Friday, June 8, 2012


In the U.S. I never thought about cement. There was no reason to think about cement. (Click on the pictures to see them better.)

But in Haiti, cement is very present in my life, so to speak. I think it's because cement production is a much bigger task here. First you have to gather the supplies: small rocks, sand, cement, and water. Then you have to get them to the right location. Getting a truck load of sand to some building sites can be... tricky. For those of you who have never been here, it's hard to explain why it's tricky. Roads are not exactly the same in Haiti as they are in the US.

Anyway, back to cement. After you have the supplies, someone has to mix the cement... by hand. I have never seen a cement truck in Haiti, but my husband assures me that there are trucks (he actually said, there are big buildings in the city, do you think they mixed the cement by hand?). I have seen little mixers, but mostly I see junk ones along side the road. The "recipe" for cement changes with the type of construction. For example, Willem just had the basketball/soccer court resurfaced in Gramothe. The guys made a rough cement for the base and finished it off with a layer of very fine cement.

After the cement is mixed it is transported to where it will be used. Most often the cement is mixed wherever the sand has been dumped and then it's carried in wheelbarrows or buckets to the actual location of construction.

All the photos in this post are from the resurfacing of the basketball/soccer court in Gramothe. They guys started working on a Friday and they were finished by Thursday. The kids played on the finished sections as the guys were working, and they LOVE that they can actually bounce a basketball again without wondering which way it's going to go. I love that I can walk across the court without wondering if I'm going to sprain an ankle.

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