Monday, April 30, 2012

Too good not to share

Lieutenant Dan first encounter with a reflection.  He busied himself with barking at himself throughout the party. Got a little annoying when Ijigu and I were trying to give our heartfelt speeches, but wow was it good for laughs in person.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finishing up the Bathroom

The bathroom hole was dug nearly four months ago (Check the Digging the Hole Post).  We completed the inner frame work and metal wire support soon after, but the foundation was poured last weekend.  A wooden support base atop a rock foundation provides the initial support for a cement pad created with 20 bags of 100 percent Portland cement and rebar internal framing. The bathroom structure is designed as a ventilated pit latrine, and we estimate it lasting  for the next 5-7 years.  When the hole is full, the structure will be unfastened from the foundation and moved with the aid of built in transport bars to a new site 20 meters from its current position. The structures inside is divided into two separate spaces for woman and men, and  offers four rooms as well as two hand wash stations. The bathroom will need a few repainting over the years, but it is build to last, with privacy and public health in mind.

Hauling ladders to be recycled into bathroom wall supports.

Finding plum

Xavier fastening the structure to the foundation.

Looking on as the Bathroom starts to take shape

X trimming a few perpendicular supports 

Keeping track of where all the lumber came from.  About 35
trees of all sorts in all.

Trimming to level.  And yes I usually chew on nails while framing, thanks

Acting a fool

Afternoon rain clouds rolling in

What to do when the sawzall's battery can not be charged,
sawzall by hand of course 

The paint starting to go on as Matios and Andreas prepare the top row of
corrugated to be fastened to the structure.

Gazan and Berhanu half way through the first coat.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wide Angles

A few panoramics of the nearly completed school and the bathroom well on its way.
Little Allias looking on as the bathroom primary framing is finishing up

Me enjoying the view as the build is coming to an end.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Completion Party

So before we left we threw a party.  Nearly 160 villagers were in attendance and all were very eager to celebrate the completion of the Kololo school.

We began the program with Ijigu, village elders, and even I saying a few words reflecting on our collective experience working and living with one another.  Ijigu spoke of the importance of community ownership, and thanked particular members of the community for volunteering their time during the final days of construction.  Village elders offered humbling words of appreciation to Ijigu, volunteers Daniel and Xavier, and my self.  While I spoke of the sense of family that materialized over the course of our 5 months in Kololo.  Numerous others stood and shared thanks as well as words of wisdom in maintaining the schools stunning appearance.

In total, we purchased 130 injera, 100 loaves of bread, 2 lambs, a few vegi dishes, and about 20 gallons of a variety of local non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.  Over the course of three hours all were happily and hurriedly consumed.  Party goers than viewed a short media presentation prepared by Xavier and myself. A variety of videos, pictures, and interviews were projected on the schools wall to everyone's enjoyment.  Sadly the solar battery lacked an adequate charge (its not to sunny these days in the Kololo valley) to play the full hour long presentation.  But we were able to enjoy nearly 40 minutes of  fun shots of life, explorations and work during the schools construction. 

The evening ended with reminiscing and storytelling as Ijigu and I rewarded 6 of the most dedicated and hardworking members during the course of the build. Gazan, Andiso, Sallamnesh, Berhanu, Temesken, and Mamush showcased not only amazing work ethic, but exemplary attitudes throughout the build. We were all very thankful to have them a part of the Kololo school construction.  These workers were presented some of the extra tools and building materials leftover from the build, as well as a small bonus.  

Xavier, Ijigu and I had a few final drinks of Tudge with Andiso and Sallamnesh.  Tudge has the great affect of easing one to sleep after just a few glasses.  We then packed and readied our self for our drive back to Addis the following morning.  

-The next day did not go as any one could have ever expected... a not so comforting blog will be offered in the next couple days of our trip back.  In the meantime enjoy a few photos from the closing party.

Xavier built a BBQ grill from scrap rebar, corrugated and chicken wire.  The
result was delicious.