A quick update, from the last month:
Our bid process is finally over, and we’ve selected Hemendra as our contractor. In order to qualify financially for our project, he had to team up with another company as part of a joint venture. The next two weeks are dedicated to writing a good, comprehensive contract. I have absolutely zero experience in this, so I’ll be going back and forth with SP, a governance consultant we’ve hired from Kathmandu.
At the end of this week, I’m traveling with Chris and Jamie to Kathmandu to 1) meet with Hemendra and our consultant to hammer out details of the contract and 2) to interview consulting firms that can provide us with a site engineer and project manager and, last, 3) to attend a 2-day design workshop I’m organizing with the three of us and Nripal (our architect) and Jaddon (Kopila’s educational consultant) and Naim (Kopila’s principal).
Organizing the dates and schedule of the itinerary has been excessively challenging, largely because Nripal is still doing a lot of earthquake relief work and I’ve been so busy with the bid process. Also, coordinating between seven people is a lot harder than I would have realized. There is still a very serious petrol shortage in this country, due to India’s undeclared border blockade, and travel logistics are nightmare throughout the country. I’m hoping that we come away from the workshop with a strong sense of what the Early Childhood Village is going to look like, how much it will cost, who is building it, and how long it will take.
The Aquaponics side show is still happening. There are no plastic tanks available in the entire country (again, due to the blockade), so we’ll be experimenting with ferrocement work and making a couple of underground tanks. I’ve never done ferrocement work before, nor have my workers, so all I have to rely on for information is my friend Google.
It’s slightly unfortunate, though I do love learning new building techniques, because my real focus right now needs to be developing the ECV plan and getting a contract finished for Hemendra’s firm. I can be nice having a side project, but Cal, who is the expert in Aquaponics, is leaving in about a month, so time could potentially become an issue. I’ll post photos of the system when we have it up and running (hopefully in about 2 weeks).
Lastly, I thought I’d post on here my last dozen or so Instagram photos, since I’m far better at keeping my Instagram updated than this blog.