I didn’t realize it had been so long since I posted an update on Lomngeletjane. Sipho is back on the job after the death of his daughter and things are moving along. The walls have been finished up to the top of the door frames. The next step is to build what is called the ring beam. This part of the construction is a bit tedious and takes a long time. I’ll show you the process via pictures.
Sipho called me late afternoon on August 31 saying he needed lumber for the following morning. So we went to the CashBuild in Manzini. I don't normally buy my materials at the Manzini CashBuild because there is another one in Matsapha that is closer to Lomngeletjane. I could tell that the guys at the Manzini CashBuild weren't sure how to tied the lumber on my bakkie. Sure enough, I went over a speed bump and almost lost the load. The following morning I called Sipho to come to St. Paul's and retie the lumber on my bakkie so we cold make it up to Lomngeletjane. It's great to have the bakkie because I can haul building materials instead of waiting for CashBuild to deliver them. I also save the delivery fee. However, there's been a few times when they didn't secure the load real good that the drive up to Lomngeletjane has been a bit slow and tense.
Sipho had to build these reinforcement frames out of re-bar. These frames are put on top of the block work that is completed up to the top of the door frame level.
This took a lot of time. It was all done by hand without any power tools. Sipho used a hack saw, some wire, and a pair of pliers.
If you look closely, you can see the re-bar frames along the back and side wall of the building.
These are the wooden molds that will go on the outside of the frames. Cement will be poured into these molds to form the ring beam. These molds are what we needed the extra lumber for.
This is the view of how the molds and frames are placed on top of the walls.
Once the molds and frames are in place, then concrete is poured into the mold.
These molds for the top of where the windows will be. While the concrete is still wet, flat pieces of metal are inserted into the concrete as certain intervals. These pieces of metal will eventually be used to secure the wooden tresses for the roof to the walls.
Today's progress: The ring beam has been finished on all four sides of the building. They will allow the concrete to dry in this last portion over the weekend and then begin taking down the molds on this section. Two more courses (rows) of blocks will be put on top of the ring beam and the gables at the end of the building and between the classrooms.