building progress report!

Don’t get too excited.

For those of you following the slow progress of the new Ministry Building in front of my present office, here are some short video clips, with my apologies for the overrun shots of my feet, as I had not switched the camera off properly. I don’t have any decent video editing software here so have to just make do with the clips ‘as they are’.   Since the last update, they poured the concrete floor pan for the first floor of the building, as you can see from the first clip.  As I predicted that all happened when I was away.

Next they fixed up a new set of concrete reinforcing rods for the pillars to support a second floor – this is done by a team of four women who you can see at work in the next clip.  Some of the guys then tighten up the metal formwork mould that the concrete mix will be poured into.

The third one shows how they get the concrete mix up from ground level to pour into the formwork.   There’s a pretty basic wooden pulley which they make up themselves (in common with most Cambodian workers, the team here are very resourceful with limited tools and equipment).  Next they heave-ho to get a tub of concrete up to the next floor (I think the mixing is done in a small mixer rather than by hand, but I cannot see that part of the site) and then carried by the team of two over to whichever pillar is being filled.

It’s dumped out and shovelled into manageable size pails and the women take over at this point.  Each hoists a pail from foot level to just about shoulder height.  The pails are tipped in and the empties are slung back down to be refilled.   Every now and again one of the gang hammers the stack all round -I presume to remove any air bubbles and ensure that the mix settles.   It’s a fascinating spectator sport, but although I now give them a cheery wave across the 20 or so metres that divide us, thirty feet up, I still feel uncomfortable about filming them at work.  However it is entirely for educational use!!

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