Here’s what the Kenya team have been up to during week number 3 of the project – they are now pros with bags of cement! Thanks to Luke for this one.
We have now finished our third week, and everything is going swimmingly. We are well settled, and the efficiency with which we are carrying out the work tasks has reached a good high.
All this week we have been working with the Kipiko group, continuing to make progress on their first ever dam. The labour has been very much the same as usual: carrying dozens of bags of cement and ginormous rocks, digging, barrowing sand, and mixing cement and then launching it into the dam (this week we managed to get through a total of 258 bags! Wooh yeah).
Having stayed a night with members of the community over the weekend, we all felt a little more close and attached to the people we were working with. It will be hard to leave them this coming week. The excavations for the arms of the dam were carried out, involving on one side Luke and James’ journey to the centre of the earth to try and find bedrock. After two days it had still not been fully located.
New avenues had to be explored as well in order to locate more sand for the mortar, and the removal of sand from the stream into piles to dry quickly descended into a sand bombing water fight. The sand team also had to deal with an army of ants, and much to the distaste of our teammate Lucy the Jain, they were dealt with by being incorporated eventually into the very fabric of the dam. However, this was not before Matt had had to deal with a few of the more adventurous ants who managed to venture great lengths up his trousers. After an emergency clothing removal event behind a rock, Matt swiftly dealt with the ants in his pants.
On the Thursday we were joined by approximately 100 people from the surrounding communities, and as such a great deal of progress was made and we are now nearing completion, which we shall hopefully achieve this coming Tuesday. On the Friday, there was not as much work to do, so we took a trip over to Malaika to see the previous dam that we were working on and the extensions that had now been finished. The trip involved great hilarity with the various photo shoots that took place. The jumping shots proved most entertaining, in particular those that involved spectacular collapses, like Matt slipping feet forward onto his back in the mud.
A highlight of the week was the trip to a local bar to watch the Olympics opening ceremony. Moments involving the Queen’s appearance and Mr. Bean’s antics were appreciated with whoops and cheers. The Swedish member of our team became an honorary Brit for the night, and the solitary Scot was left to endure a visit from the banter bus. The evening was ended with a disappointing loss of signal for the channel, shortly followed by Ran’s desperate cries, such was his desire to see his beloved Boris. Naturally a few beers were drunk, and this was most evident in the long, heated and opinionated discussion by a few members upon arrival back at the compound.
It is with some sadness that we soon enter our final week of work, but we look forward to seeing the result of our efforts for the dam in Kipiko.