If you are building a house it can be very easy here in Rwanda – you clear the ground and make a hole for the foundations. Then you dig up the earth , mix it with water and make your bricks. You lay them out in the sun to bake. Need any wood? It’s easy - you chop down the tree that is growing on your land and make it into roof struts etc. The roof is the most expensive because you are no longer allowed to make your roof of the local sword grass and bamboo. It has to be either a tin roof or baked tiles , both of which have to be purchased. This is the only thing requiring transport, so energy costs are few. There is even a way around this. The other day I saw a young boy walking along the road with his schoolbooks under his arm and roof tiles on his head ‘Here you are, son, on your way to school, drop these off at your Auntie Mauds.’
However things are changing and developing and no doubt soon everything will have to be acquired through large warehouses and distribution centres, adding to the costs of building a house and the cost to the earth of transportation.
There are some magnificent trees here in Rwanda and they are used for all sorts of things. This week some of these trees near my office have been taken down – enormous Eucalyptus and Pines growing by the side of the road – felled by men with one chain saw and a thick rope. Next day the trees are turned into wood for the use of carpenters and builders. There was only one miscalculation and the front perimeter wall was damaged but was rebuilt immediately the next day.
Wonderful workmanship and skills.
This weekend I'm off to Gisenyi at the north end of the Beautiful Lake Kivu!!
Keep in touch and DON'T FORGET the Year Planners!! Thank you.
Lots love, Tx