2 weeks to go!

Photos and events from the last few weeks. I’m aiming to have everything finished in the next few weeks, so the countdown is on!

IMG_5788_resized

The tiles are looking good, but fitting burglar bars on all the windows was definitely one of my least favourite jobs of the project so far. Using drill bits that are the wrong size and type (12mm timber drill bits just aren’t available in Mzuzu) combined with an old Makita drill made for slow and tedious progress. Slotting the rusty metal bars into the slots and back to fix them left my hands blistered and sore…. apologies, complaint over, they look quite good now and in some ways make the windows look more interesting from the inside and of course much safer.

IMG_5791_resized

An option for Chitenge curtains got quickly rejected by the clinic, which is a shame as the patterns are so interesting which you find in the market here. There was some debate over using woman’s ‘national wear’ as curtain material. The clinic staff seem intent on using net curtains and heavy-duty material. I’m sure well come to some sort of compromise soon.

IMG_5793_resized

IMG_5799_resized

The on-site Taylor: Mr Kaka (as are many people named from Nkhotakota!), sits here at his sewing machine all day. He makes many people’s clothes for them on campus and I was hoping to use him for the curtain making.

IMG_5800_resized

IMG_5803_resized

Tiling continues on the south side of the building. I think the boys are getting better as they go along.

IMG_5807_resized

We’ve made the opening and fitted the new door to the phase 1 clinic now, creating the all important link between the 2 buildings.

IMG_5812_resized

Interesting to see the enormous full depth of the 230mm deep interlocking SSBs using on phase 1

IMG_5814_resized

IMG_5817_resized

Dan and I laughed a lot about how long it takes to build and how quick it is to demolish!

IMG_5818_resized

We got the frame in place fairly quickly, cast a new up stand at the threshold and had the existing piece of glass cut into the new window frame and door vision panel

IMG_5819_resized

IMG_5846_resized

The new door in place. Saddock was hard to convince that the design would work, but we pushed through with it and the end result works really well and looks good.

IMG_5847_resized

IMG_5829_resized

Saddock and Mr Kaka, my biggest fans of the Chitenge curtains

IMG_5841_resized

IMG_5842_resized

A missive amount of effort the last few weeks from the carpenters finishing all the doors and hanging these. We’re just doing a final sanding of these and varnishing them at the moment to complete the activity.

IMG_5844_resized

IMG_5854_resized

IMG_5864_resized

A short week-end trip to Sambani on the lake provided some spectacular storms and skies – and of course plenty of swimming

IMG_5869_resized

IMG_5927_resized

Wezi fighting with the sinks somewhat. I probably annoy him checking these with the spirit level!

IMG_5929_resized

IMG_5930_resized

Main light fitting finally being installed now we have the doors on and a secure building.

IMG_5931_resized

A few shots from the hardware market. This chap’s having a good kip over lunch

IMG_5933_resized

Smoked fish for sale

IMG_5937_resized

Sinks in place – good job Wezi!

IMG_5939_resized

lights in and working

IMG_5941_resized

Banda was quick to make a chain for himself from the left over chains we used to hand the light fittings!

IMG_5945_resized

Lots of a activity on the south side

IMG_5953_resized

The rectangular external Khonde tiles going down very quickly this week

IMG_5957_resized

We’ve had three metal drains fabricated for the Khonde drain this week.

IMG_5970_resized

IMG_5977_resized

Connecting the 40mm sink waste pipes and bottle traps – almost running water in place.

IMG_5980_resized

George laying the khonde tiles

IMG_5982_resized

IMG_5987_resized

Wezi

Advertisements

March Progress

So far March has been a busy month on site, plus a visit from my brother and sister, my birthday and yet more transprt problems!

