Hi everybody! Below the summary of the events in workshop week number 4.
After a very nice weekend at Mole National Park and a visit to the Larabanga Mosque (the oldest mosque in Ghana), we were very sad to have to say goodbye to Monika and Nuria. The workweek started with foremostly digging and sieving of the right kind of earth in order to be prepared for the earth ramming experts in the middle of the week. This was definitely not the easiest and most fun work so far but it was at least a good physical training session! On Monday we also finished our rammed earth samples which all looked quite nice. After this hard day of work we had a second load of brick arriving on Tuesday including some other shipments from Accra. Also our formworks arrived on Tuesday so we luckily had some other things to do instead of just digging for earth :-). On Wednesday we had to say goodbye again, this time to Coco and Hannah. So the week is actually characterized a bit by saying goodbye as also George, our first arrival, and Vicky and Daniel left at the end of the week. We just want to thank everyone again for their help and we really enjoyed the time with you all here in Sang!
But the real highlight of the week was of course the work with the experts from Accra. Joelle and Kwame took a bit longer to get to Sang as expected but we were very happy to finally meet them on Friday at the site. The first order of business was taking a look at our samples. In turned our that they were all very strong, even the ones without cement. We jumped on it and hit them with our shoes, but they hardly were affected by this. Kwame then took one after another in his hand and lifted them over his head before smashing them to the ground. Hereby the difference between those with cement and those without became suddenly visible and it showed that test wall Nr.5, which has 5%cement added, was almost indestructible.
After having made the decision for the mixture we started again to bring the formworks in the right position in order to get started with our first rammed earth wall part. This took like forever, because the steel structure we designed to hold everything in place was not flexible enough ( it is too heavy because we had to take the dimensions which were available), and thus it was really hard to level it right. After some hours of placing the formwork in the correct position, we finally started ramming in the afternoon. Surprisingly this went quite fast, so we are sure if we can adjust the formwork-structure a little bit, we will be faster with placing it and wehopefully can set the roof up as soon as possible! On Saturday we had one more day of struggling with these formworks so we truly hope we can start producing our walls next week. Luckily Kwame and Joelle are staying with us a few more days so we are positive we will have serious progress by the end of next week.
Our team has also already grown again after all the departures this week. Welcome Beatrice, Florian and Andrea!
Well we have some pictures of our first rammed wall below which already looks quite cool we believe.
Please stay tuned and we try to update our Facebook profile as often as we can so keep on checking that as well!
Take care and warm regards from Sang!
The MUDcafeteria Team