Sierra Leone Build Update 01 | Foundations, Frames and Fixings!
As we round the corner and begin preparations for our next few days on site, it feels a fitting time update everyone on what we've been up to so far!
Since our arrival here in Kambia we've been visiting a seemingly endless number of little locally run and owned shops, to source the materials for our build. Having received quotes and placed orders we were able to hit the ground running as soon as the volunteers arrived! For the first few days we were measuring and surveying the site, so that we may proceed with setting out the building. Once we were happy the string lines were square and happy everything was going to fit between the beautiful palm trees on site, we could begin groundwork.
What followed were 6 days (yes that includes Saturday) of gruelling concrete mixing and pouring, by hand! It is at this point we must confess that a large amount of this was done by the highly skilled and exceedingly hard working local villagers. But we helped to install the shuttering required to contain the concrete - forming our protruding strip foundation detail - and managed to get ourselves in on some of the mixing action too.
Whilst this was happening, throughout the week, an ever changing sub team began detailing and making design decisions to aid working out the measurements for the frames and cutting our local timber to size. Once the lengths for these timber footings were cut and laminated together we started squaring them up and bracing them together. After a whole section of fittings were in place the concrete was then poured around them to secure the structure to the foundation strip.
The week was long, hard work but incredibly rewarding as we have made huge strides forward in the construction. We battled with stifling heat, thunder storms and minor flooding, ending the week truly exhausted. However it has definitely been a massive week of learning and there has certainly been even more fun, we look forward to what the rest of he build will bring.