Here’s another photographic update from the last few weeks on site as the building gets closer and closer to being complete despite at times it feeling like a never-ending list of tasks! One thing I’m certainly learning, especially from being so involved with the building work itself, is that building is not quick! It requires many pairs of hands, a lot of team work and lots of energy and strength. Building the final west gable end wall and windows last week-end and this week, which after deliberating over for so long I felt it was only right for me to complete this, has left my whole body aching thanks to lifting all the SSB’s and cement into place! Perhaps not the most plumb wall in the building, but not a bad effort. After discussions with the team, we opted to part with the perforated screen wall for one that is more solid with open fenestrations. This in part has been due to the additional privacy walls introduced (partly a client request) and also for buildabilty reasons, this solution now seems to be work well and gives the building a really strong wholeness and cube-like mass under the ‘floating’ roof and provides the end users with the levels of privacy they require

The Dedza Pottery tiles were also finally ready at the end of last week after some delay in finishing these due to the ongoing rains the south of the country have still been experiencing. I had to go to Raiply again on Friday morning (for hopefully the last time) at which time the tiles were due to arrive . As ever I naively presumed this would be a simple operation of off-loading these. Unfortunately the company we used to collect them sent possibly the worse lorry I have ever seen, which got stuck on the site, about 500m from the clinic! We had to have a whip around for hands to help transfer these onto one of our better lorries and transfer them to the site… a rather long afternoon in the end, but at least by the end of the week all the tiles were safely on the clinic khonde and ready for laying first thing this week. See photos bellow of progress on this.

The carpenters are tirelessly pushing on with the big task of door making and we’re looking to start fitting these once the internal tilling is complete and we can properly cut these to threshold dimensions. They’ve done an excellent job on these, making them to a really high standard – far better than the doors you can buy in town, partly benefiting from the good quality timber we have from Raiply, but also and more so, a testament to their excellent carpentry skills.

IMG_0995_resized

It was great to show some family around the building and to meet the on-site team and see all the hard work from everyone over the last 7 months

IMG_5320_resized

A quick shot with my brother and sister before a lunch at Mzuzu’s ‘Green Vee’, where they serve a great ‘Condowole’ (A Cassava Nsima) Mpassa (a rather boney but fleshy lake fish) and beans

IMG_5596_resized

Photo from one of the warehouse’s at Raiply for what was surely our final trip here in Chikangawa

IMG_5597_resized

I always like the signs hung randomly on the premises at Raiply

IMG_5598_resized

At the same time I was at Raiply this shipwreck of a lorry had finally made it to the site carrying the 15 tonnes of clay floor tiles – I’m almost certain it had a number of breakdowns on the way from Dedza causing its delay arriving on the Friday. It soon became apparent that it was not going to make it all the way to the clinic, having traveled over 600km, it was stuck in the mud 500m from its destination!

IMG_5602_resized

The lorry was literally patched together with bits and pieces of old metal sheeting

IMG_5604_resized

Plenty of people soon materialised (at the offer of 1000 kwacha) to help shift the 7,000 tiles from this lorry to a better one.

IMG_5607_resized

Our new, recently hired cook Emily (should have hired her to save time right at the beginning) was particularly good at this task, she’s a great character.

IMG_5611_resized

Stacking the tiles on the khonde

IMG_5641_resized

All 7,000 tiles in place

IMG_5642_resized

Some really beautiful colours and tones across the collection which should look great once layed.

IMG_5653_resized

Starting work on the west end wall, flanking the new waiting area

IMG_5657_resized

The rains have definitely quieted off now and almost back November temperatures on site. I will admit to some topless working on Saturday when things were a bit quieter and unbearably hot bricklaying with my back directly to the sun!

IMG_5658_resized

IMG_5664_resized

It was a challenge stabilising the wall, which is in fact projecting from the main structure (another reason the perforated wall would have been rather unstable), every 4 courses I’ve fixed either brick force wire between window frames which I inserted after 4 courses, and 6 inch nails fixing the shorter return walls into the columns. Once the rear of the wall is plastered, this will add further strength to the ‘freestanding’ walls stability.

