Cameroon construction challenges

This was construction week for us here in Cameroon.

First the bridge we need to cross to get to school each day has gradually become more broken down until finally it was only occasionally safe.  It is possible to go another way to school, but it is farther to drive and there is heavier traffic.  The result was that the school worked with the community to rebuild the bridge. 

"And where should I drive to stay on the bridge?"

" And where should I drive to stay on top?"

Carefully standing on the solid metal I beams to place boards that will become the supdeck.

Once the placement of the boards for the subdeck was determined, brackets were welded to the I beams so that the boards of the subdeck could be secured.

Nailing the subdeck pieces into the brackets that were welded onto the I beam - all so the subdeck stays secure and does not slide as big trucks cross the bridge.

The boards of the driving deck were cut to the correct length so that they will rest securely on the subdeck of the bridge.


The community stands on the newly completed bridge.


The first car to drive across was driven by the head of the local community.

"I know where to drive -such a relief"


Additional construction this week included the pouring of the second floor slab (which is also the ceiling for our apartment) of the new hostel.  After watching concrete being poured onto the second floor by a bucket brigade or by the wheelbarrow load, the use of the concrete pump was a marvel to behold!  It took only 12 minutes to put in place five cubic meters of concrete.  Of course it still needed to be worked into place, smoothed and so forth, but the time and energy savings were incredible.

Standing on the RFIS soccer fields - the concrete crane was an impressive piece of equipment.

The crane is positioned over that area of the floor/ceiling being poured on this day.

Closer view of how the concrete mixer dumps it load into the pumping truck and then the concrete moves into its intended place.

You can see the stream of concrete coming out of the tube.

Pouring the ceiling over our new apartment

The amazing network of tubing for all the electrical in the ceiling of our apartment.

The floor is almost complete at this point.


Finally, I do not want to lose sight of the most important construction work of all – the lives of students and staff that are being constructed and refined as we work together as a school at RFIS.

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