We are very pleased to let everyone know that we poured the roof of the Spiritual and Community Center in Gatineau on Friday and began putting up blocks for the walls of the second floor the next day! This is great progress for us and we want to share some photos of the exciting events.
As is typical here in Haiti, the roof was framed using plywood held up by 2 x 4’s supported by long bamboo poles (bought locally in the area around Gatineau). On top of the plywood, iron bars were placed in a gridwork fashion and the iron columns were extended to support the walls and roof of the second floor. Ceiling boxes and plastic electrical pipes were placed in the midst of the iron bars to provide a means of supplying electricity to the ceiling of the first floor of the Center. All of this preparatory work was accomplished by Thursday afternoon.
Roof was framed using plywood and 2x4’s held up with bamboo poles.
Early Friday morning we made our way up the mountain to join about 30 workers who were assembled for the work ahead. Each worker had an assigned task. The masons were on top of the roof spreading out the concrete and finishing the surface. But, down below was the real activity! One crew was responsible for taking buckets of sand, gravel and water to the cement mixer to be mixed with bags of concrete. These guys made dozens of trips back and forth from the piles of sand and gravel to the mixer which was at the bottom of the ladder leading up to the roof.
One team of workers carried buckets of sand and gravel to the cement mixer
Once the cement was mixed, the concrete mixture was poured out on the ground and shoveled into buckets that were then transported up the ladder to the roof. This “bucket brigade” worked practically non-stop all day, from 8am to 2pm, stopping only for some bread and coffee mid-morning.
The concrete mixture was transported up the ladder to the roof by a “bucket brigade”.
At the top of the ladder, the buckets of concrete were poured into wheelbarrows that were wheeled across planks placed over the iron bars on the roof and dumped onto the roof in the area where the masons were working. The masons then pushed the concrete into all the spaces between the iron bars and smoothed out the surface on top using a 2x4.
Buckets of concrete mixture were poured into wheelbarrows at the top of
the ladder and taken over to the area where the masons were working.
Each space was filled in progressively.
Masons push the concrete down into all the spaces around the iron bars to be sure it gets to the bottom.
Another group of masons smooth out the concrete using a 2 x 4.
Towards the end of the day, the wheelbarrows and planks were removed and the remaining concrete was poured directly from the buckets onto the roof. This was when the workers knew the end was in sight!
Small remaining area of the roof being filled in with concrete poured from the buckets.
Then the masons smoothed over the whole roof with fine cement powder in order to create a smooth, consistent surface. Their jobs were the hardest and took the longest.
Masons work on the finishing coat of the concrete once it’s started to set.
After all the work was finished and the wheelbarrows, buckets, cement mixer and tools were cleaned up, everyone was treated to a dinner of chicken and rice and beans, prepared by some of our Haitian women friends who live near the clinic. It was a tasty end to an exciting day for everyone. Our dump truck took most of the workers back to Jérémie. Their pockets were full of cash and we were full of gratitude for a successful “roof pour”.
Our dump truck ready to transport the workers back to Jérémie, where most of them live.
Stay tuned in a few days for information and photos about the block walls going up on the second floor!