IMG_5667_resized

A pleasant view looking through the treatment rooms from the waiting area and out to the university grounds beyond. I’m very pleased we opted for clear glass in the end to maintain these views when users want them. I’m currently discussing with the university tailor(!) about making some nice curtains from some of the interesting material I have found here in the Swahili market. I have also just ordered the steel for the burglar bars which we will need to install. Unfortunately these are a must in all new, and many existing, buildings here in Malawi.

IMG_5670_resized

Demonstrating the setting out for the internal tilling to make sure that we minimise any cut tiles

IMG_5671_resized

The new concrete work surface in the Autoclaving room. If funds are available I will ask (and of course help) the carpenters to fabricate under counter cupboards for these.

IMG_5677_resized

Horizontal louvre window detail

IMG_5680_resized

String and a spirit level are essential equipment when building a wall

IMG_5681_resized

All doors almost complete now and looking great

IMG_5682_resized

IMG_5693_resized

The new waiting area – just the bench and floor tilling to finish off now

IMG_5689_resized

The internal floor tilling gets underway

IMG_5695_resized

Some shots of the completed west gable wall. The roof really has the feel of ‘floating’ now, especially from this end of the building. I’m half tempted to remove the vegetation from the opposite side to enforce this aspect, but morally struggling to remove any more trees!

IMG_5705_resized

IMG_5715_resized

IMG_5721_resized

IMG_5732_resized

IMG_5736_resized

Plastering the back of this wall in the waiting area

IMG_5738_resized

Internal tilling moving on quickly

IMG_5740_resized

First room complete!

IMG_5746_resized

Setting out the external khonde tilling today. I’ve explored a few options for tilling over the drain, but I believe this will lead to tiles becoming cracked or broken along here. I think it’s also important for the torrents of water that will fall from the phase 1 roof to fall directly into a drain. The splash back from hit/miss tiles will be fairly sever here otherwise. I have drawn up designs for some 4mm gauge metal grates to be fabricated and installed along here.

IMG_5747_resized

IMG_5581_resized

A much enjoyed Birthday celebrtaion on 4th March with friends at Mzuzu’s new italian restaurant/lodge.

Progress wk/begin 9th Feb

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!

IMG_4983_resized

IMG_4984_resized

Some typical site sketches used to discuss the door detailing with the carpenters and work out timber quantities and cutting sizes

IMG_4987_resized

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!

IMG_5011_resized

The day watch-woman are still semi permenant  residents under our timber shelter and door workshop, spending their mornings preparing lunch.

IMG_5029_resized

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.

IMG_5045_resized

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.

IMG_5047_resized

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.

IMG_5096_resized

Roofing repairs

IMG_5063_resized

Finish of the brickwork after pointing

IMG_5065_resized

Dan installing the architraves on the additional windows in the Autoclave room

IMG_5070_resized

Morton keeps going with the pointing

IMG_5078_resized

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!

IMG_5095_resized

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.

IMG_5101_resized

IMG_5081_resized

The cycle taxi’s waiting outside campus ready to take you to the local markets for supplies.

IMG_5105_resized

Some finished walls after pointing

IMG_5129_resized

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!

IMG_5132_resized

Pointing before and after

IMG_5133_resized

The first glass louvers being installed

IMG_5135_resized

Pointing finished on the front elevation

IMG_5139_resized

IMG_5141_resized

First piece of glass fitted!

IMG_5155_resized

IMG_5162_resized

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.

IMG_5169_resized

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.

IMG_5179_resized

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.

IMG_5191_resized

Relaxing in Butterfly Space on the Sunday morning.

Progress photos wk/beg 2nd Feb:

A few days late on the update but see commentary on photos bellow from last week. It was a week of: slapping plaster against walls, finishing the carpentry, FINALLY fixing down the metal roofing sheets and looking at (a limited availability) of glass samples for windows. My Nsima cooking is also improving….

