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Swawou Project Week 11 - Come Rain Or Shine

Some heavy rainfall has really marked the beginning of the rainy season here in Kenema, and caused a few delays to our construction. The site was a little waterlogged a couple of mornings this week, and we’ve started to wrap up the unfinished steel and wood each evening. Additionally, the transportation of bricks to our site was delayed as the roads were so bad the trucks couldn’t make it through! Fortunately they did get through in the end, and we were able to continue the masonry work on the last and final building, which should be finished by the end of next week!

We finally have a concrete ring beam poured, an excellent achievement as there were four coordinated teams working from either corner towards the middle, pouring, transporting, vibrating and leveling the concrete. We managed to get a whole building done in a day and could even take some of the formwork off in the kitchen to see what the finished surface will look like - it’s going to be nice!

Our photographer, Peter, and his wife Becki are in full swing. Peter has been taking photographs of our workers and interviewing them, while Becki has been hosting workshops with the girls, building structures out of straws and brainstorming ideas for the mural which will be painted on the school walls.

Our head mason Samuel began to bring some flower and plant cuttings this week and some carpet grass for the landscaping of the project. We created a temporary structure to provide shade from the rain and sun for the cuttings and a few of our workers have expressed interest in getting involved in the landscaping side of things including our main mixing man Bobor, profiled in our blog a couple of weeks ago who is a professional gardener. We are looking forward to learning all that he has to know about gardening in this climate!

James arrives this weekend with a dozen or so students from the Welsh School of Architecture for a two week practical workshop making furniture for the school with a local carpenter. We look forward to their arrival and extra hands on site!