Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The struggle

For about two weeks the internet all over town has been down and I am not sure when it will be fixed. I am engaged in a very frustrating battle to write this message, but a short cease fire has been signed and it appears I am able to post an update on the building project.

The second phase is underway.
The ground floor cement has been laid and the metal roof is scheduled to be put on next week. We are shooting to be finished before the Ramadan fast that begins in 24 days (on the next new moon)and that is also about the time I will be able to update this site again. I will take pictures during the final phases of construction and I will post them all as soon as I am able too.
The builder has kept the project running smoothly even through the very good farming season. The community has also put forth a ton of effort carrying sand and water before going out to the fields to put in a full days work farming. I hope all is well with you in America. I will be in touch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Up to our ears in cement

This is my neighbor Omaru. The supervisor gave him a job as one of the builders. He is making 1250 cfa a day including lunch, about $3.50, which is a decent wage considering this is one of those countries where people live on a dollar a day. He is feeling good no doubt and that comes through in the way he is standing I think, he says "I look nice holding this shovel."

This is a picture of the builders. Nasiru is in the red cap and he is bringing the two masons, Maman Sani and Malam Moussa, cement as they lay another layer of bricks. Maman Ado looks on to make sure its all going to plan.

This is a photo of the two classrooms from a distance. They are each 35 feet by 20 feet, which is an excellent amount of space for the kids and the teacher and a vast improvement over the grass huts.


Construction is progressing smoothly. The city is carrying big drums of water on ox carts every morning and afternoon up to the construction site. The builders are showing up every morning to mix cement and carry bricks for the two masons as they plumb a line and bring the walls higher. The supervisor comes to check on progress and he orders more supplies from Zinder as they are needed. At this pace the school should be completed before the Ramadan fast begins around August 22nd.

The weather is much more comfortable because it began raining about two weeks ago. The heat is managable now and the farmers are happy. They are going out to the fields everyday to tend to their millet and bean plants. If things continue like they are there will be two new classrooms and a good harvest, which means momentum in a good direction. I will post more pictures and updates soon. I hope you are all well.