IMG_4728_resized

Chimango demonstrates the technique of slapping the cement plaster against the rough finished coursing of the SSB’s – which gives a good ‘key’ for this to adhere to

IMG_4732_resized

IMG_4753_resized

Yotam and Morton then demonstrates their skill in ‘shining’ (I guess we call it skim finishing) with a diluted lime and cement mix

IMG_4735_resized

The results have been this very impressive perfectly smooth finish. We now wait for around 10 days for the lime plaster to dry and for all the moisture to ‘sweat’ out from the walls before applying any undercoat/primer

IMG_4750_resized

Meanwhile Wezi the plumber (when we can get hold of him) has been attempting to complete the bellow ground drainage connections, demonstrating how pipes are connected Malawi style, by heating the ends up then slotting the other pipes into this, finally sealed with a cement solvent. In the UK we have a fairly proprietary connector that would normally be used. I’ll upload some photos at the end of this week, when things got well, unpleasant! in the main manhole – it wasnt a nice job, but Yotam stepped up to the challenge with facemask, wellies and elbow length leather gloves. Mr Kalua did pull me one side and advise that normally when someone is asked to make this connection you offer them a fresh bar of soap and a carton of milk, which I obliged to.

IMG_4759_resized

Another one of Saddocks adapted tools; a hoe handle combined with a metal chisel/flint makes a useful axe-chisel, great for taking annoying 5mm edges off any 50x sections of timber that a saw can’t handle

IMG_4762_resized

A quick shot of my latest Nsima attempt (and a very typical Malawian lunch/dinner of Nsima and relish), not a bad attempt, a little coarse still, but it did the job.

IMG_4772_resized

I found a shop that could supply a few different colours of glass. Option for blue glass shown here

IMG_4777_resized

An obscure glass which is more likely to be the choice for the treatment and clinician office rooms

IMG_4781_resized

People enjoying the environment (spot the difference on the elevation – see photos bellow)

IMG_4784_resized

Dan showing us how to sharpen the pencil on the plane! I’ve been working very closely with Dan the last few weeks, finishing off all the carpentry. I’ve learnt a lot from him when it comes to carpentry skills, he’s a very talented carpenter and I’ve greatly valued his opinion and judgement on any finishing details

IMG_4785_resized

IMG_4798_resized

A momentous moment, finally fixing down the first roofing sheet now that all the M&E has been installed, especially after the recent storms when the sheets got blown off, I can finally relax about this! The day was hot enough, but walking around ontop of 21 heat reflecting steel roofing sheets was almost unbearable for me! I could literally feel my face being scolded. I decided to get on with some carpentry bellow whilst Dan and Saddock took the job in their stride.

It’s worth noting now how successful the Sisilation seems to be performing. Even on the hottest days the rooms bellow remain very  cool, presumably much thanks to the foil sisolation blocking the radiant heat entering from bellow the metal sheets – hopefully the heat here wont build enough to melt the PVC conduits!

IMG_4795_resized

Dan helping out with the alignment of the metal sheets

IMG_4820_resized

Great to see the metal sheets finally cutting a very satisfying straight line along the north elevation

IMG_4810_resized

A few further glass options for the obscure glass windows on the north elevation

IMG_4813_resized

The clinic staff are all in favour of the colourful blue glass, but I’m not convinced. It will prevent privacy within the treatment rooms and no doubt curtains will soon appear!

IMG_4816_resized

IMG_4826_resized

Moving the remaining SSBs off the Khonde in preparation for tiling next week

IMG_4828_resized

Saddock using the make-shift site planning bench

IMG_4833_resized

Installing bellow ground drainage and manholes

IMG_4834_resized

Installing the cold water pipe and associated connections

IMG_4838_resized

Remaining timber, now planned and cut, ready for us to make doors and the Khonde seating.

