From the scene – week no.3
Did Petr, Pája and Matěj succeed in getting the carriage? What was happening during the third week?
On Tuesday morning, the agenda was first to go to the builders, where they bought the tools, and then to the print-shop, where they had a sign printed for the front of the car, which is now more visible than the original one. In the afternoon they went to the airport to pick up another team member - Lukáš! So our team on site has grown to four members and more will be leaving home soon. From the airport our friends went straight to Kashitu. The journey took them five hours and Matěj bravely drove the whole crazy road full of traffic jams, trucks and daring drivers who overtake several trucks at the same time, even when there is another coming from the opposite direction.
The next morning Lukas was given a tour of the community and introduced to the locals. Coincidentally, local volunteers were working on the land where the school will be built – weeding it out and preparing it for construction. Lukáš and Petr were on site investigating the obtainable dirt from the termite mound. This time Petr was not feeling well, so the other three took over the inventory and marking of tools. Then during the day a construction company arrived for a meeting, with whom they discussed the conditions of building in Zambia and also cooperation on the construction of our high school. In the evening, they had a meeting with the community leaders where they discussed our future options and plans together, such as the purchase of cement, the construction company and the finances of the project.
On Thursday, after breakfast all four went to Ndola, a town 90 km from Kashitu, to buy goods not available in the nearest town of Kapiri. At the hardware store, for example, they bought a mesh to sift the dirt through. After lunch and a walk around the only water source - a lake - for miles they went to a cement factory where they negotiated the best price for cement and its subsequent transport to Kashitu.
Coincidentally, in Kapiri we also visited a secondary school where the same principle was used for construction as on our project - it is built with unburnt bricks. We will certainly write more soon about this beautiful example, which shows that this technology has proven itself elsewhere.
On Friday, our team split up. Petr and Matěj went to the city to get a cart, buy shovels and pickaxes and last but not least to negotiate the terms with the construction company. Pája, Lukáš and local volunteers did the first testing of the dirt. They therefore took samples from three different locations and then selected the most suitable one. How did they do it? First, they sifted through the largest pieces of clay, then the smaller ones and finally they tested the remaining clay in the formwork.
On Saturday, after breakfast, they all went together to see the clay field near the village. Not far from it is the original well that the locals used until the German NGO Fountains of Life built them more wells. Along the way, they also met a house whose structure is made entirely of clay. Below you will find a photo proving that termites are no strangers to hard clay and that they live everywhere. After the walk, we went to the church to celebrate the harvest. After an afternoon rest, Pája and Matěj went to measure the water tank to calculate the water pressure and check if we can install a water filter there. While Peter worked on the computer in the evening, the others went for a walk around Kashitu to watch the sunset.
Sunday morning the guys measured the site. Thanks to this Peter spent the whole day setting out the site and plotting its current state on the computer. Pája and Matěj had a meeting with Gregory about food shopping and menu planning. Lukas was again testing the dirt, this time directly from the site. In the evening the inventory of the tools continued, and an inventory log was set out. At the end of the day, Pája taught Justin how to cook Chilli con carne.
What's next? Four more of us set off for Zambia earlier this week and are looking forward to seeing the others soon. The guys on the spot measured the building site on Monday, checked the measurements on Tuesday, and today - Wednesday - laid out the foundation. Thus, tomorrow will be the big day - the official start of construction. But more about that next time :)