#Week 15 l Team 1: The office days are over!
Dear family and friends, I hope you are enjoying our stories of our everyday experiences on Mount Elgon. We have no more office days, and being in the field with a lot of curious people from the community to build the house it is quite fun but tiring too. Everyone that comes to visit us find our work very interesting and are willing to learn new techniques of construction and design.
So lets start giving you more details about what we are planning to do and what we are currently working on these days. As you know we have decided to build a new house which contains a living room, kitchen, dining area and a bathroom, while the existing house will be renovated from inside and outside where 3 bedrooms will be realised. Both of the houses will be connected with the roof and at the same time creating a very nice small shady area outside where the family can drink ‘Chai’ and enjoy the space surrounded by flowers and other beautiful plants.
Right now we are working on the new house. We will need 5000 blocks to build this double wall house and by now we have managed to make half of the amount we need. We usually make 200-300 blocks per day and this process include, mixing the soil with water and thatch which usually it takes 2-3 hours. After mixing it we use wheelbarrows to bring it all to our green house. Last weeks we borrowed some plastic sheets from the farm which we built this green house, a perfect place to put all the blocks to dry on the shade. After that we start to make blocks with three double wooden molds and at the same time teaching everyday new people how to use them and how to make the blocks. We let the blocks to get dry for about ten days and after that we fold them by leaving the space for the new ones to be made. And by the way all the material we use are free. The soil from the family compound, the water from the well and the thatch was the roof of the old kitchen which collapsed some months ago.
Last days we also started with the foundation, after we dig for a couple of days we were able to go and search for rocks. We got all the rocks from the streets and the ADC farm, which happens to work there Everlyne, the mother of the house. The only thing we had to pay was the tractor to transport the rocks from the streets to our house. Right now we already did the first layer of the foundation and planning by the end of this week to finish it all. With a lot of people from the community coming to help us all the time we are managing to be divided in two teams and make blocks and foundation at the same time. One of the days Michiel joined us too, to help us during the whole day. We made sure to give him the whole our experience on doing a lot of physical work and ending up having a deep sleep that night.
Big hugs from Team 1