Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Health Center Building Update

Things are really starting to happen with this health center building project!  I just received word from PC Headquarters in America that we were officially approved and should see the money by the end of next week.  On Saturday we are choosing our contractor (from a final pool of 3 people vying for the job) and selecting our building site.  The building site I’ve been imagining in my head looks like it’ll be a difficult place to build because we’d have to get the devil Escom out here to move the power lines.  But someone suggested a site slightly up the hill from the current Health Center, where there are no other interferences and an ample amount of land and a beautiful view of Nkhata Bay.  It would also leave the current land open to further development later.  We’ll have to do an environmental impact survey before we approve it, but I hadn’t even thought of that area!  The District Health Officer sent a surprise representative to approve our project and to inform us of how his office can help.  From him we’ll get some transport for materials, help with plumbing and electrification, some amount of specialized labor and brick layers to keep the building up to code (whatever that means in Malawi).  By the end of next week we expect to have the building site cleared and the foundation dug!  It’s happening!!!

The villages have come together and over the last two weeks and molded 109,000 bricks.  Only 49,000 to go!  Here’s some pictures of Monday’s brick burning bonanza:

So first they stack all the bricks so to leave
openings at the bottom for  the fires

This guy's stacking the bricks on the top of the structure.
And its a bomb picture.

This is Village Headman Chipayika.  What a sweet old man, posing with his bricks!

Then they cover the structure with mud and build huge fires
in the  spaces underneath the structure.

This is a baby, named Mercy.  She was playing in the pile of unstacked bricks.
They wanted me to take a picture of her because they were laughing that she represented
child WAS pretty funny.

Mixing the mud to cover the structure

Smoke coming up through the cracks in the giant brick super-structure.
The top isn't too hot yet, so they men are quickly stacking the last of the bricks.

Guy in foreground is smearing mud.  Two oldies are stoking their fires.

I also took some videos, for Dad.  Can't load them though.


  1. This is really cool! You should be very proud of this work!