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posted Jun 25, 2010, 8:16 AM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Jun 26, 2010, 6:01 AM by Ethan Shirley ]
At last, our first concrete batch!



3 wheel barrows sand

2 wheel barrows gravel

1 sack concrete

Few buckets of water



3-4 shovels

3-4 shovel-holders



Pour all dry ingredients on ground into mound. Position shovels and shovel-holders around the mound, directing them in circular motion to combine the dry. Make a well so the mound looks like a volcano. Add water a half bucket at a time. Continue until the architects say so.


We now all know why people invest in concrete mixers for construction – we almost didn’t need to add water after our shovel-holders started sweating. And that’s just one pile, from my best estimates we have about a million to go. Renting a concrete mixer is a reasonable proposition – only about R$200 / 4 weeks, but then it also takes about R$90 / week in diesel – and our project has been almost entirely manpowered up to this point.


And what’s more, we started our foundation. After a demonstration by the architects, the trenches were loaded with novice brick-layers, trowels, plumb-bobs, and something called a story board – a fool proof wood stake that measuring from the string showed us where the concrete bed should be, the first brick and onwards through the seventh brick.

And ConstruMax arrived with the final load for this first phase. So now our site is fully stocked, and we have a crew of semi-expert brick-layers.


GIEU crew has been working in pairs with Miltom for lunch, and today Robert and Liz swayed the kitchen to make mac & cheese – mmmm.