ACE2Zambia – Half Way There…

The end of week 3 sees the ACE2Zambia 2022 team half way through their Zambian adventure. From crunch time on site, some heated discussions, the kerbs being laid, and scorching temperatures reached, to British night, a trip to the local agricultural show, and half a dozen site visits, it’s been a busy week!

The week on site

The wekek got off to a rough start with a disagreement with the contractor on the level of the court. With the corner kerbstones layed at what we felt was too great an elevation difference, we had a decision to make. Either use the high-quality won spoil from the excavations to raise the ground in the lower areas and bring some of the corner kerbs up, or excavate the highest corners to bring them down and level the court. We favoured the raising option as it allowed closer control of the level across the court, rather tham bringing in an excavator and having to re-grade the area. After a long and heated discussion with the contractor, we agreed that this was the best course of action. A frustrating waste of a few hours on site while we decided what to do but once the decision was made it was all systems go.

It was slightly frustrating to have to watch the labourers fill in the trench that they had so laboriously dug, but as we have found out here things rarely go completelty smoothly. As the week progressed the kerb stones were layed around the whole court and excavations for the drainage was started.

The precast concrete kerb stones being placed.

With the whole court perimeter of kerb stones placed by the end of the week the team were pleased with progress. The material for the stonebase was delivered mid-week and the contractor had arranged for the compactor to return.

The next steps are to ensure the gravel build up is level and compact, lay and compact the stonebase, then roll the ashphalt and paint the court lines. As we are half way through our trip and roughly half way through construction, we are feeling confident but know that there is plenty of work to be done.

We are looking forward to week 4 where we hope to make some strong progress towards completing the court.

Among the many other things that happended on site this week, the team were interviewed by Zambian TV along with Frank from SIA. We look forward to seeing our debuts on PrimeTV at some point!

The Other Side of VolunteerZambia

The VolunteerZambia foundation is the umbrella charity through which ACE2Zambia and the other Wallace Group students volunteer and it is with this big group that we live and socialise. As a group of we have explored Lusaka and will soon be travelling to Livingstone for a weekend away.

This weekend was British night where the house cooked British food for the Zambian SIA volunteers and hub site staff. The evening was a great success and a nice way to return the favour of Zambian night – where we were treated to a feast of Zambian food.

This weekend also saw the Lionesses victorious over Germany in the Euros final and the whole VolunteerZambia group watched the game at a local pub. It was a surreal experience to be 5000 miles from Wembley but to feel the passion for the beautiful game all the same.

By a stroke of luck the day after the final was Monday 1st August and is a national holiday in Zambia (national farmer’s day) and so the house had a lie in and a relaxed day. With some going to a local pool, the rest of us headed to Matebeto to try the best street food in Zambia. If you ever find yourself in Lusaka then it’s an absolute must!

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