Project Casa (Part 2)

June 20, 2009

We had been planning for the big day for the last month.  We rescheduled the work day at least three or four times in the last week.  After using much airtime & SMS the previous night to confirm that the people and the tools were available, we kept our fingers crossed hoping the welder, the power driller, the carpenter, the hammer power drill, the generator, the ladder, the driver and the double-cabin truck would still follow through the next day for Project Casa.

June 19, 2009

8:00 a.m

As I headed out to buy chapatis for our worker-friends, Fractal purified 10L water for them.

8:30 a.m

I arrived at the college to find the carpenter, the driver, and the truck. Fred, the carpenter, who was talking to the security guard greeted me, “tusaigaire,” (we’re pleased to see you) at the gate.  I greeted him back, & we went on a hunt across the college campus to locate the truck and the driver.

8:45 a.m

We found a college employee in the white double cabin truck,  which Fractal and I worked hard to procure to transport our crew of workers and tools at 9 am to work on the house, who informed me that he’s currently driving it and running an errand for the college.  He pointed to a single cabin truck and told me that I could take that.  When I inquired why he wasn’t using that one, he retorted that there was no fuel in it.  Before he drove off, he added that he would be back in thirty minutes.

8:50 a.m

While I texted Fractal to wrap things up at the house and come to the college, Fred called the driver and urged him to come to work.

8:51 a.m

I called the college estate manager to inform him the situation.  He assured me that the employee would be back in fifteen minutes.

9: 45 a.m

The driver John and the employee who took the truck arrived back at the college .

9:50 a.m

As Fred gathered his tools, he told me that the college electrician took the ladder and left it in the building that stored the water pump.

10:00 a.m

We drove to the water-pump building half a kilometer away from the main campus to find the ladder inside and the door locked.  John quickly thought and confidently assured us that his friend in F-town had a ladder we could borrow for free.

10:30 a.m

We finally left the college and proceeded to F-town that’s 2 km away to pick up the welder, the driller, and the other tools.

10: 40 a.m

As the welder Alex loaded his gadgets, I called Abrahim, the driller, who owned the hammer power drill, to check whether he was ready to be picked up.  He informed me that he was in Kampala, three hours away, and just took a taxi to get back to F-town.  After I talked to Abrahim, I made a quick call to Sam, owner of the generator, to inquire how much it would cost to rent the generator for two days.  He told me he wouldn’t charge any additional cost for renting it the next day, but would charge 30,000 USh ($15, high for 2 PCV’s on a meager budget) to pick up the generator from the village since we wouldn’t have the truck the next day. Then I turned to Fractal to narrate my calls to Abrahim and Sam, and we both concluded that we would need to cancel the welding and drilling again.

11:15 a.m

As we proceeded back to the college to drop off Fred, I suggested that we could still get some work, like sealing the vents in the storage and the changing the locks in the house that we commissioned the carpenter to work on, done.   We also picked up some bulky items in town that we couldn’t transport in a taxi and took them back to the village.

11:45 a.m

We reached our destination and offered some tea and chapatis to John and Fred.

12: 45 p.m-5:40 p.m

Reenergized Fred worked on taking out the inside locks, chiseling a bigger cavity for the new lock to fit in each of the three doors, and installing the new robust Mortise locks.  Fractal and I marked black dots on the walls for drilling holes–we wanted to make for the insertion of the hooks and anchors for the steel lines that would serve as a lattice for our mylar pseudo ceiling.  We also draped our six windows-frames with the three-layered no-peeping curtains; we anchored the bottom two corners and fastened the top two corners to a vertical pulley on each side that allowed them to be pulled upwards.

5:45 p.m

Fred, Fractal and I admired the colorful yellow, red, and purple curtains that added more color to the blue walls and silver heavy-duty Mortise locks that adorned the doors.  Fred and I commended Fractal on those fine knots he learned to make as a Boy Scout.  We thanked Fred for the more extensive work than he anticipated in installing the locks.

6:45 p.m

After John dropped us back, we headed to the trading center where we bought our dinner of Rolex (an omlette rolled in a chapatti) and cassava chips.

7:30 p.m

As I feasted on the Rolex, I told myself that Rome wasn’t build in a day,  and was comforted that some thing was done today.

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3 Responses to “Project Casa (Part 2)”

  1. Sara M said

    I’m coming to Uganda August 2nd as a Community Health volunteer and have really enjoyed reading your blog! Thanks for the updates 🙂

  2. hasse Halley said

    True Rome was not built in a day but it also wasn’t in Uganda

  3. alex said

    it sounded like you guys had a lot of variables (never a good thing in a developing country) but good job getting some of it done. are there any photos of the house anywhere?

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