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Friday, January 20, 2012
Captains Blog 2012 day 20
Construction Fever strikes the crew. Two of the construction crew have contracted Construction Fever. This is the contagious disorder that is brough about by working solidly for more than a few days. We hope that no other crew members succumb to the tentacles of this disease, and trust that those afflicted will soon get back to the site. We are not doing as well as planned this week. At all. WE have completed the lintel to B4 and hope to get lintel to B3 done today. Block above the lintel on B3 are about 50% done. Roofing sheets will be collected on Monday.
We will have consumed around 3,000 blocks at the end of the B3/4 project and its associated work, that does not take into account the existing work done on the sceptic tanks and other areas necessary to the building.
All blocks are made locally. Sound good - but meet Christian (and his wife who cooks for him at the block factory). Factory.... hmmm a big word for some open land, where he owns TWO steel moulds. One for 5'' blocks and one for 6'' blocks - each mould makes ONE block at a time. He mixes sands (sharp and soft) and cement together and then moistens the mix to a 'brownie' consistency. Then he packs the mould and compacts it by hand. Each block is then tipped out to dry for five days before being loaded onto 'Bob's Trailer' and driven to the airfield. This is back breaking work. Christian works hard and we respect his entrepreneurship. Furthermore, he appreciates that we need a receipt and has a receipt book - but he cannot write. Remember, just because you did not get a chance at an education does not make you stupid - in fact some of the smartest people around here cannot read or write. So, after paying for the blocks, we are asked to 'write our own receipts', and then he will sign.
Supporting Christian's block 'factory' is as important as building B3/4 - and we all wish Christian success in his venture... By the way, we are all invited to share that yummy food too.... as whenever we visit a Ghanaian family and there is food, no matter how little, we are 'invited to share'.