The vocational students undergoing training and some basic education have been without a proper school for many months now, after the landlord refused to renew the rental contract on the workshop they had been using. As a result, the students were forced to do only theory classes and English, Math, and French (which I helped teach). Through the effort of a few volunteers, enough money was raised to build a new building for the vocational unit on the new school site. The new school site is a half hour walk from the current school, on donated land in a much more peaceful setting, closer to many of the students’ homes. While I was there, 4 normal school rooms were already in use by the primary school, and at the moment work is continuing on increasing the capacity of the new site so that the entire school can eventually move there.
I spent a few weeks working on the construction site for the new vocational unit, which I really enjoyed! There were plenty of bugs, as you can tell by the photos from the August 18 post in which you can see the several-dozen bites I had at one point.
This is the classroom for the vocational students in the town, which is clearly not suitable:
This is the new vocational unit as it appeared when I began helping:
The students chiseled holes for the electrical wiring and put the wiring in protective plastic hosing:
We began our work with the windows. The iron bars had to be hammered on to the wood frames, then placed in the window spaces, which was not at all easy. Those things weigh a tonne!
Kristin worked especially hard
Once all the windows were in place, with wooden wedges to hold them there, the chiselling began. Several of us spent many hours chiselling away at the cinder blocks and reinforced concrete beams to make these little holes to put nails in for anchoring the windows with cement:
The next big job was the flooring – this meant days and days of carrying sand, cement, gravel, and water up and down, back and forth, in wheelbarrows and buckets, in hot sun and blasting rain, and through the mud. I also did some cement mixing. I don’t know how those guys work at this for so many hours with so little food and so few breaks, I was downing a litre of water every 3 hours on the site even when it was pouring rain!
Plastering the walls had to be done with cement mixed from a finer sand and without gravel:
The wood ceiling boards were put in by specialists, as well as iron doors on the room which will house expensive equipment, and the vocational students helped put the wooden doors in.