Wheels Up!

Elevations with exposed masonry

The plans have arrived in Soumabougou!  With my freshly plotted plans and the help of African Sky Executive Director Scott Lacy, ground will be broken on “Ecole Fondamental du Soumabougou” (Keeth Elementary School) any day now.

It feels great to have completed the designs for the first school.  I am looking forward to learning from this experience so that the next schools can be even better!


Next month I will be getting my hands dirty at an iCATIS CEB workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  The course will help me learn and practice basic and moderately advanced techniques of earth block construction that I can pass along to our crew in Mali.

The Plans

To help bridge the language barrier, I made the plan’s details as visual as possible.  A series of pages shows how the blocks are to be laid on each course.  A graphic scale based off the module of a block will help our masons by allowing them to easily measure distances by the number of blocks and half-blocks. As an additional aid, Scott translated the block press manual into Bamabara!

Because this is my first time designing and building a school in Mali, I wanted to make sure that there were many blocks leftover.  If not used for the building, the extra 1,500+ blocks that I estimate we will have can be used for landscaping (planters, seats, etc.).  These exterior features will help create the desired “community doorstep” outside of the school.  They will also play vital roles in the school’s functionality by providing shade and mitigating soil erosion (improving air quality).

Coming soon: Fresh updates and images from Soumabougou!


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