Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Quick Odds and Ends

Here are few notes and images from the past 48 hours. We have had little time to write.


A tremendous amount has been accomplished in the last couple days and plans have been changing rapidly as well. We have picked up much of the equipment required for the project, secured a vehicle and changed the construction design of the school – the latter will require some explanation. For months before we left for Uganda our team laboured over the design and particularly the construction materials that would be used to build the school. The big debate was whether to build the school out of wood, bricks produced by the traditional method (mud dried in the sun then fired) or “Ground Breaker” bricks. The Ground Breaker is a machine that compresses a mix of soil and cement into an interlocking brick that dries in the sun. Before our arrival we had settled on a three foot pony wall using the Ground Breaker bricks above which we would use wood framing. We thought using wood would increase earthquake resistance, skills transfer to locals and the overall speed of construction. However, after considering many factors, we have decided to go with the Ground Breaker bricks all the way. This decision really became concrete after our meeting with Dr. Moses at Makerere University today.


It’s 6am and the power has been out since yesterday afternoon. We are packing up by headlamp. I am leaving to Bwera in a couple hours in a van generously lent to us by Mengo Hospital. I will be going with Russ and three of the hired guys from Kampala. The two others and a driver left a 5am in a large truck with the other equipment – 3000L water tank, mattresses, Ground Breaker, cement and other tools. Nat is staying in Kampala with John and Gill to finalize the purchase of a vehicle. She will come out with them and Charles – who arrives Friday – on Saturday.

Kampala from Mengo Hill before sunrise

Spending in the millions!

Russ talking design with the Kampala team: Simon, Steven, Richard and Ben

Russ negotiates for cement. The Ground Breaker is in the back of the truck.

The 3000L water tank is loaded.
Nat and I with the workers at the Poly Factory.

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