Monday, February 29, 2016

Progress of the 2nd Floor

The guys here are doing a great job with laying block on the second floor. They continue to use the new skills they learnt from the Darwin crew that came up a few weeks ago and their block laying keeps improving. If fact, many of their skills are improving as they think ahead to the next stages of construction.
View of the front - how very dull.

All the blocks on the second floor are now laid and they have fitted in most of the window timber work. This week they’ll be setting up to pour a beam of concrete around the top. 

Upstairs the loo is keen to be installed. 
A couple of Solar HWS I picked up for $15 each are in the background. Will they work?

Apoli and Benito install window timbers

The challenge is to get it all done by March 14th when another team of 3-4 Australians plan to come and put on the roof. This will be a metal kit roof from East Timor Roofing. With thanks to a kind donation we need only another $4000-$5000 AUD to complete the payment for the roof. If you have building skills and would like to join the team it would be greatly appreciated.

I also had “fun” putting up the curved ceiling in the main training centre. This is an experiment in curves which I like. Each curved sheet is 8m long and curved at 12m radius. 

It takes about 4 guys huffing and puffing to hold the sheet up to the ceiling and then I get around and screw it off as quickly and accurately as I can. The whole roof is feeling very strong and looking great. Next we put in holes for lights, fans and a data projector. Insulation will go on top and then another sheet of roofing. Very exciting and we like the cool echoes it makes from underneath. Anen would like to make his own curved roof when he gets a chance.

Anen worn out after putting up the ceiling.

A man and his cathedral.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Next Level

The Training Centre has had an amazing boost with three great men coming from Darwin. Anen and his Timorese team worked hard to get the second floor slab laid. Then the Crossroads Church supported Huy to come and assist with laying blocks on the second level. He was eagerly joined by Mark and Graham. 

They all took a week out of their lives in Darwin to come and offer some sweat and skill to the building. Apart from laying blocks, the main objective was to increase the skill of the Timorese. They could lay the blocks fairly plumb but were struggling to consistently lay blocks level. The men came and showed them how to lay up the corner blocks and then set up the string line along the very top corner edge.

We were also blessed with a bunch of quality plumbing fittings – for 5 bathrooms! O dear, what are we building?!
The next challenge is to get the rest of the blocks laid and the top concrete beam on in preparation for another team coming in March to put the main roof on.

The roof is going to be quite expensive at $16000USD. If you’d like to contribute we could do with some help. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mountains of Liquica

The warm humid month of January is over and all is well here in Timor-Leste. Easter must be a romantic time of year because we have 3 birthdays to celebrate in this month – Serenity, sweet 16, Israel, the big double digits and Xakira, a cute 3 year old. Kaiyil is a happy little chap now at 4 months and just learning push ups. Cynthia is bravely holding the fort together with the invaluable assistance of Emmy and Amy who has come from Australia to assist in home schooling.
We went on a trip to Bazartete in the mountains of Liquica this week. The mountains are very beautiful in the wet season.
a cool waterfall on the way from Bazartete to Liquica

Along the way, we stopped at a school with an awesome veggie garden and I just had to go and ask how they did it. The secret ingredient I think was a very humble nun from Japan. Then they also had some other key features like seed, water, fence and security.

The school in Bazartete

awesome vegetables are hard to grow

having a good fence to keep out cows is an essential ingredient

We happened to have a large water filter set with us so I gave it to the school so they would not need to keep boiling water.

Then we came down into Liquica and met with Adina and Ajina operating a small local mission in their part of town. We were able to provide them with a roll of chicken wire for use in making either a fence for a vegetable garden or a chicken pen. Thank you very much to a kind church in Grafton who has provided funds for 5 rolls of chicken wire to go to local pastors to assist them in their livelihoods.

The training centre is moving along and we have been able to pour the rest of the slab on the second floor. I look forward to working with 3 great men from Darwin this week to help us raise the walls on the training centre.

building the walls around the front of the centre

Preparing for the slab to be poured