Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brick-Making Time

Sorry about the radio silence. We headed to Kampala to see some friends from the States who were doing mission work there, and we had some visitors here in Arua, so it's taken me a little bit of time to get back in the groove of writing.

My brain is not firing on all cylinders right now, so instead of new, fun stories for you, I'll re-cap the near-recent past.

It's dry season now, and I don't remember noticing this last year, but this is official "brick-making-time."

A large group of men and boys will carry water to a huge dirt area, and soak it down. They will then mix it with sticks (and maybe hay - I'm not quite the expert here), and then they will fill wooden frames with the mud. Each frame can only make 2 bricks, because they have to be able to flip it over easily and dump it out to dry.

I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures of that part of the process, because it was really fascinating. I would stop on the side of the road, and just watch them.

After the bricks are laid out in the sun for some days, they are then stacked like these pictures show.

This one is not quite completed on the top.

As they are stacking, they leave entry holes in the sides close to the ground, so they can insert firewood later. Then they cover the outside with mud.

Then they start "smoking them." I'm sure you love all my scientific terms.

These stacks are built up every few hundred yards all over town, because everyone with dirt is making bricks to either build something or to sell to someone else to build something.

After they are smoked, the stack comes down.

Then they are used for building. This is the color of every building in town.

The pictures don't make it look too exciting, but I really find it fascinating. It also makes me wonder about the Israelites in Egypt. Did they just sun-bake their bricks for Pharoah, or was there burning involved?

Just thinking...

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