Sunday, December 21, 2014

Second Floor East - Poured

The second floor of the East wing was cast a few days ago.  You can see the details on the latest post of the hospital renewal site here or visit the home page at

Panorama of 2nd Floor Slab


Monday, December 15, 2014

MCH - Project Office Visit

This past week our direct supervisor (Bill Hanson) and an Architect (Tim Hunsicker) that has started to work for the Project Office were able to make a visit to the project. It was good to finally meet with Bill for the first time in person. We have been talking on the phone, Skype and email for over two years now. It was a good time to review the project status, budget, funding, design, safety, etc.

Holly, Tim & Bill taking a photo with the new building project
Jon reviewing the plans with Tim & Bill
Bill, Jon, Holly & Tim in front of the new hospital project

Out for a half round of golf (next to the airport so we arrived a bit early for the flight to get a few holes in)

Bill, Brett, Tim & Jon enjoying a fun game of golf.


Monday, December 08, 2014

Quality Control (and an unfortunate balloon mishap)

Quality management is a big part of our job here in Bangladesh as project managers for a large construction project.  From the supply of raw materials such as sand, stone, cement, and bricks to pipe, electrical components, doors, and windows to the installation of these items and construction of structural slabs, columns and brick walls.  It is a constant theme.  It particularly can be a challenge in a country where this kind of thing is widespread.

Actual Men's Size Medium Shirt with RL insignia, Oshkosh tag - made by....not sure

not real Blu-ray - copies of movies sold at many shops

not real Nike - cricket bat
Pepsi, Coca-Cola and a nice Nic Nac...

not real Doc (I was just observing but unfortunately this is a real issue in Bangladesh)

Well I recently played victim to poor product quality when I purchased a couple packs of balloons. It even had an English warning that I missed "Fake Product with Bad Quality & High Defects".  While trying to blow a balloon just a little bit bigger it exploded on my eye.  I'm fine but it was sore for a few days.  I wasn't a big fan before this event, but I think I'll be swearing off balloons forever now....


Lasik eye still intact

Five Year Aniversary

We celebrated five years of marriage last weekend (November 27).  Twelve years since we met, seven years together, lots of adventures along the way, such as living and working in Bangladesh.  More to come!

Couple Photos were taken by Yorke Photography - More Here

We were able to have a bit of extra fun last weekend with a boat trip down the river with friends to a sandy section of Maheshkali island, a progressive American thanksgiving dinner, and a game of ultimate (frisbee). 

Our [Mostly] Secluded Beach Destination

 Jon running through deep mud to reach the "bridge to nowhere" (no road or on-ramp)

Carrie, Shannon and Jon contemplating the plunge with a curious onlooker

They went for it.  Extra thrills when the Sharwar (women's long top) covers your face.

And now back to the main event five years many memories jogged by browsing our are just a couple........

The moment Jon realized he turned on the water with his back during a photo session before the ceremony- I love his face.

We had the honor of being married by this wonderful man - the late Lynn Erskine


Friday, December 05, 2014

MCHRP - Second Floor East Shuttering Work

The shuttering for the First Floor East Slab is in the process of being removed and moved up a level to start preparing for the Second Floor East Slab (Male ward, Private/Semi private rooms & Nursing station). The goal is to be ready to start slab casting on December 20th.

View from on top the existing hospital roof - Dec 3, 2014

Setting up the shuttering for the second floor slab (East)

Site overview from South - Dec 3, 2014

Removing shuttering on the ground floor east wing


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Hospital - Automatic Voltage Stabilizer

Grid power in Bangladesh is sporadic at the best of times with regular load shedding (power outages) due to the fact that electrical demand is much greater than the available supply, especially during the hot seasons.  A year ago November the hospital was able to obtain a priority line that has reduced load shedding on average a couple hours per day which has been a great blessing. Even with this new priority line voltage conditions at the hospital have been consistently low (regular brownouts with voltage as low as 150-180v when designed to receive 220v). When the voltage drops below a certain point the campus generators would have to be turn on so that medical equipment, hospital compressors and even florescent light would work properly. In order to fix this issue a new voltage regulator was purchased for the hospital which will correct the worst of brownouts and supply the hospital with required voltages. This new AVR is of special importance to the new hospital building as the proposed Oxygen & Suction machines, Elevators, Chiller, Medical equipment, etc. all require stabilized voltage. Over the past month this new unit has been keeping the voltage very stable. (One can not tell the difference from the generator supply or grid supply vs previously when the generator was on lights and fans etc. all ran about 25% brighter/faster.)
Inside the new voltage regulator panel

Energypac and the workshop connecting the lines back into the existing transformer

AVR, Transformer & Generator Shed behind
Gary and the workshop finishing the connections on the AVR


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MCHRP - First Floor - East Wing Casting

on Nov 15th & 16th the First Floor East Wing slab casting was carried out (Lab, Pharmacy, ICU, Offices, Training room - 12,500 sq ft). This time of year (November until March) is the best working conditions for concrete pouring, no rain and milder temperatures.  This made for the smoothest major casting to date. The goal now is to complete the next three casting of this wing in just over a month per slab (35 days each).

 First Floor East - Day 1 Slab Casting

Site Overview - Nov 15, 2014

 Dr. Kelley, Les and Jon on the slab during the first day of casting

Nearing completion - quickly becomes congested with all the labors

Beautiful sunrise through the heavy morning mist on day two

 The compaction vibrator operator splattered with concrete


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

India Part 3: Cherrapunjee Tree Root Bridges

For the last leg our India trip we traveled through Northeast India on our way to the Bangladesh border.  The highlight was visiting the Cherrapunjee area in the District of Meghalaya, one of the wettest place on Earth (it holds records of most rain in a single month - 9,300 mm and single year - 26,461 mm).  The Khasi tribal people make up the majority of the population of Meghalaya and are a matrilineal society (females inherit land and children take on the mothers name). Christianity is also prevalent in the region.  What drew us to the Cherrapunjee area was the amazing tree root bridges that have been grown here by locals for hundreds of years.  We had a fun day of hiking and exploring.  It was an interesting place to experience and an enjoyable way to end the trip.   

Holly on one of the tree root bridges 

 Jon on the longest tree bridge (95 ft)
Butterflies were Plentiful
Rock Pools
Nohkalikai Falls (highest waterfall plunge in India at 1115 ft)

Looking down on the plains of Bangladesh 

 Double Tree Root Bridge

 I named her Charlotte (but haven't found the actual species name yet)


East Wing Progress

The East Hospital wing is now well underway with the ground floor slab completed and the first floor slab shuttering and reinforcing work nearing completion (slab casting first of next week).

East Wing first floor shuttering and steel reinforcing work

Site overview - November 9, 2014

The OPD waiting wing ground floor casting was completed this past week.

OPD waiting area - slab on grade casting

OPD waiting slab casting

Interior construction continues on the West Wing with ongoing brick work, lintel casting and ceiling plaster work.

West Wing - 3rd Level - Ceiling Plaster work

Completed ceiling plaster and lintel casting