018_Rain and Sunshine

The Makerspace: The name tells you the story.
On top of the world... or at least on top of the first hill.
With the South African sunset in the background even late night shifts are manageable.

9:00 am. The sun did not just shine, it already burned down from a clear blue sky. Everyone was looking for a shady spot to stand or, preferably, sit. An official introduction was due. To the project, to the surrounding and especially to the workspaces. We started with a short walk to visit Werk 1, a co-working-kind-of space that is the point of origin for all the changes that happened in the Baakens Valley. To follow up our second stop was Werk 2 right next to our Makerspace. When we talk about changes this is the perfect example: Over the last weeks the transformation of the old, a little run-down but still inspiring building was visible in an almost hourly rhythm. Next stop on the introduction tour was the Nelson Mandela University, also known as our second home when a new round of load-shedding hits the city. With Janet and our South African team on board we went through a bit of history before physically showing them the brutalist architecture of the campus. After a visit at the PE College and lunch the next step was probably the most important one: We went to our actual site in Walmer Township and met Khusta, our beneficial. Everyone saw the site, got to know the place and realised, how cramped it actually was.
But first things first. Before we could think of how work would be on site, the design had to be finalised. So after weeks of designing and drawing another marathon of drawing was pending. And there was also another pile of palettes that was waiting to be dismantled. So the introduction to the project was extended with an inofficial course of „How to dismantle a palette in the least amount of time and effort“ on the next day. Another team started with the preparation of the metal frames, not knowing what headache they would be causing in the near future.

The sun was still merciless. We only worked until lunchtime before it got way too hot to even move. A late night shift for, guess what, the metal frames was done at PE College to finish their final coating. Poles were planed, coloumns where laminated, formwork and reinforcement designed and realised.
And then the weather changed. Grey clouds were accumulating over Port Elizabeth. The second half of the week started with howling wind and pouring rain. We emptied the storage in Greenbushes as fast as we could and still returned dripping wet. The next day did not turn out any better. Inside the Makerspace the production of reinforcement cages was set up. The metal frame team started the first of many drilling sessions.

The weather god was really not kind to us. The rain continued and made our situation difficult. So an overall, internal decision was made to work a first Saturday shift to catch up on everything that was delayed due to the weather. So while the designing was still being finalised, the rest of team appeared at Makerspace on Saturday morning. Once we called it a day in the evening an incredible amount of things have been done: the formwork and reinforcement cages were finished and ready to use. The purlins were glued and done. The first wall elements were started. Another bunch of holes were drilled into the metal frames.  We finished off at Kevins place with Ethiopian food and lots of talks, laughter, wine and beer.

We started the Sunday overnighted but motivated. Another outride in the Kouga Mountains was scheduled. This time the weather god was on our side: Instead of pouring rain (like the last time) we had beautiful sunshine alternating with cloudy phases that underlined the rough scenery of the mountains. The perfect, relaxed ending of a hectic week.