December 30 Sienna Cream
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May 25 Richard the Third head of mission
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June 14 Evaluation Time
June 17 Debt, Drugs and Pot Plants
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June 24 Home Alone
June 29 Knowing Me Knowing You aha!
July 1 THE END

[" Samuel is a load bearing wall.... pulling.... it down would compromise the structural integrity of the house"]

Thursday December 30th


Claudia sent me up a copy of Engineering in Emergencies to help with the rehabilitation. There are some useful construction tips so I  copied the construction chapter for Samuel. I haven't had time to read it myself but its mostly technical stuff anyway, that is more useful for Samuel. I thought that there should be a marketing section to the book, you know the principles of doing a good deal with a win win outcome. A think a top class sales Engineer like my previous boss, Dick Darlington from InTech HiTech could add a chapter or two. He taught me that the most important thing is to believe in what your selling and what you are selling is primarily yourself. He also said always polish your shoes and where a colourful tie (this helps you stand out from the crowd). I guess you can apply these tips to pretty much anything, even rehabilitating a house in a war torn country like Sierra Leone.

Well I set up some great deals with Abdulai the landlord. He can pretty much get me anything and his contractors have already started the work, Samuel is also pretty happy, his workload is reduced, he just has to pay for the supplies from the hardware store. We are going for the crazy paving driveway, although the crazy paving has to come from Freetown and is more expensive than a cement driveway, I think it is well worth it. I saw some great pot plants when I was passing by the local primary school and Abdulai said that he can get me some just like them at a really cheap rate.

We have to build a store, kitchen and a dining area. I thought for the dining area I would build a small Rokuba or a Tukul as they say here. I thought maybe we could also put a nice veranda on the main house, I would have to knock down part of one wall to make a large enough entrance and then cement in the veranda to the rest of the existing wall. Then I could get some hardwood for the decking. Abdulai has some friends in Liberia where he can get good quality hard woods (almost like ceder back home).  Samuel was a bit worried about this idea, saying that the wall was a load bearing wall and that pulling part of it down would maybe compromise the structural integrity of the house. I said that I had seen it done on Backyard Blitz and that I know there will be technical problems, but it was up to you to figure out how to do it as the construction supervisor. Samuel is good, but needs a bit of encouragement to have more can do attitude. I suppose we all can't have that creativity that makes what seems a simple job devoid of complexity into something special. I think my sales engineering background has really helped me out this way.

Well I better get back to work. I trying to choose the colour scheme at the moment. It is difficult to a Sienna cream and a Venetian gold for the interiors so I will have to look for an alternative. I am trying to find oven bricks for the barbeque. If anyone has some tips, please write into the discussion page.



Dave (me)  Claudia

 Angelina   Ricardo  

 Claude      Christian

 Jen             Petra

 Bono          Dick

  Anne         Peter

 Veronique   Richard