IR12 Iggalore Phase 3

29th November 2013

Its Phase 3 already?  At the beginning of this week were all fresh back from phase review and all as astonished as each other to find ourselves in our final phase.  Knowing how fast time goes by here, we had to get going quickly; we’ll be on our way home before we know it.

This week we began work on one of our main projects, building a compound wall around the community hall in the neighboring tribal village of Balapadaga.  We’ve been working with several skilled masons who definitely like to challenge us. The wall went up in just two days, across which we learned a number of new skills including, sieving sand, mixing cement, laying mortar and packing bricks. 

We were all very excited by our fast progress, but also in for a surprise, suddenly the masons began to dig up the floor.   Despite the fact that this development was unexpected, we all agreed that the potholed floor was in urgent need of a spruce up and we had extra time and extra cement so why not?  We don’t want a drab floor next to our excellent new walls!  It was definitely a workout smashing up the floor with metal rods but also a good way of letting out the inevitable stresses involved in communal living!

Once we’d cleared the rubble of the old floor it was time for the new floor, also time for more cement.  The cement was delivered, mixed, laid and smoothed then mixed, laid and smoothed again after a particularly heavy afternoon rainstorm.  At the same time the newly built walls were plastered, we all had a try but ultimately decided to leave it to the professionals (and the villagers breathed a sigh of relief).  The walls are now ready for tomorrow’s job, painting.

Although we are all very pleased with our progress in Balapadaga, this week’s ‘icing on the cake’ was the delivery of the bins for our secondary project.  There are 8 bins altogether, 6 are placed here in Iggalore and 2 in Balapadaga.  Once full the rubbish inside can be burned and the bin is ready to be refilled.  The secondary projects committee, Dan, Sam and Rosie, chose locations for the bins based on areas where there has been a buildup of litter.  As a result, they had their work cut out for them digging through layers of compacted rubbish.  More hard work came when the heavy concrete cylinders that made up the bins arrived; we stacked them 3 high and plastered them together.  Some bins have even had special treatment with stone paths built to make access as easy as possible and encourage their use.

As you can tell our week has been heavily focused on construction, however, we have also managed to get on with lots of report writing and case studies and even had a mountain adventure which you will be able to read about in Sam’s upcoming blog.

We have had an incredibly productive week but couldn’t have done it without all the lovely masons and their motivating water fights, or the village women who taught us how to carry things properly, made us lots of cups of chai and generally put us to shame with their hard work.  Here’s to two more weeks as successful as this one!