Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A few quotes from RHC on-site director and our hero, Emily

“Thursday we only worked a half day. The brother of one of the younger men we work with passed away and his burial was that afternoon. He was about thirty years old and had apparently been in good health. On Friday we gave another one of our workers and his family a ride to Shirati. They had a very fat lamb and seemed festive. They were coming to receive a family member of theirs who had been sent to Bugando hospital in Mwanza and had recovered well from some type of cancer. Both cases, the loss and the survival, were a reminder of how greatly needed this health center is, both in terms of quick responses to medical emergencies and treating longer term illnesses without having to separate a family for the duration.”

“After multiple weeks now of working with many of the same people, individuals have begun to settle into roles. Jennifer is devoted to curing the concrete at regular intervals during the day. She never misses a column, even if someone is standing on the other side getting a shower. Johnny, the storekeeper, is somehow always around though rarely visible, so when we need things from storage someone shouts, “Storekeeper! Storekeeper!” until he appears with his usual grin. And on Fridays the Seventh Day Adventists begin literally warming up for a day of worship on Saturday, regaling us with hymns, both solo and unison. It all makes for a really enjoyable work environment.”

“It will be so bittersweet to leave now. I have been here so long and so short; enough time to have built walls, columns, and so many relationships, but not enough time to have built the roof or to be ready to say good-bye to all these new and never expected friends. But it feels right to be passing the torch to Richard. They love to joke with him yet really respect him on the job-site, trying hard and looking for his approval before moving from one step to the next.”

Concrete crew celebrates completion of walls

Under the direction of Emily, Richard and Julius, this team has done an unbelievable job. They have so much to be proud of. Emily is preparing to return to Cincinnati and Richard will continue on as on-site director. As this phase comes to an end, everyone in Shirati is excited to begin constructing the roof.

Ring beam unveiled!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote from Elvis Osira

“You know Emily, this was like a story. People thought it was just a story, but here it is. It is true. It is our kid and it is growing up. I don’t know yet if it is a girl or a boy, but I know it is a genius.”
- from Elvis Osira

Monday, August 16, 2010

Forming the ring beam

Creating formwork for concrete is a challenge when, in addition to having no power tools, there is no plywood or comparable sheet good available. As a result, formwork is created using 1x8 cypress lumber. This image shows the intensive formwork for the ring beam, the most challenging concrete element in the building.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Columns are up!!!

These columns were created with no plywood formwork, no power tools, hand-crushed aggregate and all cement was mixed by hand. The concrete team has done a phenomenal job.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The columns are emerging

Creating formwork for concrete columns with no power tools and no sheet good materials (such as plywood) as very challenging. Our team has just unveiled the first few columns and they look fantastic.

View east from the porch

This is the side of the building that will eventually face the courtyard. We can see one of our colleagues testing out the structural capacity of the ring beam.

Forming the columns / capping the ISSB

All openings (windows and doors) in our design are between columns for structural reasons as well as many others. The columns also wrap around the ends of the ISSB to lock them in place. In addition, steel is tied between all columns along every fifth course of the wall. These shots show the column steel and the formwork for the columns.

overview of ISSB walls

Richard has been our documentary photographer and he has found a perch from which to capture the full health center walls. We can begin to get a sense of the rooms at this point....