The slab for the next house is now complete. Last Thursday and Friday a team of very hard working young men mixed and poured all of the concrete for the slab. Alas, they were not able to call on a truck like this one . . .
(image from www.constructionphotographs.com)
but they had to do it much harder. A couple of guys mix it all - first the two types of sand are piled up on the ground, then bags of cement are poured on top.
This is then shifted to another pile several times to mix the ingredients. Then the pile is spread out and the stones are spread out on top. Finally, water is added and then the hard work really begins. A hoe is used to push and pull the mixture to get it thoroughly mixed, then its loaded into wheelbarrows
and pushed over the rough stones in the foundations to the spot where its required, tipped out
and spread by a couple more guys.
We had a team of about 8 on Thursday, including yours truly (who spent the day pushing a wheelbarrow) and then only a small section was left to be completed by a few guys on Friday. Now its all done and dried out, ready for the bricks. Some of these workers, particularly Nick, David and Charles have been very much a part of village life whilst we have been here and are becoming good friends. Maybe soon we will tell you more about each of them in a post.
Actually the slab is likely to wait a while before any bricks are laid on it as there should be a container arrive within days containing the roofing for house 5, so those trusses will be made up on the slab where there is a nice, flat surface. Again getting the container released is proving slightly elusive, although there are few of the dramas associated with last years effort. Just waiting on a letter of exemption from the Finance Ministry, but with elections due in 3 weeks, getting someone to write and sign the letter is a tad difficult in the midst of all the campaigning.
The children are readying themselves for the return to school next week. All of the uniforms have been brought out and tested for fitting and any required repairs done by our resident seamstress ("the wife" - thats how she has been referred to on several occasions by others when introducing us or talking about us.) They have also muscled in on several of our Skype calls with friends and family at home - so if you would like to meet them, give us a call on Skype, we're usually available at lunchtime here or about 9.00pm EDT.
The next group of children are almost ready to move in. We have a couple of minor things still to do on houses 3&4 and then in a couple of weeks the village population will double. Everyone here is looking forward to that day very much. The current children in particular are often talking about how they will be able to help the newbies.