Monday, May 11, 2015

Rock foundations nearly done

The building of the training centre is moving ahead.  The rock foundations are mostly done for all but the main training room.  We will focus on trying to get the sewing centre functional first and then see how time and funds permit for the rest. 

IMG_0237Anen (white shirt) and Amau (blue) inspect their work at the end of a hard week.

The building team consists of a head builder, Anen, who is about 32.  His job is to make sure people are working and not slacking.  He also holds the money I give him and keeps account of how its spent.  He writes down every little thing in an exercise book.  Anen spends a fair amount of time negotiating trucks of rock, sand and supplies like steel and cement.  He has 2 builders under him.  These three I can trust well.  Then there is a rotating force of about 5 -  8 young men mixing concrete, carrying rocks and digging trenches.

Together we’ve done 3 or 4 buildings already but this is certainly the biggest.  They are still not confident in setting out the building with right angles and they make mistakes with the tape measure.  I am really challenging them to lift their game this time with full size (400 x 200) besser blocks (US – cinder blocks?) using a core filled reo steel technique.  We’re all working hard to try to get the reo fixed into the rock in the right places so it lines up with holes in the blocks and on either side of window and door openings.  But we’re making a lot of mistakes.  I only get onsite an hour or so every few days to check it out.


Reo steel is set into the foundations to (hopefully) line up with holes in concrete blocks, then the blocks are filled with concrete.

In the end, so long as its strong and dry inside, that’s what buildings are about, ay?

The challenge for next week will be making sure any plumbing, electrical, communications and sound cabling is prepared before a concrete bond beam is poured.  Whatever we get right now will significantly reduce headaches later.


The section to the left is for the training room.  On the right is the big mixing pad – all concrete is mixed by hand.

If you’re interesting in the funding side of things for this project then read on, if not, then stop here. 


I’ll try to give an update on funds as we go.  This is not intended to induce pangs of “please donate” but just to keep folks informed who are interested in contributing.

Approximate funds are quoted in US dollars:

Projected total cost: $160,000

Income: $7500

Expenditure: $5000

Yeah, ok, call me crazy.

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