Kazi ya mjengo day one.

Hey guys,

Another post already!!! I had such a busy day today but it made me want to start a new segment on the blog. I will explain at the end of the post so keep reading. As you already know I am currently in my final year of campus which involves doing a project. Honestly writing and editing the proposal is just a tip of the iceberg. The actual work is turning out not to be as easy as I thought. Wednesday is the day designated for projects, so you either go for labs, field work to collect data or do design work it depends on what your title is on.

I started the work late last year and the first part was the hardest. I remember constantly going to town just to look for material and almost reached a point I wanted to give up. (My initial thought was why I didn’t just do a project in water haha) I eventually was able to get material. Collection of material is like the basic part that you have to get done.

The proposal is something that you work on as you progress and I have edited that document over and over again I can recite it at this point. So my project has something to do with obtaining strength of cubes after 28 days using natural and recycled material and comparing the two. When you hear concrete just know it involves everything you have seen the mjengo people doing from crushing aggregate( ballast or just stone ) , cleaning ,drying and sieving sand( yes this is a step that has to be done before using the sand ) and cement( just buy). I have to do all the steps above, sometimes you see the mjengo people working and think it’s an easy job but I can tell you it is hard and exhausting.

To obtain my recycled material I have to crush already used cubes. The Huisman Lab in Moi University is said to be the best civil lab in Central and East Africa but I think it needs to up its game in regards to the machines and equipment offered because it can be really costly to sometimes have to go to other labs to perform your tests or simple things like have enough cube moulds for all your students. Anyway it is a public university and they always claim there is no funding. So back to crushing the cubes, the first equipment I had to buy was a masonry hammer. When I went to the hardware shop and asked for it the guy looked at me twice and started asking questions like what are you going to use it for (he thought I was going to hit a nail on the wall) I thought being very specific was a clear indication that I knew what I wanted but it’s not bad to ask questions .Honestly I think he just saw a girl asking and thought I was most likely sent.

Today I was crushing the cubes, sorting it and grading. I got help crushing the cubes but the sorting part took like four hours (ni kama kuchagua mchele or beans) and I am still not done BTW. My hands were so rough the stone was cutting my skin , inhaling all that dust ( not healthy)  and let us not even talk about how dirty I looked at the end of the day but it is evidence that I did something .The most random thing that happen during my Lab session was that I bought a spade. (Yes a spade) The lab only has one spade and four groups needed to use it so it just reached a point I was like we cannot work with like this, it is a waste of time .At the end I completed my objective of the day. I do not know what else I will have to buy before the project ends, we just have to wait and see.

So I will have a segment called the mjengo series and I am hoping to get some of my classmates to share their experiences .Posts will be up every Wednesday. If you would also like to share, you don’t have to be doing engineering just hit me up.


The girl with the red lipstick.

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