Day 19: Hot

Hey everyone, Sarah here. We had a sweltering high of 111 degrees Fahrenheit today, which, combined with the scheduled lack of power at the Setco Factory, made for quite the sticky day. After getting to the office, Rushil and Natasha continued checking their calculations and started refining the design drawings for the contractor. Sai, Kaylla and I then left with Viral to see about getting a concrete pipe made to use as a chimney.


The concrete guy, his workers, Viral and Sai had a long discussion over how they would go about casting a 4-inch diameter pipe. We brought two PVC pipes the sizes of our desired inner and outer diameters and some wire mesh for reinforcement, but concrete man thought that it would be more appropriate for his cement to reinforce it with a thick gauge steel wire cage. His workers started making the cage, and he estimated the whole pipe would take around an hour and a half to finish. The heat was starting to get to me and Kaylla, so we decided it would be good to return to the office to try to do other work while Sai and Viral stayed to watch the rest of the casting process.


They had some trouble with casting the pipe because we need a small gauge pipe to avoid making it too heavy for the mati to hold or for our stove builder to handle. After getting the PVC pipes set up to be evenly spaced, they propped it between bricks, and filled the inner tube with sand.


The plan was to pour the cement for the pipe, remove the smaller PVC from the middle (before it got stuck), and theoretically, the sand should have filled up the space where smaller PVC was to provide enough pressure for the pipe to retain its shape. But something didn’t quite work out and the pipe ended up in pieces. Sai and Viral left with a promise that the concrete guys would try again and hopefully have a pipe ready for us tomorrow.


There wasn’t much more we could do at the office, so we returned to the luxury of power and air conditioning at the guesthouse. There, we received a call from Salmaben saying that we could go drop off the mati sample we collected earlier at a lab for content analysis! We discovered we’ll need to collect a lot more than the handful of mati we had, but we’re super excited about the opportunity because we’ll finally understand what gives the mati its mysterious building properties we can’t quite replicate in Ann Arbor.


2 thoughts on “Day 19: Hot”

  1. That’s a great idea! I wonder why this wasn’t thought of in our earlier trips. I am really intrigued to hear about the contents of the mati.


  2. That’s a great idea! I am surprised we didn’t think of this earlier. I am intrigued to hear about the contents of the mati.


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