Christmas l We start the week with the Christmas Holidays; Michiel en Beata arranged some lodges at Mount Elgon. On Monday we visit the caves of the mountain and we end the day with a barbeque. Where we on Tuesday get up early in the morning to climb the mountain. In only 3 hours we were able to reach the top and what a view.
Group photo during the hike
View from Mount Elgon with a altitude of 4222m
Wednesday l On Wednesday we start our second building phase day. When we arrive we see that that Philip and his family kept their word an they have did so many trenches. So today we are able to start with the levelling. We borrow a water hose from a neighbour and together with Philip and his son we level Phase 1 of the building, a living and dining room of 8 by 12 meters. After the morning we make a compacter, we use it to fill the trenches up with maram. We use maram, because the area where the family lives is really watery during the raining season. After compacting the ground, we go home.
Thursday l On Thursday morning we work out some design changes and the calculations so we can discuss these with the family in the afternoon. Around 10 o’clock we go to the field with Tanazis, the documentary guy. We do a interview at Cleophas his place and talk about all that has happened. After finishing up we do the discussion with Philip and the family. It is nice to see that Philip wants to involve his family; this is very rare in this area. Also we notice that he can’t say no to his kids, what leads to design decisions that he cant afford. After a long talk we decide that we are going to use his fired bricks with a combination of adobe bricks. Adobe bricks are handmade bricks from natural materials.
Friday l Our third day in the field and a though one, because we are pouring concrete today. We only have employees today who never mixed concrete before, so we have a bit of a challenge. After the first mix we come to the conclusion we need a skilled concrete mixer, so we call somebody to help us. At around 18.30h we finish the slab and end the day with some Chai, African tea.
The guys mixing concrete
Saturday l Today we start testing bricks. But first it is imported that we agree on the bonding we are going to use in the masonry. We first try some different bonding’s with the fired bricks, however they are not really handy shaped and we can’t figure out a double wall construction with these ones. So after some discussion we agree with Philip that we are going to make the wall out of adobe bricks and use the fired bricks for something else. So we go off to the carpenter to let him make a mold for the bricks. After this is finished we rush back to the house to do some testing. We try out four different types and after mixing we use two of them for testing. For now we will let them dry and check them later.
the tested adobe bricks
Sunday l In the morning Philip and his family go to church so we step by around 2 o clock. We see that the bricks need some improvement, however the size and mixture are good. We decide that we are going to use this mixture of local Kap Koi soil in combination with sawdust to make the bricks. After coming home we prepare food for the barbeque tonight and go to the farm to celebrate New Years Eve with the team.
For everybody who is reading this: The best wishes for the upcoming year, that it may be wonderful. !!!