IMG_4829_resized

I decided to knock together a few additional windows for the west elevation to add a bit more light to the internal autoclaving room and give a bit more interest to the campus facing elevation. Perhaps something of the Vana Venturi House now or as Charlotte pointed out references to Corb’s La Tourette. Making changes (…naughty architect I know…) is one of the advantages of managing the process – of course the builders dont mind (and dont charge) so long as I do all the work myself!

IMG_4848_resized IMG_4849_resized

The roof is really starting to appear to float now and fulfil our original concept of this element looking as if it is ‘floating’ above the walls

IMG_4853_resized

IMG_4860_resized

Saddock at work with his medieval looking home-made tool

IMG_4877_resized

The issue of the impounded university lorry (which happened 2 days after of us benefiting use of this) appeared in the local paper last week

IMG_4889_resized

Purchases of: varnish, paint undercoat and brick sealer at the hardware market

IMG_4896_resized

Use of amber colour glass on doors in the hardware market, unfortunately only available with this floral pattern

IMG_4900_resized

More torrential downpours at the end of the week (and most of the week end), although I did manage to escape to Nkhata Bay on Sunday with friends (and drive the treacherous road – just the 3 up-turned lorries en-route this time) where we had a good dose of sunshine for swimming and my first taste of the lake Catfish

IMG_4927_resized

Rain hammering down on the phase 1 clinic

IMG_4946_resized

I probably should have removed the power cable, I did suggest it but was told its fine!

Joinery, M&E and Grand Designs Malawi..

Last week (wk/begin 26/01) was for me and Dan the carpenter, a week of sawing, planning and hammering, working predominantly on preparing all the window and door joinery ready for glass fitting and door hanging (just one very sore smashed index finger for my efforts. I was advised by a friend that inserting a poker hot paperclip through nail, know as ‘decompression’ in medical terms, helps relieve the pressure. Well, I highly recommend this, it successfully relieves the pain and the pressure from the swelling!). Some remaining brickwork was completed on the Khonde screens and it was also a week for the mechanical and electrical works to complete, which they just about managed to do in a week.

On Tuesday we had a very sudden and dramatic storm sweep across the site with a bizarre 30 second gust of tornado like wind – we were literally clinging onto the columns, the wind then to my horror ripped up some of the metal sheets amid torrential rain, exposing the plywood cassettes! We decided to give in trying to stay dry and rushed up onto the roof in somewhat hazardous (dangerous!) conditions to attempt to shift and replace the sheets that had blown off alignment, it was a brave effort from everyone, we got completely soaked and although water eventually began pouring in through the ceilings bellow, it seems these have now dried out in the last few days and hopefully saved the plywood from worse damage. We all acknowledged how lucky it was that this happened during the day when we were around and not at night. We’re now just awaiting for the Khonde lighting to be installed hopefully tomorrow morning and then im insisting on nailing the roofing sheets down once and for all.

The week finished with a trip with some of my friends from the NGO Temwa, to a castle being built by an ex-pat couple from England – Kachere Castle, just south on Kande beach in Chinteche. They’re developing it as a lodge on the lake; with central swimming pool/bar, turrets and a squash  court. I wonder what Kevin would say? It was quite bizare and surreal, sipping a G&T from the roof of such a building in Malawi, with superb views back to the mountains and out over an enormous mango tree to the lake.

IMG_4545_resized

Moments after the rains started, Yotam attempts to dig a trench leading water away from the manhole excavation

IMG_4549_resized

Water now cascading off our temporary shelter

IMG_4551_resized

The only snap I managed to get after this point as the storm force gusts of winds swept across the site, tearing up the metal roofing sheets

IMG_4557_resized

Sunshine the following day and the damage assessment was’nt too bad. The Sisilation we installed seems to have significantly helped to protect a lot of the plywood on the main cassettes

IMG_4558_resized

Issac, the electrical engineer moved quickly in between downpours and shifting back into place the iron sheets, to install the majority of all conduits and wiring within a week

