Sunday, September 22, 2013

61. Basketball Court (Part V)

Dan offered to write a guest post for today, to give updated details on the progress of his basketball court project.  Here he is, writing about changes, problems, and some rather creative decisions:

"Since last month, when the whole school helped break ground for the foundation, there has been some progress on the basketball court project. Some. Not as much as I would like, but it is moving forward.

The contractor, Mr. Luciano, has stopped following the original plan altogether, and is now just doing his own thing. 

Rather than adhering to the agreed-upon schematic: 
Normal Schematic (Artwork by Lisa)

 Mr. Luciano has decided to do the following:
Surprise! (Artwork by Lisa)

As of this past week, about half of the court has been tiled with large rocks and shellacked with a thin layer of concrete.  It seems like this is an attempt to further level the court before adding the final (upper) layers.  Unfortunately, we’re already a few inches above ground level.  We’re afraid that the final height of the court will be more than a foot above the surrounding area. 

Honestly, I'd ask to contractor himself what his plan is (since it obviously differs from mine), but there's a small problem: we don't share a common language. Every time we interact without anyone close by to translate, the conversation goes something like this:

Me (in Portuguese): Hey Mr. Luciano, can you explain what you've been up to with the basketball court?
Mr. Luciano (in Chichewa): Eniksa neika ndi blinsi boonji.
Me (in English): Yeah, I didn't get any of that. English? Português?
Mr. Luciano (still in Chichewa): Zikomo.
Me (back to Portuguese): Hmmm... Okay. Thanks, Mr. Luciano.
Mr. Luciano (in his limited Portuguese): Thank you.

Progress has also been slow because Mr. Luciano has decided to take on a second job.  In addition finishing his promised work by the beginning of November, he is also attempting to build a house for someone else in town.  Oh well.

However, as I said before, there is forward motion in the project.  I am quite confident that there is a basketball court in store for the students of Zobue.  It might not be done by November and it might be a foot or two higher than planned, but at least it's being built."
Dan, September 22
Looking over the most recent changes to the foundation of the basketball court
Rock "tiles"...
...Overlaid with a thin layer of concrete
The bottom-most layer of the basketball court.  At least it will be level!

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