It has been step-by-step. The first step was buying the
bricks. Joel found a deal on 5,500 bricks that would be needed to build a safe
and healthy place for the orphans to sleep.
|Count 'em (5,500)|
Well… that was not actually the first step. The first step
was deciding what type of building we would make. Making an adobe-type building
would be very cheap, but in that wet climate, these buildings need constant
upkeep, and in the end, they do not last long. I learned this in the last wet
But a building with a concrete floor, brick walls, and tin
roof is very expensive—almost ten times as much as a mud building. Nevertheless,
next to food and clothing, a good place for the children to sleep in the most
important need. The conditions that they have at this present time create a lot
of illness, especially during the rainy season. Because of all these
considerations, a concrete and brick building this is the type that we have
begun to undertake.
I have decided to include the materials list below, which
also includes some labor costs. Much of the labor will be done by the church
people, but there is some that they do not have the skills needed to do.
|Ballast for the concrete|
As you look at the materials below, you will notice that
they have terms that we do not use here. The “ballast concrete” for example, is
not concrete. It is the course material for the gravel/sand mix. “Rintals” are
what we call rebar.
I have also had some well-meaning people in the US give me
advice in cost reduction, for instance, using cement block instead of bricks.
There are two things that I will say in response to this:
1: These people who have given me advice may be wonderful
builders here in the US, but none of them that have talked to me have any
experience at all in building in an overseas third-world country. They do not
understand that you cannot simply transpose what is best here with what is best
in these countries. I am not a builder by trade, but I have built or been
involved with construction in several foreign countries, including India,
Mexico, Venezuela and Guatemala. I have seen enough that I understand that one
needs to listen to the locals.
2. Also, I still maintain a high level of trust with Pastor
Joel and the leadership of the Log Church of Kisii. I saw how they deliberated
over the smallest of purchasing decisions where the price difference was only
two or three dollars. Joel is saving all of the receipts for the materials and
everything that he has purchased, and I am planning another trip there sometime
this winter. Perhaps there are some things that we could do to save costs, and
sometimes a person from the outside is able to see these things, at least this
has been my experience.
The list is below. “KSHS” stands for Kenya Shillings, the
currency of the country. Since one Shilling is worth about a penny US, you can
make a quick currency conversion by simply moving the decimal point two places
to the left. Example: KSHS 80,000 = about $800. It is actually a little less
than that but it is close. If you are a stickler for detail, you can find
currency converters online.
1. Ballast concrete 5 Lorries@Kshs.
16,000 per lorry KSHS 80,000
2. Sandys 8 lorries@Kshs 18,000 KSHS 324,000
3. 380 Bags of cement@950 per bag KSHS 361,000
4. 5,500 bricks@Kshs. 15 KSHS
5. Wall pass 1, roll@Kshs. 4,000 KSHS 4,000
6. 16, Y 12 RINTALS@850 KSHS
7. 12, y 8 rintals@ Kshs. 500 KSHS 6,000
8. Binding wire 1 roll@Kshs.3,500 KSHS
9. Ordinary nails 1 sack KSHS 6,000
10. Roofing nails@ Kshs. 6,000 KSHS 6,000
11. 200, 14 ft pieces of timber 4 by 2@
kshs. 24 per ft KSHS
12. 180, 14 ft pieces of timber 3 by 2@
kshs. 2 per ft KSHS
13. 9 WINDOW STEEL@Kshs. 5,500 per
14. 3 door@Kshs 12,000 KSHS.
15. Iron sheet 180@1250 KSHS.
16. Labour work cost KSHS.
17. Transport cost
I will plan on writing more about this in the weeks to come
as we think that we now have enough that we can actually begin to build. Because
of some very nice gifts by people from some unexpected places, we have enough
materials to begin. We do not have everything, in fact we still lack about
$10,000. But we have the “ballast,” we have the “sandys” we have the bricks,
and now we think we will have enough for the cement.
Oh, there is one more thing. Even in Kenya they have
building codes, especially when building for children. When a government
inspector visited the site where we are to put the building, he determined that
it was not suitable to put the concrete directly on the ground. He told Joel
that he needed first to apply a base of “marrum” (Neither did I know what this
was and neither did Mr. Google, unless it is a village in the Netherlands).
|Marrum (not the town)|
But Joel sent me a picture, and I immediately recognized the
type of material that he was talking about. I have seen it on building sites
all over the world. It provides a hard and impermeable base on which to put the
concrete so that the floor does not crack.
We have not forgotten that most of the kids cannot now attend school because of the high cost, but we consider this an even more important need.
That’s enough for now. More next week.
"Praise the Lord!"
"Praise the Living Lord!"