IMG_4561_resized

Dan and I focussed on fitting all the window beads, wall and door architraves in preparation for glass, doors and plastering. We’ve had to add additional ‘wall architraves’ in the end to act as an edge for plastering (metal beads do not exist here) and the 10mm allowance on the 150mm framing studs was lost in planning of the timber and brickwork tolerances – it was in effect flush with our 140mm deep bricks in the end. In future these would need to be approx 170mm deep sections. Even so, the architraves do not look so bad, framing the walls quite pleasantly and having seen the first plastered walls today I was fairly pleased with the result.

IMG_4563_resized

IMG_4564_resized

IMG_4565_resized

Full height doors, with overpanels and architraves

IMG_4566_resized

IMG_4569_resized

Getting to work on the long drainage run and manholes to the main site drain

IMG_4571_resized

View of the front khonde. I’ve not quite committed to the perforated screen yet (just dry bonded in the photo), not sure how this will work/look with the SSBs and mortar joints.

IMG_4572_resized

All wiring complete

IMG_4577_resized

View from clinician office to phase 1

IMG_4578_resized

View from treatment room

IMG_4583_resized

Example of available doors for sale in town. We have decided to make our own doors now and i spent the best part of today having our Raiply wood cut and planed for this today. Dan, Sadock and I will get started on these tomorrow. We think we can make them better than these examples!

IMG_4590_resized

Some busy conduit runs in the roof void

IMG_4591_resized

Hot/cold water pipes run nicely through a central void in the roof and drop either side of the central walls bellow to sinks in the clinician and treatment rooms

IMG_4595_resized

Saddock and Dan

IMG_4599_resized

Saddock and I fixing the top beams and beads

IMG_4601_resized

IMG_4606_resized

New office space

IMG_4607_resized

New office space #2

IMG_4613_resized

Last week was a quiet week for the groundworkers, but Yotam dropped by on Friday after we’d agreed labour costs for plastering all internal walls this week (funds are running low!). Here he can be seen mixing the ‘Ndola’ lime with water in preparation for the ‘shine’ (skim) coats after an ‘Akshar’ cement mix is applied to the brickwork – I can happily say that the finish is superb, having seen the first plastered room today. Mr Kalua had previously mentioned that Yotam was indeed an ‘expert’ at Akshar/Lime plastering. I will certainly be having a go at some point this week

IMG_4614_resized

IMG_4616_resized

Clearly years of making Nsima help with this. There were a lot of laughs on site when i made the comparison and asked if this was lunch they were preparing.

Interestingly I did find out last week that incredibly, Casava (a staple food here – when made as Casava-nsima is almost inedibly elastic and fills you up for days) is in fact used as part of the gluing agent in the laminating of plywood at Raiply!

 

IMG_4617_resized

 

…and some photos of Kachere Castle, AKA: Grand Designs Abroad!

IMG_4703_resized

IMG_4704_resized

IMG_4705_resized

IMG_4706_resized

IMG_4708_resized

IMG_4709_resized

IMG_4710_resized

IMG_4711_resized

IMG_4713_resized

IMG_4716_resized

IMG_4718_resized

IMG_4719_resized

IMG_4722_resized

Walls finished!

A selection of photos bellow detailing the weeks activities. An active week of completing all the external brickwork walls and trips to the saw mill to prepare all the softwood architraves and beading for the windows and doors. We’ve had all the windows measured up now so once all the beading is in place and walls plastered we can have this fitted. Also some photos of mushrooms at the end which seem to be in season at the moment, there’s plenty in the market and I keep getting offered enormous specimens walking around town and campus!

IMG_4386_resized

Our temporary shelter built back in October has now become a central social scene around the site. The day watch women have fully moved in, chatting and socialising all day (intermixed with napping!) and cooking their nsima.

