Almost Done with School Number One!

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Despite the bombs falling on northern Mali, bricks are rising near the center of the country at Soumabougou’s almost completed school!  In the coming weeks our wonderful construction crew will be attaching the roof, fabricating doors, fastening shutters, and painting walls.  Once the chalkboards are hung there will be three rooms simultaneously  bustling with ambitious children that have the opportunity to learn in a comfortable environment.
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above: the construction team that makes it happen, in front of the school

The upturned blocks above the doors and windows are a modern response to ancient claustra work techniques.  Instead of staggering/patterning blocks to create gaps for light and air, we simply turned them on their sides to expose their holes (which also reveals key differences between our CEB’s and unstabilized earth blocks of the past).  Perhaps most importantly, this technique reduces tensile forces on the blocks (a factor which commonly causes earth block claustra works to fail).

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