hinge on our armoire fell out. Good things P-Day ("Prepare"-Day, minus the initial "P"). I'll hurry and publish this post before I have to add to the list of repair work...What's next?!