Friday, June 12, 2015

Exterior Ceramic Brick Walls - Ongoing Work

The major work on the project at the moment is with the exterior red ceramic bricks. This has proven to be a slow process to get the masons to work to the desired consistency, quality and design. The severe heat wave of the past few weeks and now the monsoon rains have made for difficult working conditions. Some interior electrical conduit, rough plumbing and plaster work is still ongoing, however this will be caught up with the exterior brick masons within the next few weeks.

OPD waiting parapet and column brick work
Pharmacy walls being erected on the second level of OPD waiting 
Northwest wing brick work continuing
Site drainage work as the monsoon rains have now arrived

Thursday, May 07, 2015

MCH New Building - Rooftop Photosphere

Photosphere view from the roof of the new hospital building. Incredible view of the Chittagong Hill Tracks on clear mornings.

 Rooftop view from the new hospital building

Sunday, April 26, 2015

All Project Slab Castings Completed

This past Saturday the final major slab casting was completed. This is a monumental milestone for the project as it was the 14th major pour over the past 15 months and the completion of 162,000 sq feet of slabs. With this work completed the remaining phase 1 interior work can be concentrated on.  The contractor and our team are all excited about this next step in construction.

South view of project after completion of all slab castings

Holly & Jon reviewing work during this last slab casting
Ongoing casting on the final slab
 The final few square feet. Big cheers by the crew went up when finished.

We setup a game with the contractor supervisors to celebrate the last casting

Thankfully I was not the only one a bit out of shape


Saturday, April 04, 2015

Phuket, Thailand

I attended a 3 day retreat offered by Thrive Ministry in Phuket, Thailand in February.  They are held in various places around the world for North American Women working overseas in a context similar to ours.  I highly recommend it.  Here is the link to their website:

The event was held at the Centara Karon Resort in Karon Beach, Phuket.  The resort was wonderful and close to a lovely beach.  

I stayed an extra day and was able to visit the Ko Phi Phi islands with several of the volunteers.  We took a speed boat to Ko Phi Phi Don for lunch and then moved on to Ko Phi Phi Leh for snorkeling and exploring.  Beautiful shear cliffs and turquoise water:)

Ko Phi Phi Don

Phaya Naak Cave

 A lookout on Ko Phi Phi Leh not far from a sandy beach


Harvest Season

Bangladesh has many seasons (even now after 2 years I still don't know all the seasons - up to 8 some people say) and every season seems to be a good time to plant some crop, especially rice, however the most common season for planting vegetables is the winter season when the air is cooler and dry. This is when we are able to grow our gardens and enjoy the many vegetables not commonly available in the markets here (sweet corn, broccoli, sweet peppers, lettuce, French beans, Brussels sprouts, garden beets, Swiss char, cherry tomatoes, peas, and so on). It is always exciting when the first crops come in and we can enjoy fresh salads and freshly steamed garden vegetables.  We are now almost at the end of our personal garden season, yesterday afternoon I collected a few of the remaining veggies, however the market is still full of other good produce (carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin and other local veggies) Watermelon is the favorite fruit of this season as the weather is starting to get hot and they are easily available for about two months.

House #2 - Barrett Garden
Bananas from our garden

Taking pumpkin blossoms and eggplant to market

Peanut harvest

Potato harvest

Straw from rice harvest
Pinapples starting to grow in our garden

Tobacco harvest - unfortunately a cash crop in the hills that takes up a lot of good agricultural land from the locals


Thursday, March 19, 2015

MCH Project - Casting, Cutting and Overviews

The New Hospital Building continues to take shape little by little every day.
Building view from Northeast (property corner adjacent to the national highway).

North view of the building - central stairs and lift core can be seen in the middle connector.

5th floor slab (roof) of the central building core was cast this past week. The elevator machine room will extend twelve additional feet above the lift core.

South Terrace

Interior electrical conduit cutting has started (3rd floor West - Male Wing)

Exterior ceramic bricks have started to arrive on site this week. Setup and install will start next week.

Site Overview from the roof of the existing hospital building

Saturday, February 28, 2015

MCH - East Wing Roof - Completed

The East Wing Roof was cast today from 5:15am till 3:15am the next morning (22 hours). This is the last of the large wing castings. Over the next six weeks all the remaining structural works will be completed with one more medium size (6,000 sq ft) and one small (2,000 sq ft) slab.

East Wing Roof - Slab Casting - Feb 28, 2015
Site Overview - Feb 24, 2015

New Project View from Existing Hospital Entrance

Progress on the OPD waiting and Pharmacy Area

West Wing - West Elevation Progress


Friday, February 20, 2015

Kuta, Lombok

Our last full day away we spent in Kuta, Lombok which was a lot of fun. Eating good fish, scootering around and some final surfing.

Up and down the coast there was a beautiful untouched beach at every cove. A lot of  fun on a scooter exploring looking for waves at each place. (too bad I don't know much about good surfing waves)

Looking down at Kuta and bays beyond to the East

Kuta Bay - still fairly undeveloped and much of a fishing village

Very granular sand on the beach - makes it hard to walk

Hiring a boat to take us out to a few surf breaks for the afternoon

Jon paddling back to the boat from the Don Dons break


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mt. Rinjani Crater Rim Trek

After a few days on the beach we were ready to start exploring inland by foot. As it is the rainy season (thankfully we did not get much rain) there are very few people on the trails however a number of trails were closed due to the risk of rock slides around the volcano.  We did the Crater Rim trek which is a beautiful hike starting on the rice terraces of the lower volcano then into the coffee and coca bean plantations before heading into the park jungle (with all of its wildlife) until we reached about 2,000 m where it opened up into beautiful grasslands. From the crater rim you look down into the crater with a very large lake and the active cone with Mt. Rinjani in the background. Heading South to Kuta, Lombok for our last day/night.

Holly looking over the crater rim down to the lake and active cone on the left

Some of the grey monkeys seen on the hike up - Also saw a number of the more elusive black monkeys

Our camp on top of the crater rim (yellow tent at the top right)

Gili Islands seen to the West at sunrise

Holly enjoying a hot tea and breakfast at sunrise

Sunrise over Mt. Rinjani

Hiking down through the grasslands

Through the jungle

Our hiking team (two porters and guide) - more than we needed - they had camp chairs and even a toilet tent

Coffee berries (immature)

Cocoa pod

Terraced rice fields on the lower slopes of the mountain