Take a seat; the estimated cost of the wall is likely to be around 850,000ksh ($10,000). I have asked around, and this is considered to be a reasonable price considering the size, quality, and the time in which it will be finished. We also want to construct a wall that will last for a very long time and therefore use good materials. We are carefully documenting all costs and keeping all receipts. We want all of you to know that the donated money is being spent efficiently.
Due to the urgency of erecting the wall, we have agreed (after comparing quotes) on a construction crew that has promised to finish the wall in one week for 150,000ksh ($1,770). The crew consists of nearly 20 people. If the wall is not finished in a week, they have agreed will pay them less.
Construction started at 8am this morning. The crew showed up and immediately began digging holes for the foundation of the wall. By the time I left today (at 6pm) they had finished all of them. Each hole is anywhere from a two to three meters deep, depending on the soil. Columns will be placed in each to support the wall.
By 6pm four truckloads of stone had been delivered (one is not in the picture), out of the ten we will need. The cost of all the stone is 185,000ksh (almost $2,000) alone. We are buying from a local quarry to save transportation costs; buying from Nairobi or another town would be very expensive. We are also buying unshaped stones, which is cheaper than buying already shaped stones; they will be shaped on site by the crew. The rest of the stone will arrive tomorrow and Wednesday.
Please believe that I did not realize the cost of the wall was going to be so high, but I am thankful we were able to raise so much so that this rather dramatic change in cost is not a problem. I think you all agree that the wall is absolutely necessary, despite the cost. We have done absolutely everything to ensure we are getting the best price on everything from labor to materials (for example, I am never around when Omari is bargaining over a price, as we would likely receive an "mzungu price"), while also making sure we finish construction as soon as possible.