Monday, October 27, 2008

Updates at Matonyok

Howdy peoples. Sorry for the delay, but I’m currently working on my third computer in as many months and even this one is a bit temperamental. So, again even though there is a blog there are no pictures. But I’m sure that you can use your imagination

Everything is going incredibly well with the Matoyok sanitation facility. Currently, the entire foundation is finished and the brickwork is nearly completed, which means that the next big step is the roofing and extensive plumbing. This, Ndemno tells me, will be completed the first week of November which means that the tiling, grouting, and finishing touches will be done by – at the latest – the third week of November. Since the timeline projected that the sanitation facility be functional by February, we can hope to have the entire building operating well before the projected opening date.

On that note, the workers have been putting in a lot of time on this project and the progress is staggering. In less than 10 days, they put in over eighteen rows of bricks which, at face value, doesn’t seem that impressive until you couple that with the fact that the number of bricks being used is well over 3,000. Using my recently acquired math teaching skills, this means that the workers put in over 300 bricks a day (a long process including the soaking of the bricks, mixing the cement, cutting bricks to fill awkward gaps in the rows – while keeping all the rows of bricks level – and sticking the entire business together with copious amounts of said cement). Further, using some advanced math teaching techniques, I can deduce that each row of bricks is comprised of between 166 and 167 bricks – a staggering number, especially in light of the fact that these men have done more with 3,000 bricks over the past 10 days then I could hope to accomplish in my life.

And while you might suspect that the quality of construction would be shoddy due to the rapid pace of building, the contractor makes it a point to spend time with the workers every day to make sure that the work is progressing quickly and solidly. He is unafraid to make a worker take out a row of bricks that he feels is not up to snuff – a fact that might irritate the laborer, but in the end will make the entire building that much better. So, that’s all from Eastern Africa. Hope everyone’s enjoying their end of October and have their costumes all picked out for the All Hallows’ Eve celebration. I’m going to be a ninja.

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