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Mexicali Project Week 3

March 26-27, 2011

We left Lakeside towards Mexicali early saturday morning. We stopped in El Centro at the home Depot to make a few last minute purchases. Jagdish and loaded up my Explorer the night before with some old windows and a toilet I had left over from some remodeling projects. We aslo loaded up soem tools like electric chainsaw and my grinder with a Lancelot chaine saw blade. The Lancelot is very cool tool, but it is a bit dangerous and you need to pay attention when using it.

We crossed over to Mexicali and made to the build site without a glich. We started getting all the curb boards up around the perimeter of the slab where the footing is. This took us about 3/4 of our day to get done. You have to mark all the J bolts, cable hole access that allows the footing and top box beam ladders used to compress the bales and secure the walls to the footing. WE drilled out all the holes, made sure it all fit and made sure all the distances between the two parallel curb boards are within tolerances. The curb boards or toe ups support the straw bales off the concreate footing and between the parallel boards we place block boards that ar perpendicular and fill in between with pea gravel.

Once we completed curb boards we then place on each corner 2 8 foot by 12 inch boards facet at 90 degrees to each corner. We used 2 2x4x8 brace boards and made sure the corner boards were plum when we nailed up the braces. The corner boards will help keep our corners as square as possible. Once we had those in place we started placing bales on the perimeter. We also built our front door buck, the door buck is used keep the bales even around the door and to provide a structure to secure your door to.

We started putting all the tools away around 7 PM when dusk started to really take hold. We headed to the Church and had dinner at the rectory of the church, they made us a great meal it was chicken mole. We spent a lot of time jsut talking after dinner. We then headed to the nursery where we got ready for us to sleep.

Sunday we woke up, had breakfast and headed over to the build site. We started laying out more bales, Jagdish and I build a window buck for one of the windows I brought with me. Once church was over with Damian stopped by and I explained by example how to build the other 3 window bucks we need for the 1 meter by 1 meter windows for the other room.

Around 1PM we packed up and they had brought us lunch to take with us while we waited to cross the border. It took us 2 hours to cross, since more people are crossing on a Sunday. Once we crossed it took us 2 more hours to get back to Lakeside. The next weekend we are taking a break from the project. Trevor and I had planned to attend CASBA up in northern Cali the next weekend, I decided not to go given my travel commitments prior to the conference. Jagdish and I will head back the first weekend in April to get the rest of the bales up, while Trevor takes soem time off on a spring skiing trip he had planned.

We made good progress with not very many volunteers that weekend, Trevor and Jagdish thanks for your support.