Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

Into Africa Day 6: First Floating AbodShelter Completed On Lake Volta


Dear Wellness Seekers,

Into Africa Day 6: First Floating AbodShelter Completed Lake On Volta promises a day of accomplishment for the team at The Fish Farm happily named The Two Loaves + Five Fishes. Today we complete the Abod on the water. Oh happy day – We could see the project completed in our minds eye – but there are many details yet to finish before we must leave for America.

The AbodShelter comes together in 3 major steps:

Step 1: First comes the grid that is made of heavy steel that need to be fitted together piece by piece, screw by screw so it would be level. The grid is moved from the top of the hill to the waterline. Then the empty blue drums need to be attached so it would become a floating pontoon.  That means the grid had to go into the water to make sure it was balanced and secure to float. Now we thought that was the tricky part. Next we needed to secure the big metal plates for the flooring. Things were progressing well BUT SUDDENLY things got interesting. Due to an unfortunate step backwards by someone, one of the big heavy plates slid into the deep dark lake! Right! Doug and a couple of the guys who were good swimmers took a few dives but it was just too dark to see it. So off Doug went to find the diver that is rumored to live in the next village along the lake. Lucky he lives near by!


Step 2:  The Abod is designed so the exterior structure can be built in one day and that is what we planned to do. The BSB Design architects designed this to be a sturdy, sustainable structure by Africa standards – Humanitarian Design to democratize housing for the families that need it most. Soon we got into the rhythm of craft with people playing key roles in assembly line fashion. This helped our productivity in spite of the heat blazing away on the water. And the somewhat unsteadiness of building on the water added to the challenge but once we were in a groove we could quickly see the results of our teamwork. That is one of the coolest things about building the Abod – you know when you leave your mission work the AbodShelter will be ready for a family to move into right away.


Step 3: Today we focus on the finishing touches to the Floating AbodShelter include connecting the solar panel in the best spot on the exterior and installing the battery pack in the loft inside ( yes there is a cool little loft). We set in the door panel and lock set. Then it is all about sealing and painting to make sure it holds up well against the rain and wind and it looks fresh and new for inhabitants. Lastly the deck will be washed down so it sparkles. Oh yes – The diver came with his basic equipment making our day because after an hour under water he found the big plate surfacing with it. Happy Day – we can finish the floor making it fully functional.


Into Africa Day 6: First Floating AbodShelter Completed On Lake Volta is truly special to all of us. As the day progresses we stop every now and then to take in the Abod’s modern stature juxtaposed against the crystalline cobalt blue water. And then again as the sun falls quickly in the sky as it is winter here south of the equator when the golden hues emerge on the horizon line. With the Abod completed we are ready to enjoy the moment by capturing the traditional production wrap pic of the team.

There is something magical about building an Abod in one day for someone you know who really needs a safe secure home. You feel emotionally attached to the experience because it changes you for the better. Spanista feels humbled to have this opportunity and hopes it inspires you to join us someday  as we build more AbodShelters homes in Africa and elsewhere. What do you think?

Come back tomorrow for the last Chapter of my Humanitarian Travel Diary to Asikuma.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


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