THINGS ARE HAPPENING!
Exciting times here in Sindhupalchok!! After months of preparatory work, we have begun the construction of the new walls at the Siddhartha Primary School in Bimire. It has been an extremely long road to get here, and the success of our journey is due entirely to the hard work of our Nepali team and the hundreds of international volunteers that have come to volunteer with us. Eight months ago, we built the facility where we produce all of our earth blocks, five months ago we began making bricks everyday, two months ago we began demolishing the old walls of the school, and one month ago we finished production of our bricks. Ten days ago we placed our first bricks in the walls, and our masons are getting faster and more efficient with each day. It’s been such a long road to get to this point, and the school site looks different everyday, as we get closer to our completion date.
For those readers who don’t have the full background of our work down the hill, I will provide a bit of context. Several months ago Conscious Impact and YUWA got the permits to rebuild the Siddhartha Primary School, which serves about 75 kids in the village of Bimire. The old stone walls of the classrooms were badly damaged during the earthquake, while the steel structure survived virtually unharmed. Fortunately for the children, the earthquake occurred on a Saturday- the one day a week that kids don’t have school. In March we demolished the remains of the old classrooms and are now building new walls for the six classrooms and office. The stones from the old walls were used in an extensive span of retaining walls that spans three meters up from the terrace below to the largest structure and toilet area, and provides a nice new seating area. We will be building two new gathering and seating areas, redoing the toilets and adding a toilet for the teachers, and redoing the walkway on site to prevent flooding of classrooms during monsoon rains. All of the roofs have a shiny new coat of paint, and we have begun putting a new coat of paint on the steel. Our earth blocks are going in quickly, and I’m eager to see all of the progress continue to accelerate further.
So here we are now, over two and a half months into daily work at the school site, and we have just begun the final phase of our construction. Demolition and site retaining walls are complete, all of our foundation work is complete, and we’ve got four classrooms under progress while we wait for the rest of our bricks to cure and dry out. Our target completion date is approaching quickly, with about five weeks until monsoon rains are in full swing and construction becomes exponentially more difficult. At the rate the masons are working now, I don’t foresee us having any issues completing before the rains inhibit our ability to work.