perjantai 23. syyskuuta 2016

Martti gets used to Malawi life


City, Blantyre in the morning. And surprise, surprise, most of the shops closed. I found it what I'm looking for, that is, prices for materials, which we need on a construction site. Prices are something Tokmanni level, as is the case of imported goods. I also walked around in the grocery store, the price level is about one tenth of the Finnish. Fresh fruit seem to be this time of year partly imported, vegetables as well. You understand this, when you know the price and availability of water. 

Just imagine the situation in the case of electricity. In this country only part of the demand is produced and not imported from abroad. For example, here in the south,10 kilometres from city electricity reportedly available to you today, to me tomorrow -system;) 

Pizza tasted, really all the same to wherever one eats, the same taste. Inexpensive restaurants have on their backyard charcoal grill. Fried chicken, steaks, someone is trying to offer a salad, which has been there since morning, no thank you. The price level in those restaurants, well, move a comma one notch to the left;) 


Today's meeting in the evening, before the city to see if now shops open 

After all, they are open. Many prices of goods have now been adjusted to the local level. Some of them are quite at the level of Finland, the price of some things make you to ask twice; is it really that cheap. 

I also got the receipts that Regina had left at his uncle's photo shop. Everything is ok. 
Local taxi surprised me again;) Prepared that he might be delayed, that is, I agreed with him coming to pick me up from the centre at half past three. I said that I have to be in Limbe at four o'clock. Meeting was scheduled to start at five o'clock. And the taxi driver appeared like ten past four. Good explanation was yes, he was stuck at the bank counter, money transfer had failed. Started to be bit irritated, or I was, because my intention was to tour Limbe before a rush hour. That I told him only the next day. 

Two-hour meeting, at George
’s, architect Grace and a land surveyor. He made an offer for the costs of compulsory school area measurements and marking, preparation of drawings and all the paper work. 

It was agreed that if our Malawi Association's Board of Directors approves the offer, we leave on Thursday morning early (at the same time I need time for gathering samples of gravel deposits). Gravel is tested, whether it is suitable to make concrete.) 

With Grace we spoke questions related to construction, here are a few answers; 

- Roof trusses will be made of iron, as it is here very cheap, if a control is pressure-treated wood, which would only be suitable from certain types of wood. So, welders needed 

- In Francis Kéré’s drawings under the same roof, there are three categories, one to be dropped off 

- Covered area between the two classroom space, 7,5 x7,5 m, plans are made for teachers' room and storage, both 3,5x3,5, where teachers can work (a space required by recent government guidelines, between them also is a door 
- Those rooms can be made with already burned clay bricks on the site, if necessary to cover the walls with concrete plaster for protection from rains 

- Classrooms don’t open straight out, the classroom doors will open onto that covered  space 

- Intermediate ceiling is not made from bricks, as it is in Kéré’s drawings. Its structure must take into account many things, among others. rain water access, classroom ventilation 

- the stone foundation base is made to prevent torrential rain waters swiping out the foundations and in that way the building will remain intact

- Classrooms in Malawi are generally 7 x 7 meters,  we stretch it to produce the room size 7.5 x 10 m 

- The so-called stone floors made of concrete, on top of a layer of sand is placed in the mixture with only stones, cement and water. That structure dries quickly, on the top of it a concrete slab is cast. Such a floor is "warm" ... even here in the concrete floor may seem la bit cold ... In addition to its structure it is inexpensive to make 

- preparing the soil for foundation the use of ram is adequate  

What two-hours. We got a lot done really. 

On the way back with George we had time to chat about Finland, the refugee situation and the peaceful country. I got George to admit that even he is not always appreciating enough the importance of peace, actually he should be happy about the present situation in Malawi. 

 After arriving back to my lodgings I had a cup of tea, a couple of slices of toasted bread. Understanding and speaking in English is strenuous enough for me so I fell asleep immediately that night. I am glad to notice that understanding the language is successful, talking will require plenty more practice 


The city in the morning, waiting for decisions. I went to work, the photo-shop’s computer was slow, 1 TB hard drive seemed to be full, but it could not have been. A couple of folders, which I’m not able to see, not to touch, seemed to take more than 900 megabytes of disk space ... work for Linux guru, my skills are not enough. 

Lunch became replaced by two quite big cups of filter coffee and a large slice of chocolate cake. For two weeks I have not even tasted any coffee, so it was very good. After all I cannot even think of drinking instant coffee. 

Dinner in the inn, steak with trimmings, 3500 Kw, not bad. In the evening, exchanges about today’s meeting. 


The trip to Muona rescheduled The exchange of messages with our Malawi team member and members in Finland, writing this text: the inspiration came from homeland.

I'm trying to connect to America, to see if I could get the collectors, damn engineers are not able to calculate the cost of transport from there to Malawi. Fortunately, I know there's someone  who will speed things up if he wants to. 

Continued tomorrow. 

Best Regards


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