IMG_4391_resized

Our site chefs Chimango and Banda take over on the fire

IMG_4392_resized

Nsima and Oespia for lunch for the day watch-woman

IMG_4397_resized

…and the same for us

IMG_4418_resized

Starting the base wall for the external screen to the waiting area

IMG_4419_resized

Mr Kalua and Morton helping me with the ladder whilst inspecting the roofing sheets after heavy rains

IMG_4421_resized

Wezi, our plumber getting to work threading all the steel water pipe work for first fix hot/cold water installation. SSB walls complete on the West elevation

IMG_4433_resized

View out of a clinician’s room on the south. We have tried to balance privacy with view and daylighting. The rooms on the south are however a little on the shady side due to the pitch of the roof,  but privacy is still deemed as more important.

IMG_4434_resized

In contrast, the high levels of daylighting in the clinician’s room on the north elevation thanks to the high level windows and skywards pitched roof

IMG_4435_resized

View through the clinician’s and treatment rooms with our full frame doors and plywood over-panels (the over-panels are well insulated using SSB’s)

IMG_4438_resized

Further view into the corner of the main clinician’s room

IMG_4441_resized

View in similar room on the opposite corner

IMG_4442_resized

Same room looking west – we will benefit from doubled sided ventilation to all corner rooms

IMG_4443_resized

IMG_4444_resized

View from the proposed HIV testing room

IMG_4447_resized

Completed external walls and framing on the north elevation

IMG_4448_resized

Completed walls and windows on the west elevation

IMG_4449_resized

Walls completed to the south and a temporary shelter we have erected to begin forming the manhole to the south

IMG_4451_resized

South west corner complete

IMG_4457_resized

IMG_4459_resized

South east corner brickwork complete. The timber on the khonde is part of the batch of 50x150mm pressure treated/kiln dried timber we will prepare and use for the external doors

IMG_4461_resized

Walls finished on the east elevation, facing the new waiting area

IMG_4462_resized

South elevation

IMG_4466_resized

Temporary shelter no.3. I always enjoyed making these types of shelters out of beach towels on shade-less beaches on holidays when I was younger!

IMG_4467_resized

Morton starts work on the man and bellow ground drainage runs

IMG_4468_resized

….whilst Yotam and Chimango move forwards with the internal wall for the waiting area bench

IMG_4469_resized

Wezi working on first fix mechanical. First fix electrical now complete, as seen.

IMG_4473_resized

IMG_4498_resized

Mushroom season at market!

IMG_4502_resized

My guesthouse day guard: Queen Phiri and her friend collecting mushrooms on campus (the smaller variety)

IMG_4507_resized

Dinner

IMG_4512_resized

Queen Phiri helping me prepare a fire this week-end during power cuts

 

 

More external walls…

Hopefully I’ve not put too many of you to sleep yet with photos of SSBs and walls – but they sure are helping to make the previous ‘canopy’ start to feel like a proper building now and satisfyingly starting to define the rooms and overall feel of the building. The guys really pushed on today, taking a bay each and by lunch (see menu bellow….) all the front elevation walls had been started. I also started to experiment with the SSB screen wall we’re looking to incorporate sheltering a new timber bench on the Khonde.

IMG_4364_resized

Main elevation walls well on their way

IMG_4366_resized

IMG_4361_resized

First complete wall in the middle

IMG_4359_resized

Almost a complete corner section around the sluice room and stores

IMG_4356_resized

Gable end wall. The SSBs have dried to a lovely soft red colour tieing them in pleaseantly with the sourrounding landscape, which you might expect with something made from the soil of its own site.

IMG_4367_resized

Startng to experiment with the waiting area screen. I’m planning on introducing some lintols to form openings at eye level as you enter the area – co-ordinated with the cross pieces in the columns, could look interesting

IMG_4370_resized

Start of the bench layout with Roberto’s idea of bring the SSB’s through as the face finish.

IMG_4372_resized

Typical lunch menu!