Here it is! After collecting and/or buying all the necessary resources in September (river sand, cement, lime, twine, paint, paintbrushes, buckets, a wheelbarrow, some shovels, hoes, and trowels), we began working on my hut’s little facelift.
First, we traveled via ox-cart about 5k further into the bush from my hut to collect river sand. Once we got to the site, we used shovels and hoes to break up and scoop the river sand from the ground and filled up the ox-cart with a good sized mound. We transported the sand back home and unloaded it right onto my lawn, where it stayed put for about a week before we started working on the hut. My neighbor, Morgan, host brother, Benson, and his friend, Chico, all came at 6:00 on a very early Saturday morning, and we enjoyed some jasmine green tea (they never had it before and liked the way it tasted) before plastering began.
The task of plastering the walls of the hut involved the mound of river sand, two pockets of cement, a copious amount of water, and a bunch of farming tools, including the wheelbarrow, shovels, trowels, and buckets. The river sand and cement were first mixed together with water in the wheelbarrow and transferred to the buckets. It was super exhausting, especially as the mixture thickened by the minute. Once the mixture was ready, we used the trowels and began applying it to the walls, smoothing it out here and there. Plastering took us the entire morning, taking a lunch break from 1200-1300, but we finished well before supper.
After waiting a couple of days for the plaster to dry, the lime coating task began. Preparing the lime mixture was much easier than the plastering mixture; we just added water to the lime powder, using the recommended ratio and mixed it until it was ready to use. Paintbrushes in hand, my host brother, Jordan, and I spent two days applying the lime coat; it was a longer task than I projected it to be.
The lime coat dried almost instantly, but because of work and my Malaria and Bednet Check Training, painting the hut was put on hold for a few days, but on the following week, on a Saturday morning, I prepared the paint and began the paint job, using twine and sticks to partition the break between lime coat and yellow paint. Painting took three days, since I was doing it all by myself, but the hard work paid off because I absolutely love the end result.
Next on the home improvement front: interior painting of the hut and fixing up, plastering, lime coating, and painting my kinzanza (outdoor kitchen). Here’s me cooking rice and duck eggs in the current kinzanza!