Last week for the project completion. Many tasks are yet to be fulfilled.
During the week end and early on Monday 7.11 we therefore went to buy few materials to Efiduase and Ejisu for the plumber and eletricians and other items, including about 70 yards of white fabric to be used as curtain and heating screens slightly underneath the roofing sheets. The eletricians finally came on Tuesday 8.11 and completed their work in one day and half. The plumber also finished the the bathroom and kitchen fixings in a short time, connecting all the inlet and oulet water pipes, the drainage, the watertank system with his filter.
On Wednesday 9.11 we took the chance to go to the tailor workshop at Abetenim, opened since last year but then facing the lack of projects and incomes issues, and now working again thanks to Hanlu, a volunteer from London. She helped us preparing the fabrics, though very busy those days, making the job along with the local tailor. The work consisted of sewing loops on two edges and joining pieces together to make the stripes wider and cover more roofing space between the trusses.
The same day we went to Opoku getting very close to the last rammed earth piece of his house. We also had a tour to the palm wine “factory”, tasting fresh palm wine just extracted, which turned out to be delicious!
By Sunday 13.11, we need to complete the main work and invite all the people to the inauguration event. The electric system is also operating and we could not help working until night hours.
Metal mesh, mosquito net, varnishin on plywoods, transparent sheets on gables, water flashings, gutters and babadua screens made these last days schedule busy of activities.
Saturday night we also fixed the fabric all under the metal sheets, with special handmade hooks and quarter rods as supporting bars. We really believe it is partially going to help against the overheating and the natural ventilation.
After completing the gutters, we made a kind of filter out of metal mesh frame and stones filling, right before the water tank inlet pipe, to prevent from solid matters, washed away from the roof during the first rains, to fall within the tank.
Sunday 13.11, stille before the party we had plenty time to nail more babadua over the openings and to prepare the floor down to the patio step, reusing wood and stone leftovers in order to give a walkable surface, making a small slope for the correct drainage. The middle will not be completed until the project is used. We have planned to plant a cocoa tree, as a symbol of wealth and richness, framed in a new meaning of cultural and artisanal rich knowledge. We then look forward for the first group, who will settle its activities and bring life within the project, to plant the tree.
Opoku’s house is also about to be completed. Saturday 12. 11 the last formwork was removed and we immediately started the roofing structure. We decided to donate left boards, meanwhile designing the cheapest kind of roofing structure he can afford, buying as less pieces of wood as possible after our departure. We really hope that the community will help Opoku to complete the house and let his dream to celebrate Christmas time in it with his family to become true.
The truss is made up of double 4by1 inches boards, which are about 12 feet long. Cutting these boards 8 feet the slope was not enough. The angle is very importante both for the rain drainage, the noise and for internal comfort. Thus, with more angle, more air can flows under the roof and the solar radiations are kept farther. We then cutted 9 feet, with 3 feet left to be used as overhanging of the veranda and the upper connection between the two roof beams. In order to lower to cost of this truss, we used a metal tie rod, cheaper and stronger than the wooden one.
The veranda will have metal square pipes as pillars with spot foundations made of concrete within old plastic bucket castings, with iron bar as joint, and placed above stone and sand level.
Moreover, on Friday 11.11 the last formwork has been removed. We are really thankful to all the volunteers and workers for their contribution, but first Opoku, who has kept the willing so high since the beginning until now, never asking for any kind of finacial support but working hard to buy the material, being humble and confident in his personal way to achive his life vision.
Best of luck Opoku! We really admire you.
The Sunday party was fun! Few guys from Abetenim danced for hours and what is meant to be the next working space for artisans became a dancefloor for one night!
After that night we still had time to complete last small works, such as the shower box made of covering sheets, the backside entrance with its staircase, the curtain with hooks towards the patio space, last babadua screens and gutter fixings.
On Monday 14.11 eARThouse is completed!
After hours of work and effort given by our volunteers, the project has been finally finished. It was a quite stressful but satisfying time here, eventhough the site still needs to be changed from the inside, from Nka itself, addressing a more relevant development strategy instead of let this place to be a showroom of empy structures. Otherwise, all the time and energies that we and all the volunteers have spent will be wasted forever. This is our biggest wish. We really hope and we are going to take on it, that this project and the others will host many artistic activities, following the initial but missing mission of Nka. The time here was really made of ups and downs. Who are we building for? Does the communty identify whit Nka’s site and is this new project part of Abetenim? These are the key questions which can turn the whole process into a meaningful and effective community development if properly answered. A huge thank to Mr. Mantey. His great open-mindness, generosity and friendly attitude kept our spirit and motivation up many times. We surely believe our collaboration and friendship will allow us to meet again and share more ideas about the local artistic development of rural villages in Ghana.
Time to go back home! Good bye all.