Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Big things for three weeks:

It has been just three weeks since the go-ahead was given to start physical work on the school and what a difference! The contractor showed up and his electricians went to work installing switches, outlets and “bulb holders” in every room. (no outlets in the dormitories) Outside they installed sockets for security lights. Then concrete guys followed installing doors and windows then finishing the walls and putting in smooth concrete floors over the red dirt. The gate that the founder had constructed has been moved back to its original position and is now supported by two concrete columns. Through all this Fausta has been cooking for the workers and the garden is sprouting with fresh vegetables. One man working tirelessly is digging the cistern/ grey water treatment pond/ fish pond, for a price. Teachers have been coming and helping when and wherever they can until… Last Sunday our first two students arrived for boarding school. Monday a few more came to join. And they tell me that more are coming. The community is supportive, often times stopping me on the road to offer thanks. And fifteen minutes ago water flowed from the newly installed water line.

Then there are the disappointments. The bank takes the ATM card, deducts money from the account and fails to deliver any cash. The next ATM down the line confirms the funds are missing and does not allow further transaction as the limit has been reached.
The former headmaster has leased another school, renaming it St. Fausta. He then goes into the villages and tells people that he is remodeling St. Fausta’s and the other campus is just a temporary arrangement. Parents who are coming expecting him and his school find a pleasant surprise.

What next? It is now time to look for sponsors. People who can help a child by paying their fees, A photovoltaic (solar electric) system as there is no way to run computers on the poor quality electricity that we have now. School and library books are needed. A fresh coat of paint for the outside of the buildings would be nice. In the kitchen we are making a rocket type stove/oven and looking for a gas refrigerator. And the bathroom facilities including showers and composting toilets must be finished. Can’t forget the treated mosquito nets!

The school has come a long way in the past few weeks, but there is much left to do. Soon it will serve as an example of sustainable infrastructure for a healthy learning atmosphere. And of course good grades from healthy students will be the proof.

More updates, keep in touch.

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