• Abigail Weeks

Dig, Lay, Backfill, Repeat

Remember when we mentioned that it was difficult to find labor for this project? Yesterday we confirmed with the headmaster that we would need two unskilled laborers and two masons for today. Well, this morning Emily and Abbie booked it up to the school and, the work site being void of people, you could hear the crickets laughing.

Apparently there was a dispute going on with the construction manager/contractor and the labor for a different project so the Masons we had been hiring on a day by day basis (who originally worked at a different site at the school) had gone to Charikot (the nearest town 5 hours away) and the unskilled labor didn’t want to work without them there.

But don’t think that stopped us! The four of us got straight to work backfilling the now completed drainage system at the tap stands and excavating a trench for the piping from a valve box to the new tap stand. We then laid the pipe, tested all connections (golden), and back filled. We also resurfaced some of the school area.

Daniel and James shovel

Working Hard

We adjusted some rebar lengths and ensured the horizontal rebar was level.

Checking and adjusting rebar

finished rebar

Exhausted doesn’t begin to cover it, but after a morning DBT (Daal Bhat and Tarkari) we got to work up at the tank.

Using a drill and a bit for concrete we drilled out a hole in the tank for a second pipe, ensuring a steady supply for the water system. The drill bit was too small so we painstakingly leveled and expanded the hole to fit a 1/2” pipe. Daniel finished off the job well with a chisel.

Abbie drills into the tank

Daniel's expert chiseling

Emily and Daniel designed lids for our 3 valve boxes, secured the piping in the new tap stand with binding wire. James and Abbie put epoxy and mortar around the new pipe at the tank to seal the system.

A few blisters (James), a bad sun burn (Daniel), a liter of sweat (Abbie), and two sore arms (Emily) later, we got a ton of work done today.

Hopefully in the next few days we will be able to dig up a mason to help us pour the wall of the tap stand and build the valve box lids. Otherwise, we’re about to become a heck of a lot better than we ever imagined at everything to do with concrete. While we feel confident in our ability to learn to do all work the mason could, without a technical mentor present, nor any experience among us, we will be working hard to find a mason.

Wish us luck!


The Laborers

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