Monday, April 8, 2019

Final day on site and dedication ceremony

Today we only had a half day on site, because we were also hosting the home dedication ceremony.  We started to plaster the walls in only one room and then the gentlemen helped install the trusses for the roof.
Ryan carrying a truss for the roof

Sue, Julie and Micaela plastering the room

 We started with mixing the mortar and troweling it onto the walls.  We had to get a layer at least 1 inch thick.  We again had help from the local volunteers, who were much more skilled than we were.

 The gentlemen were able to get all 7 trusses onto the roof and the supports nailed in.

We also got the front window panes installed.  They were held in with putty that would seal the window once dry.

Patty and Ev installing the window panes

Patty and Ev on windows, Rick and Benedict on the roof
  We also got to get the front door ready by giving it a quick clean and then oil it with linseed oil.

Peggy oiling the front door
We were unable to get the aluminum sheeting on for the roof due to both time and weather.  It started raining towards the end of our work day, and continued throughout the day.  We brought balloons and the Habitat Lesotho staff helped us blow them up so we could hang them around the house.

Getting the balloons ready with Habitat Lesotho staff

  We then ended the roof work and started the dedication ceremony.  The village chief gave a talk about how thankful she was for both Habitat Lesotho and us for coming all the way to Lesotho to help give Tumisang a home.
The chief speaks
National Director of Habitat Lesotho Mathabo Makuta also gave a talk about our relationship with Habitat Lesotho.  This is our 1st trip to the country, but our second try to get there.  We first tried to come to Lesotho in 2014, but were diverted due to political unrest.  Tumisang also attempted to speak to us all, but was overcome with emotion.  His aunt gave a speech for him.

Tumisang trying to speak to the team

Tumisang's aunt speaking for him
 We were presented with a gift of a 5 gallon bucket of pinto beans from the chief, which we gave to Tumisang and his family, since we would not be able to bring them back to Colorado.

Beans, beans, beans
We were also presented with a Basotho hat and certificate from the affiliate.  After the ceremony was over, we had lunch catered in to the site, in the rain.

Here is the entire team with Tumisang in front of his house
We wished we would have been able to get the roof completed, but we were assured that the roof would be put on by Monday and then Tumisang would be able to begin to move in.  Abang, our host coordinator, stated that he would be able to send us a photo of the house with the roof on in the next couple of weeks.  Abang will be bringing another team into the village to build in 2 weeks.

This truly was an amazing experience for all involved.  This was the closest we got to completing a house since Cambodia, and it was especially impressive the amount of work that was completed in 3.5 days.  The community was amazing to work with and such a big part of why we were able to get so much done.  Thank you to Abang, our coordinator; Benedict and Azael our local construction crew; the chief and community for clearing this former kraal to make space for Tumisang's home; Lebohang, our Construction supervisor; Lebo, our Community coordinator; Mathabo the National Director, all the staff and local volunteers who came out to help us make Tumisang's dream come true.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Day 5: Inner wall and trusses

Today we started on the inner wall and we were building the trusses.  The masons had started the inner wall so it would be straight.

One room will be for a kitchen and the other room will be a sleeping/multi-purpose room.

The trusses were hand fabricated from a pattern from the masons.  Everything was cut with a handsaw and nailed together.

While we were working on the trusses, some of the locals came by to say hi!

We were able to get the windows secured into the walls once they were dry and set.

We got some help with the trusses from one of the village volunteers.

Here is a stack of the trusses.  We made 7 for the roof.

We also were able to put our names in the cement on top of the soak away.

Here is a shot of the progress of the inner wall.

We were also given the task of creating a wire anchor for the trusses before the roof can go on.  There were 14 in total.

We were also starting 2 garden plots for Tumisang to be able to start planting once he moves in.

All in all, it was a pretty productive day, hopefully tomorrow, which is our last day on site, we will be able to get the trusses up, roof nailed in and the walls plastered!

Fixing photos and catching up

Due to poor Internet connection at the hotel on Lesotho and power outages due to storms, the blog was unable to be updated in real time.  Some photos also didn't publish properly.  All photos have been fixed on the posts and there will be updates on the last 2 days soon, now that we are back to Johannesburg!  Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Day 4: Second day on site

Today, we continued building the walls of the house, and we were also in charge of digging a hole for a soak away, where the family can dispose of their dirty water so that it drains safely away from the house.

It was 1 meter by 1 meter with 1 meter in depth.  We then filled in the drain away with differing sized stones.

We then had the door installed along with 2 windows.

 We came back from lunch and put up some more rows of cinder blocks.

 We were joined again for the day by Tumisang, he did a lot of work helping us build his house.

 We ended the day with the walls almost complete and the soak away just needing a quick coat of cement.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Day 3: First day on site

Today we had a short drive to the worksite.  We were joined today by the homeowner Tumiseng, himself.

The village chief also came by to welcome us to the village.

  We started the day by mixing the concrete for the floor.  We mixed a total of 18 wheelbarrows of sand, 13 of stone and 7 bags of cement to fill in the floor.  That took a total of 2 hours to get the floor poured.

 We also were in charge of clearing the debris from the worksite that was cut down to make room for the house.  We then started building the rest of the house by putting up the walls.

The masons had the corners finished so we could have a good stating point for the middle of the walls. We were scheduled to complete 5 levels of brick, but we got a 6th started on the back wall.

We completed the debris clean up, and had the work site clean by 4pm. Many of the locals came by to watch and to also help out.  We had a steady supply of water brought from the town well by the local ladies.

We had the floor completed and finished, with the walls completed uo to 5 levels high by th time we were done for the day.  We also had finished clearing the debris as well.  All and all, it was a very productive first day!!!