All Brickwork pointing is now finished, door making has begun and we even got the first of the glass louvers installed. See further comments on photos bellow. I also managed to cycle the 50km road to Nkhata Bay on an unimaginably bad bike!
Some typical site sketches used to discuss the door detailing with the carpenters and work out timber quantities and cutting sizes
I must send this photo to my zoologist uncle who I’m sure will be able to identify the bird. I’m not quite sure how Yotam managed to cath the poor thing, but I’m afraid to say it ended in the frying pan and eaten for lunch as an accompaniment with the nsima!
The day watch-woman are still semi permenant residents under our timber shelter and door workshop, spending their mornings preparing lunch.
Ephriam, my office buddy trying on my sunglasses, as ever wanting to look more of a ‘mzungu’!? Ephriam is a good friend here who has helped a lot, in particular with the use of his car! We enjoy a few ‘chill’s’ (a nicer Carlesberg beer here) together in Nkhata Bay at the week ends.
A familiar sight of Chibuku ‘Shake-Shake’ stacked on the back of cyclist’s bike around town. I tried it once with my friend Tom, who has become more of a fan than me. The drink consists of fermented maize, which makes it very bitty and slightly dubious in taste and texture – hence the ‘Shale-Shake’. is needed to mix up the bits with the liquor. The locals like the really old cartons, which have fermented for longer and contain extra kick! Other locals like to add sugar or honey and milk.
Just one torrential downpour last week whilst I was in the office. We had a few problems on site as we were installing bellow ground drainage pipes which soon flooded and became clogged up with mud. We also had our first roof leak! Thankfully just on the khonde and attributed to a loose roofing nail which meant the rubber seal was not compressed properly. We decided to patch a few of these up with a bitumen tape for safety.
Funnily enough I was reading a chapter in a book I’m reading at the moment about roof’s which made a good reference to Frank Llyod Wright and stated: ‘To clients who complained about roof leaks, Frank Lloyd Wright’s stock response was, “that’s how you can tell it’s a roof”. The owners of (flat-roofed) Fallingwater used to refer to his house as “Rising Mildew” and a “seven bucket building” ‘!
Hopefully buckets wont be required at the clinic anytime soon.
Finish of the brickwork after pointing
Dan installing the architraves on the additional windows in the Autoclave room
Morton keeps going with the pointing
Saddock seems to be a master with door making, and knocked up this work bench in a few hours. He’s made 2 already 11 to go!
Door number 1. Dan and Saddock make these so much better than the one’s on sale in town. It’s great to keep making use of their expertise and carpentry skill.
The cycle taxi’s waiting outside campus ready to take you to the local markets for supplies.
Some finished walls after pointing
I like drawing details on the walls to work things out and explain to the guys levels and sizes required. Here we’re building an in-situ concrete work surface for the Autoclaving room. We’ve built a series of piers and formed a shutter to cast a solid concrete work surface. We’ll then fit cupboards bellow – a dream kitchen for some people!
Pointing before and after
The first glass louvers being installed
Pointing finished on the front elevation
First piece of glass fitted!
A rather unflattering sweaty shot after the first climb out of Mzuzu on the Nkhata By road. The bike was about 2 sizes to small from, with an indescribably painful saddle and gears that I had to change with my feet! Tom’s bike was not much better.
Great to do this road on a bike rather than the hair-raising mini-busses which speed along at 100kmph, whilst you’re generally stuffed in the back unable to see with a bag of stinking osipa (a small lake fish) pushed against your face. The views out towards the lake were fantastic. We had a brilliant 3-course fruit stop in one village where we were seduced by the sight of fresh Guavas. After we ate these the family brought course number 2, 2 perfect fresh avocados, fresh off their tree. Once these were down and we were about to set off, the bowel of Mangoes arrived! We set off again feeling healthier than ever.
I’ve been wanting to get a photo of these guys for a while, who you see frequently on the Nkhata By road. They are manually cutting planks from recently chopped trees using an enormous double-handed blade. The 2 men, slowly and rhythmically spend hours slicing 1/2inch planks in the searing heat. It gets progressively hotter the nearer to the lake – and decent, from Mzuzu.
Relaxing in Butterfly Space on the Sunday morning.