As soon as the backside trusses were done, the carpenters moved to the front to complete the small ones covering the two working spaces. The design is slightly different since we are trying to use less wooden boards and save time and money, and the structure will not be affected by this reduction in term of load bearing capacity.
On Monday 10.10 the big working space on the right side of the entrance has been covered. The day after, it was time for the other smaller space on the left side which will be used either as working space or living room, just near the kitchen.
Before raising the pillars facing the patio space, it was necessary to get a trotro to Kumasi and buy longer bolts for the metal feet joints. Sometimes, tracing tools and even basic working equipment like long screws, bolt and nots, might becomes tricky and stressful here. Many stores between Juaben, Ejisu and Efiduase, the closest towns to Abetenim, usually sell the same products. Unfortunately the construction market here and throughout the whole country is very standardised and monopolised by foreign companies. Moreover, imported materials are cheaper, thus, in the end, people can only buy limited object with no many choices.
This week the team have set up the timber framing for bathroom and kitchen walls, made out of 2×3 profiles and a plywood covering panels.
On Tuesday 11.10 the first layer of Opoku’s house has been finished!
After that we came back to site to carry few barrows of soil for the floors filling and some stones to level the bottom of the pad foundations for the water tank tower.
During the afternoon, Adyengo the carpenter led us to the metal sheets shop in Kumasi, where we decided to buy red corrugated alluminium metal, cups and gutters as well as some transparent sheet.
On Thursday 20.10 the team prepared again few formworks for concrete pourings of bathroom floor, the outside corridor and the sidewalk around the patio, which are all schedule for the next day.
The same day, prof. Mantey came to visit us back again and to stay for few days to organise the artistic symposium with Ellis, Edward and Stefano.
The strong enthusiasm shown by these guys is bringing back new life and energy to the Arts Village, which is otherwise an empty space with any artistic activities going on. Thanks to them we could interact with crossing cultural backgrounds, listening and seeing different expressions of art and life. We also look forward to enjoy the mural they are painting on the Junior school at the village, commissioned by Frank Appiah, as the principal of the all schools of Abetenim.
Friday, everybody was ready at 6 am, for a long and strenuous working day, like any single day here since 4 months ago, to be honest! But the deadline is so close that we cannot give up now to complete the project on time.
We spent almost 5 hours to pour the concrete everywhere, checking the right slopes to channel the water down properly. Odas, the same mason who worked with us during the foundations, did it quite fast and restless. The final result is yet to be unfolded. We are now going to wait about two days and start to work again on finishings.
The roof covering, as first concept, was made by natural material such as bamboo or rafia palm. As mentioned before, unfortunately, due to long maintenance work and time matter, it has been decided to buy metal sheets, aware that it won’t bring any advantages in terms of living confort, like cooling and acoustic insulation. On one hand this decision makes us embittered, on the other hand it represents another challenge. In fact, matal coverings are the most popular trend Ghana nowadays. What we wish to achieve is mainly the reduction of noise during heavy rains, while the heating can be prevented by a light ceiling. We then bought few yards of gardening pipe, to be half cut and placed in between the roof structure an the metal sheets. It should help absorbing the drop noise as an acoustic membrane, but we will not discover it until the next rainstorm!
During the week-end, we moved to Opoku’s place and kept on ramming half second level. More updates are coming soon..