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Today’s one week in Haiti and…..

It looks like today that the women will start processing material and making blocks.  Monday went as planned, the women were given an introduction to Ubuntu-blox from collection of materials to building a house with the finished blocks.  We were expecting 24 women and only 18 actually showed up.  We consider that a good turnout.

Monday while the women were here they were getting messages to hurry up and come home because of unrest in the community.  Cite Soleil has about 300,000 residents.  Our women are from different communities in that community.  When there is unrest everyone wants to be close to home.  The day ended early and yesterday was canceled because of the unrest.

The women are building a block with one of the two machines we made last summer while here.

Cathy Caplener is our PR person!!!!

Yeah, I know.  You’re wondering why we would want a PR person, little ole us in a big ole world.

Yup. That’s why.

Besides that, she’s a believer.  I asked her if she wanted to change the world and she jumped like her whole life she had wanted someone to ask her that question.


We will be arriving in Haiti about 3 p.m. cst today the 11th of August.  We will be staying at the GRU compound in Port au Prince.  Grass Roots United dot org

The goal is to build two machines  for making blocks and setting up production of blocks.  Eventually there will be a model of a Haitian  home built with Ubuntu-blox at the compound.  We will be posting updates as often as we can.

Materials List for Making Machine

There are requests for more detailed information coming in about the block press.  Our original materials list works.  However, we also appreciate the cost and difficulty in finding exactly what we recommended under some conditions.  We have experimented with some lighter grades of materials and can suggest new minimums.

2″ square tubing                            4 each 52″ long  11 gauge is best but we have had success with 16 gauge but we recommend 14 gauge minimum

4 each 12″ long  recommendations the same as above.

2″ angle iron                                    2 each 49 1/2 ” long  1/4 inch wall is best,  3/16″ will work and is our recommended minimum

5 each 9″ long  recommendations same as above  These are for braces

1/4 X 8″ plate                                 2 each 49 1/2 ” long  we have used 3/16″ instead of 1/4″ successfully   3/16″ is our recommended minimum

1/2″ X 8″ X 7 1/2″  plate             2 each  our minimum recommendation on this is 3/8″  The piece isn’t square.  The top measurement is 8″ and the bottom is 7 1/2″

1/2″ X 12″ plate                             1 each 32″ long and 1 each 14″ long  These are the lids for the chamber.  We have used 3/8″ successfully and that is our recommended minimum

1″ acme threaded rod                 1 each 36″ long  We used 4 tpi (threads per inch) originally  We have since began using 5 tpi.  4 tpi means less turns per cyle but 5 tpi means easier turning and more power.  We recommend 5 tpi

1″ acme thread nut                      1 each

Some Updates, news links and videos

April 11 thru 15th was a great week at The Hunt Institute’s SMU was a great host.

Greensource DFW made a great video about it

The Dallas Observer  did a story

There is more media links on the first page of the site If you are on facebook we would like you to like us. This is where we have continued with the updates instead of placing them here.

The model home we built for eandhweek at SMU is now at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, OK.  It is there waiting for their environmental and structural engineering lab to do structural engineering tests.  We have also prepared a test wall for their shake table to see how the Ubuntu-Blox wall design will react in an earthquake.  They are doing the tests for free and so we are waiting for an opening in their schedule.

We placed 12th in $300.00 house contest on JOVOTO.

We are also an advisor at the $300.00 website

D Magazine in Dallas did a little story about us.

Dirt, plastic trash, and the goodness of humanity

Yesterday I was able to experience one of those days that make a lifetime.  The walls are done and the earthen plaster is being applied to the exterior.  Roof is in place and will be finished this morning.  We will continue with the exterior plaster and start plastering the interior.

The most amazing thing for me is the joy others bring to the project.  Young, old, or in that place in between, they all get a grin on their faces that is wonderful to see when they talk to the group working on the house.

Go to Ubuntu-Blox on facebook and win a smile.  You deserve it.

We start construction at EandHweek today!

No April Fools joke.  Today we install the foundation and start placing the Ubuntu-Blox for the Kenya/Omyonga house.  We will be working there all weekend and next week to get it all done so visitors can see what a house made with plastic refuse can be like.

Monday evening we will pick up Patti Stouter at the airport.  She is flying in from New York State to have a ton of fun building the Kenya/Omyonga house.  She is going to help us formulate and apply earth plaster over the blocks.  She has suggested we mix the plaster the same way it will be done in some of the developing nations where the Ubuntu-Blox is designed to help.  We will lay out a tarp on the ground, add the ingredients, local soil, sand, straw, horse manure, and water.  It is mixed with our feet.

So if you want to do some walking without going anywhere and getting high on life, be there, or be square.

We Need Foam Plastics (Styrofoams)

We are desperate for foam plastics to make the blocks for the Hunt Institute Engineering and Humanity Week Kenya House. 

We also need the grocery bags but are finding those at Albertsons in Wylie, Brookshires in Wylie, Brookshires in Farmersville, Walmart in Wylie, and Walmart Neighborhood Store in Murphy. 

Home Depot in Wylie is giving us foam plastics they bring back from installations.  Lowes in Murphy has said they will do the same thing.  Best Buy in Northpark is getting a thing together to get us their foam plastics and Fry’s Electronics in Plano is supposedly also working up a way to collect their foam plastics.  Allied Waste’s recycling center in Plano lets me have all the foam plastics I can gather from their trash collection but there isn’t very much to get at one time.  BCE Electro has given us a bunch of foam also.