Life goes on in Gandiol. In this new life it is easy to let yourself go: the calm the sea breeze… Very peaceful, but also busy. The door keeps opening and closing and welcoming new smiles, hugs and greetings every day. Full of vitality, but also with free pass for the flies’ parade that has decided to settle in our house and taste our refreshing mangos. And they have told us that this has just started! We are already testing different techniques to catch them out… but any idea is more than welcome!
At the end of the week Mamadou traveled to Rosso looking for our long-awaited clay. Ramadan and the sun scorching the clay quarry explained that there were no people working there. Time is short until the rainy season arrives, so we decided to ask for the bricks in order to have them as soon as possible. We have already commissioned more than 2000 blocks, enough to raise the walls of the library and the administration, and on Thursday we received the first truck that had to overcome the sand with everyone´s help to get to the ground. We have also received about 1500 blocks of CEB (compressed earth block). A gift from Doudou, a Senegalese engineer who has helped us from the beginning… Djerejef Doudou!
Sunday the second meeting with the community took place, the first since we arrived. We prepared the model with rhythm and with lots of motivation, eager to see what they will think. The objective was to integrate people and show the project, besides, we also wanted to hear their comments and proposals regarding the design and construction techniques. We had in mind to define construction details such as the floor, doors and windows, landscape, furniture… with the community. When they intervened, one by one, we realized that what they wanted was to contribute and think about how the Center will be used and that is something that made us see a great potential on it. After all, the infrastructure is easy to raise, but what really matters is that the space is used and managed so that it becomes a real tool for development. So we are on the good track!
Other materials have also arrived during this week, like, gravel, sand, cement, metal skeleton, but we have had problems with one of the most necessary elements: the water! We started to dig a hole in the ground hoping to reach fresh water, but things did not happened like we wanted. Therefore, we decided to concrete the hole and use it as a water reservoir to manufacture concrete for the foundation. Besides, we can see clearly the need for a water collection system that will help to maintain the orchards in a sustainable manner. We are doing maths to understand the collection capacity and optimize the system to the fullest since even when it rains, it happens with strength, the rainy days are rare throughout the year…
We would also like to introduce you to Ndaga, whom you will get to know more during the development of this project. A highly motivated worker who doesn’t stop smiling even for a second despite the hunger, thirst and heat during this month of Ramadan, an example of strength and overcoming! He is already digging ditches and everything moves at an astonishing pace… Exactly how our Xarit was!