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Blog Entry from RVE's Country Director

posted Aug 24, 2012, 11:51 PM by Aleeka Kay Edwards
June 13, 2012
The mason completed plastering the interior of the house and the kitchen, which is in the annex. The shower room is being worked on today, as well.  The shower room requires a higher cement mixture to protect the walls.  The man continues to dig the latrine, as this is very difficult work.  The soil is very hard and he pours water in the hole to soften the dirt.  The hole will be about 10 meters deep.  He climbs in and out of the hole by pressing along the sides.  He does not use a ladder.
I will begin experimenting with an earth floor at the job site.  An earth floor does not require any cement, which is one of our stated goals.  The platform was prepared today and I will let it rest for a few days so the dirt compacts more.  I will then create a bed using gravel that we have on site.  Once this is compacted, I will make a mixture of clay, sand, and paper pulp or straw.  This mixture will be applied in 2-3 layers.  I will use lime in one floor and linseed oil in another floor.  This will give the floor its strength and durability.  It will need to dry for a week or so before we can test its properties.  The electrician was onsite today connecting the wiring in the junction boxes and installing the light sockets.  The conduit they use is very poor plastic as they kink it to form corners.  If the cable ever needs to be pulled out, they will need to replace much of the conduit on the ceiling.

June 14, 2012
The crew is smaller today with 7 masons, 2 electricians, 1 welder, and the latrine digger.  The mason crew has been small because I did not give the approval to begin building the water tank base.  We discussed the project today and the work should begin tomorrow.  There are two leaks in the plumbing that need to be fixed first.  
The electrician used the ground wire in one of the light sockets because we ran out of blue wire.  I caught the problem right away and asked the electrician to change.  He used the ground color wire so he could keep working.  I called Emmy to order more wire; however, Felix showed up at this time with black wire.  I would prefer to stay consistent with wire colors, but since they both represent the hot wire, I am ok with it.  The welder’s helper is here today sanding the welds down.  They are applying a bonding material to create a smooth finish and then sanding the finish.  After the windows have been sanded, they are applying a red paint.  I would prefer the metal be completely sanded to remove all rust and then painted with a metal primer before using a finish coat. This will be a change I make in the future.  
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