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August 10, 2012

south building concrete footing pour in progress, looking from east to west.

Day 10

August 10, 2012

I’d like to apologize for not posting more often, but our internet here has been very unreliable for the past week. Allow me to give a brief recap of the events I missed.

Day 3: We rented a bulldozer at the school site in order to effectively level off the area of land that the buildings will be placed (the footprint). Meanwhile at the bridge site, trenches were laboriously dug by hand and more rocks were placed around the bridge foundation to prevent erosion.

Day 4: The bulldozer was hired again, and the footprint was completely leveled off. Additionally, our entire property cleared of vegetation. At the bridge site, the trenches were completely dug, and gabion baskets (giant wire baskets meant to hold rocks) were assembled and placed in the trenches.

Day 5: At the school site, we surveyed and located the corners of the 2 buildings that are being worked on this trip. At the bridge site, lots of rock was moved from the pile in the village down to the bridge and into the gabion baskets.

Day 6: School site-a backhoe was hired and footing trenches were dug, along with a trench for a culvert. Bridge site-even more rock was moved into the gabion baskets (moving rock is a herculean task).

Day 7: School site-the footing trenches were completely dug and began to be filled with gravel. Bridge site-the gabion baskets were completed and more rock was placed in front of and behind the baskets in order to support the dam.

Day 8: School site-the footing trenches were almost totally filled with gravel, and rebar (metal reinforcing rods) were laid out on top of the gravel. Bridge site-since the bridge reparations are done, the bridge team (Eden and Dr. Thomson) toured Accra for most of the day, then departed for the U.S. in the evening. We all ate pizza with them in Accra before seeing them off at the airport.

Day 9: We finished filling the footing trenches with gravel, and started pouring the concrete footing!

Day 10: We finished pouring the footing on the larger south building, and started pouring the footing on the smaller east building.

Day 2, Grading Begins

August 2, 2012

Today, we split into our two main teams: bridge repair team (tasked with repairing the Gidi foot bridge built by UWPlatt EWB several years ago) and the school team. Bridge team members include Eden, Dr. Thomson, and Ian. School team members are Allison, Andrew, Ethan, Katheryn, and Joe. The bridge team accomplished much, filling in a gap in the bridge abutment completely with grout. The school team waited for two hours until the grader finally arrived (hooray!) and then surveyed elevations periodically while the grader worked for seven hours. We also planned out grade slopes and building locations. Other than that, there wasn’t much to do but eat, juggle rocks, toss around oranges, and explore the tropical vegetation. We will be obtaining heavier earth-moving equipment tomorrow, and foresee Saturday as being the last day of grading. I’ll keep you updated as often as our SLOW internet allows.

~Andrew Gunderson

We Made It!!!

August 1, 2012

The short of it is: the 2012 UWPlatt EWB travel team is safely in Accra, Ghana. The long of it is: we endured a 14 minute flight from Milwaukee to Chicago (just wait, it gets better), a 9 HOUR LAYOVER at O’Hare airport, an 8 hour flight to London (yes, the sight of the Olympic games), a 5 hour layover, and finally -gasp- an 8 hour flight to Accra.

After a welcome night of sleep at our hotel and new home for the next month, we got right to work on Wednesday meeting with village elders and the Chief Municipal Executive ( who graciously granted us free reign over his grading machine). We then proceeded to prepare the school sight for grading by lifting mounds of 50 lb bricks off the land and surveying current elevations, boundaries, etc. Hopefully, we begin grading the sight tomorrow!

Andrew Gunderson

Leaving for Ghana Tomorrow

July 29, 2012

We are getting ready to leave for Ghana tomorrow morning. We will be there for one month, beginning construction on the NAVA Primary School.

We will be posting updates about the progress of the construction as we are able.


Leaving for Ghana in one week

July 23, 2012

Hello all,

We will be flying out to Ghana to start implementation of the NAVA primary school in one week. We will be posting info about the trip as much as we can on this page, so check back here throughout the trip.


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