Friday, January 31, 2014

Bible College - New Male Dorm/Classroom Ribbon Cutting

The new male dorms and classrooms for the Baptist Bible College of Bangladesh (BBCB) has been completed. The official ribbon cutting took place on Tuesday. This is a side project that we have been working on over the past 6 months to replace an existing building that will be demolished for the new hospital building project. This was a great project to quickly learn some of the local building techniques. The complete project consisted of 4 - 10'x20' bedrooms, 2 - 20'x20' classrooms, Dining Room, Kitchen, Storage Room, 2 Shower rooms, 2 Eastern toilets, 1 Western toilet. The design allows for a future wing as additional space is required.

Grand Opening Day

Finished BBCB Male Dorm/Classrooms

Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting

Kitchen and Dinning Area

Harold giving the opening message

The workshop workers and some of the students attending the ceremonies at the new building
Some of the students posing for photos in front of the new building


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Basement Slab Casting

The basement slab casting was just completed over the past couple days (Jan 25th & 26th). This is an exciting milestone on the project, the first of a planned 12 major slab castings as we build upward. A lot of men put in long hard days to get this job completed.

Over 300 people on site working on this first casting day

Loading and mixing the concrete batches

Moving the concrete from the mixer to the current casting location
Jon seeing how heavy a pan is (only half a load)

Holly watching the mixing to ensure mix design is being followed

Jon moving around site ensuring proper casting

Finishing the final section of concrete on the second day

The workshop using some imported power trowels to give the surface a smoother finish


Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunset Stroll along Malumghat River

Our house has a beautiful view of a lowland river system. When the hospital was originally built this was one of the primary access points for the transport of goods.  At one time this area was jungle and mangroves but over the years it has been cleared.  It is now used for growing rice, fishing and harvesting salt. We have travelled the river by boat on several occasions but don't often take the time to walk along its banks.  It is particularly beautiful at sunset.

 The embankment on the top right is part of the hospital property.

 Net Fishing

 Green Rice Fields


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Basement Slab - Ready for Casting

The steel and formwork is now complete for the basement portion of the building.  A number of deficiencies will be corrected over the next few days. With the roads being open for the last week and predicted to be open this week we should be able to get the final couple loads of cement on site to enable casting to start by the end of the week.

Basement Area Overview - Ready for Casting
View from the Northwest

View down the basement North/South Corridor

While finishing work is being completed to get ready for basement casting, Grade Beam work in the East wing has been started and is ongoing.
 Grade Beam Steel Tying

 Grade Beam Layout/Setup
Jon Barrett

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Young Patients

Here are some more patient photos that help keep the construction of the new hospital building in prespective.

 Passing the time with some coloring.  She kept hiding her face shyly behind her book but with her mom's promting she revealed that beautiful smile.

Another pensive beauty recovering from her arm injury.
 This young man put on a brave face as the nurses were making adjustments to his injured leg.

Four boys inadvertantly made and consumed tea with poison in it.  The boys are recovering and trying to keep down some fruit and mango juice.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Banded Krait Snake

Almost every day there is something interesting or odd that happens on site.  Just a couple days ago I get a call from our national site assistant who says in his broken english, "there is a snake on site"... At first my thought is that it was just another common garter snake that was dug up by a worker.  When Holly and I get out there and see this black and yellow snake we quickly realize this is likely the "two step snake" that various other staff on site have warned of (black and yellow/white stripes). People have called it the two step snake as they say that it is so poisonous that you would not even get two steps away before you are down, which we have since researched and found is not quite true. When we got there one of the local workers was there playing with it with a stick, thankfully it is a fairly slow and non-aggressive snake. In the end no-one was bitten and the snake was properly disposed of to ensure it does not get into the labor sheds on site.

 A barefoot local worker picking the snake up with a stick

Banded Krait


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year's Eve

For those of you who don't know, Jon's birthday is on New Year's Eve.  This makes for easy planning for me as there is usually already a party to go to!  He even received a surprise birthday cake from our two recently hired employees (site engineer, Aminul and engineer tech, Sohel).  We missed a planned hay ride, but went to the after party to have snacks and play games.  We rang in the new year for the second time with a midnight jump in the pool.  It was a little warmer this year (about 15?? degrees Celius air temperature).

 Left to right Nomen, Jon, Aminul, Sohel and Nazmul.  Nomen and Nazmul are part of the Contractor's site management.

I gave Jon a Cricket bat.  It is a popular sport in Bangladesh so we would like to give it a try.  (I don't believe it is actually made by Nike despite the logo....)
 Jon and Nathan playing a game involving moving a plastic cup around with straws and the air from ballons.  There was a bit of sabatage involved. Jon's balloning experience came in handy and I reaped the benifits of his victory bag of peanut M&M's.

The plunge was graciously captured and shared by a friend who abstained from the fun.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Foundations Completed

The last three footings were cast yesterday on site.  This finishes a major foundation phase of the project. From now on we will be building UP. Basement slab and retaining wall work in ongoing with steel tying. Under-slab conduit and pipe work will be completed once the remaining materials become available between the continuing road strikes. Grade beam work is also expected to start within the next couple weeks on the Northeast side of the building.
Basement Slab & Retaining Wall Steel Reinforcement

Final checking then casting of the last three pile caps

 Under slab conduit and pipe work

Monday, January 06, 2014

Bengali Wedding

Holly and I were invited to the wedding of the construction contractor's daughter.  We are regularly invited to weddings locally, however this was a new experience in the city versus in the village. They had prepared for roughly 2,500 people to go to the wedding feast. Very few of the guests actually stick around to see the bride or groom who often show up a few hours after the feast has started. The majority of people come, eat for about 10 - 15 minutes then get up and leave.

The wedding feast (male side) - people keep coming in from 1:30 till 4:30 to eat.

The bride was on the women's side of the building. I was taken over to get some photos. Her sister is next to her and two of her cousins on the sides work with us on the project.

The groom on the men's side of the building. No one told me not to smile.

The bride and groom get together to finally eat a meal. Then they sit down and do a few traditional ceremonial rituals. The man's turban is rolled down then he is covered by the woman's scarf. They look into a mirror at each other, then drink a glass of special milk.

The bride's family (Contractor)

Both families

With the current road situations I went up in a bus by myself to attend the wedding and do some other project meeting in town. Holly stayed back to be around site.