A Day In My World, Construction Management In Kibuye

(by Matt)

Quinzaine: Engineer, we need you at the 8-plex.
Me: Sure, I will be there in 15 minutes.

It's 8:00AM, and I'm still at home trying to finish a contract agreement for a project in Congo. EMI Uganda needs this contract in order to review it and send it to the client representative, who in turn will send it to the president of their organisation and to the contractor.

Twenty-five minutes have already passed since I told Quinzaine I would meet him at the 8-plex site. I don’t like to keep our foreman waiting.

While I am meeting with Quinzaine, Sadiki needs me to meet with a clay pots supplier. We need clay pots for a vertical garden at the 8-plex. But the supplier is waiting for me at the kindergarten construction site for some reason.

I meet with the clay pots supplier and we reach a deal: we are getting 130 clay pots in two weeks. That’s a lot of pots.

Pamphile: Engineer, I need screws to attach the toilet seats at the ophthalmology bathroom under construction.
Me: Give me 10 minutes, and I will be there.

On my way to Pamphile, I meet Chadrack who is working on terrazzo trial. He wants to know if he can grout the surface. I need to see it first before I can give my approval.

But first I need to stop by the doctors’ offices that we are renovating. The electrician is busy installing lights, light switches and sockets. He also happens to be the one on the crew who installs louver window frames. He asks me for the supplies to complete this task for the newly painted window frames.

Me: I’ll get those to you, please remind me later today.
I know that I also need to demonstrate how I want the materials to be used.

Finally I meet with Pamphile and attend to his queries. I do a quick tour of the work in and around the bathroom. Junction boxes are almost done, covers are being made and Pamphile has installed the hand washbasin already.

My next stop is the workshop. Chadrack is there, waiting for instructions about grouting the terrazzo floor trial he has been grinding.

The floor looks good. It appears as if our trial is a success. There are a few holes here and there and that is why we need to grout the entire surface with our own homemade grout. We will regrind and polish the floor next week on Monday.

I haven’t been to B20 yet. There is a small team of workers painting the 2nd floor ceiling and a group of masons repointing the ramp parapet wall. I stop by to check in how they are doing, and it all looks great.

Desiré: We need you at the 8-plex.
Me: I am on my way there.

Desiré is installing roof trusses at the 8-plex, and he almost done. He is now working on front porch trusses.
Desiré: How do we attach the gutters? We will end up with so many downspouts.
Me: What do you suggest?
He is a creative welder, and his idea seems innovative.
Me: Give it a try.

As I inspect the ground floor of the 8-plex, there is a group of workers staring at a tree. I realize they are preparing to cut down pine trees that are too close to the structure. They also have suggestions on the direction to make the trees fall. I call for Quinzaine to get his opinion and he seems to agree with the crew.

Me: Alright, let's do it.

John: Hey Matt, I’m at the clinic already.
Me: Cool, I’ll be there in a minute.

I sent a few guys to help John install cabinets in the eye clinic OR we renovated a few days ago. They had a questionable approach that would use nails to hang 4 very heavy cabinets. John is having a hard time communicating with them, but he is not convinced of their idea.
Me: I’ve got a few anchor bolts. They should work.
John: Sweet. Do you need my help?
Me: No, we’ve got this.

Well the cabinets are heavy, and we need help to lift them up in order to attach them to the walls. It ends up taking a long time to complete the task.

My Jess: Hey love, our sink is not working.

Calling Pamphile:
Me: Hey, stop by my place, and fix my kitchen sink.
Pamphile: Yes sir, I’m heading there right now.

It’s 2:30pm, and we have just finished hanging the cabinets.

As I head down to the 8-plex to respond to another call from Desiré, I notice that one of the trees has slightly damaged the roof eaves on its way down. It is not a big deal, but we will need to replace that section. I get concerned because we still have 6 to 7 more trees to cut down, and some of them are leaning heavily toward the compound wall.

I watch in amazement as some of these crooked trees are taken down with just a machete and a rope, but nothing is damaged. Genius!

It’s now 4pm, and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Maybe I can stop by my place and have something.

I try to go for my last round, but I don’t have time to visit all the project sites. The 8-plex and the kindergarten sites consume most of my time.

It is 5:30pm, the end of our workday. I did not yet respond to emails or send our material orders to suppliers. But I need to refresh my mind, so I go for a bike ride and then return back home to my computer.

I’ve reached the end of this workday.

No comments: