Digging this thing with the old-school Djembé ain’t no joke, let me tell you that! We learned a something on local building techniques such as vertical spirit levelling. This is done with a transparent tube with water in it, simple and precise. The Maram (clay with split) lies on the bottom of our trench and we started to put the first stones of the foundation on this slab of Maram.
Lots of things happened on a construction yard in Kenya in one week. I’m not only talking about the process of building but more about what all happens around it. There are kids playing in the piles of sand and soil we need to sieve, while one of the workers comes drunk to work in the morning. ‘I look you, you look down.. Are you my wife?’ is what he asks me.
So you can imagine colleagues come and go. But the group is getting closer. I have the feeling we’re becoming friends. The beers we shared on Saturday again are becoming the most epic moment of every week.
Everyday a lot of people stop by to see what we’re doing. Some of them choose to give us a helping hand. Clearly there is a lot of talk in town about our projects. More and more words of thankfulness come our way. The people of the community really appreciate that we’re helping them in the search for a proper way of building that is still affordable. But the usage of the adobe bricks we’re making comes with a lot of rules for the design of the building. Some people come to write down the composition of our mixture and make some pictures of how we do. This is where things could go wrong, because these blocks need to be understood in order to build with them. On the other hand Bernard was coming to help us today with building. I had a conversation with him about the fact that money is the reason for their poverty and that money won’t be the instrument that will free them from their monetary chains. Independency at least could offer them a better way of living. Finding a way how they could use their local soil and other local materials to built a house that could provide them some more independence. We call it University Soita now. Bernard came to learn, he mixed the soil with his feet to get the feeling of the right mixture with the right amount of water. His teacher is Timo. A local with whom we shared our knowledge that we gained via the research we did. The process of making adobes is getting more and more smooth. Satisfying!
Building has really started now and the first layer of the walls is there to be seen. Team 3 is excited and happy!