Monday l We start the new week with to-do lists to make our progress of the past weeks complete. While completing the files, we come across some other documents, which are yet to be finished. After sorting these out, we start off the designs again in the afternoon. In the evening Michiel passes by to collect the weekly project outcomes.
Tuesday l After finishing the design we start off with the calculations. We are doing calculations all day only to find out at the end that our estimates exceed our budget. We try and look for solutions on what we can do to reduce the costs. Jackson shares about a block making machine that he knows. It is available in manual or diesel operated form and it makes blocks out of soil and cement. This would be a great solution to our problem. However the father of our family really prefers stone, so we prepare adequately for the meeting tomorrow, to hopefully win Cleophas over with this new construction technique.
During the calculations we also go through the building process, if we want to know something we go to a building site close to the office to look at methods and materials, like this truss.
Wednesday l Maud starts her day with a run with Damian and Katey, it is the first time and she figures that she needs to get used to the altitude. However she is determined to continue running, in order to keep her fitness levels up. We spend the rest of the morning in the office. After our lunch we are headed to the field where we are to discuss our calculations for the house Cleophas wants. During the conversation we get to know more about the building process and about the chances and risks Cleophas is willing to take. We are also able to reduce the costs by skipping some ideas. At the end of the meeting we agree to return on Friday having finalized on three designs. Then Cleophas will decide which option he prefers.
Thursday l While Jackson is designing a smaller house and reducing the size of the first design, Maud is working on the calculations. We continue discussing and working on how we can get the three final designs. The dream house however, is over-budget, but fortunately we can manage to maintain the size by using the stabilized soil blocks, which would be our second option. Option three will be a smaller stone house, because the family insist on building with stone. We hope that the meeting tomorrow will work out well.
During her walk home, Maud ran into some cute kids who wanted to take a photo with her
Friday l The day kicks off with some sad news. Evelyne is brought to Andersen Hospital for an ultra-sound, since she is quite unwell. Amidst all the commotion, Cleophas manages to make time for a final talk about which house he is going to choose and as he had asked us during our previous meeting, we designed and calculated three final solutions: 1. the original dream house built with stone 2. The same house built with stabilized soil blocks and finally 3. A small house built of stone. At the end, Cleophas chooses the second option, and with this option, we can share the new skill with the community and hopefully, other families will follow in Cleophas’ footsteps. We can see that Cleophas has his mind in another place, so we call it a day and decide to call him later on to confirm his decision. In the afternoon we prepare for our visit to Kitale the following day where we will check on prices of items we will need during the construction process.
Team 2 discussing final designs with family
Saturday l At 8.30 in the morning we leave for Kitale. After a long ride we finally arrive in Kitale. For Maud this is the first time to visit Kitale since she arrived here, and she is overwhelmed by the busy streets and the amount of people moving through the town. After a short stop at the bank for some cash, we go out looking for the best prices for building materials. The first shop is too stubborn to give us the prices, so we head on to the next shops, where the sales people are kind enough to help us. Our conclusion is that, prices in Kitale are much cheaper than in Sokomjinga, however, you have to pay extra for the transport. We note down the prices and keep them for our next discussion with Cleophas. We have to decide if he is going to order all the material at once and incur lower transport costs or order in stages and properly manage the constant transport costs. After our project-related tour we meet up with Atdhe and Despoina for some lunch and shopping. At about 5’o clock we head back home. Maud has a new experience again, the matatu (local public transport) ride back to Chepchoina, where the matatu is filled with at least 25 people. There is a lot of stuff on top of the car and people hanging at the back while others sit on others’ legs. In the evening we watch some movies and call it a night.
The matatu, which we travelled home with
Sunday l Again Maud starts the day with a run, while Jackson is headed to church. In the afternoon we work on the project. One of the most important tasks is to get a hold on the companies who rent the machine we need for making the blocks. So all day long Jackson tries to contact them, because it is a Sunday a lot of them are busy. However we have three contacts now and probably we are going to get a price tomorrow morning. Lets hope for the best! In the evening we prepare some fries for supper. Tomorrow will be the first day of the building phase, fingers crossed - Excited!!