Morning morning! Our routine continues for the last day! It was our last full day of work today, and we were so pumped to get everything we’ve been working on completed. We ate breakfast and got into the trucks and took off for the day. We have worked so hard this week, and we are really excited to tell you all the projects we got done today.
Tara’s group worked at the old crèche today with Scout, Chris, Keira, Jordan, Deborah, Shelby, Amelie and Devon. We worked on the tire pyramid basically the whole day because it needed so many loads of sand! We welcomed the first trailer full with open arms and jumped into the buckee to help unload it all into the middle of the pyramid circle. That sand went far, but we still needed more. Can you believe that?? As we strategically placed all the tires in the circle, rotating colors, making them level, the time went by so quickly.
While we were working on that, the other group was mixing more cement (another daily routine) and making blocks. I’ve explained the purpose of the block previously, so I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details of them. The best part is that they know exactly what needs to be done, and they just do it no questions asked. They work really well together with a system of one person filling in the molder and the other one pressing it and taking it out. They made a ton more all day, and I was very impressed with their progress.
Pretty soon it was lunchtime, so we made our daily sandwiches for the children and then we went to the newer crèche to join up with the others for some munching. We played with the kids and ate together again on the tire pyramid there, which is always a good time. We are sure going to miss these kinds of moments.
After that, we headed back for our afternoon work. It was basically the same as before with the block making and tire pyramid, but we were determined to get it finished today. We went off on our own to get our last load of sand, and we tried to shovel it as quickly as possible. We made friends with some of the kids at the sand pit who always wait for us to come around. It’s so cute. They’ll be sitting down and then as soon as they see our truck turn the corner, they all jump up and dance and wave at us until we stop in front of them. They love watching us shovel the sand, and sometimes they even try to help.
When we were done getting sand, we tried to start the truck but gee dangit it was dead. Of course our first thoughts were, “well great, we’re stuck out in a random village in Africa.” But really all we had to call Richard to come save us from this pickle. Richard to the rescue!! While we waited, we played with the kids there who had become fascinated with jumping off the ledge into the sand hole we had made. It was a really fun time.
Good thing Richard didn’t take too long though because we still had a lot to get done! We unloaded more sand together and adjusted the tires at the same time. We also added more layers and then it was time for the very last tire! Hoorah!!! We did it! We had to put our mark on the pyramid too, so we painted our hands green and put a lot of beautiful handprints on each tire. It was definitely a memorable moment finishing that. I was so lucky to have such a great and motivated team to do it too!
We met up with the other group this afternoon and helped load up all the work equipment into the truck. As we pulled away, we could see all of our work that we did throughout the week. It’s amazing what we accomplished in such a short amount of time and we know the kids are going to love what we’ve done for them too. That was so cool today. We get to say, “Sizobonana cusasa (see you tomorrow)” one last time. We know tomorrow is going to be really hard though. I think everyone is dreading having to say goodbye to these wonderful children. However, the party tomorrow will be a great way to send them off.
Ben’s group headed back to the new crèche today to hopefully get the project finished , well at least our main aims that we had planned for . Elissa , Eric , Will , Phillipe , Doug , Drey , Nikkta , Cheleigh , James , Dan , Alyssa , Emily and Elisa and were all ready and amped for the days work ahead with the motto ‘ GET IT DONE ‘ . We decided to keep the same teams working on the same projects throughout the day so they would be able to keep the same momentum and rhythm to complete the jobs quicker .
Will , Elissa , Eric and Phillipe began making the first plaster mix as we needed to finish plastering the whole of the back wall which would be no mean feat ! Drey and Cheleigh took it upon themselves to finish off painting the toilet which was partially plastered yesterday and Nikkita donned the roller and began putting the white base filler coat on the two sides of the crèche which were completed yesterday after being sanded down by Doug .
Dan , James and Elisa made their way onto the roof to put the final coat of black roof paint onto the tiles which will give the tiles a strong protective coating keeping the kids dry inside … hopefully this final coat wouldn’t take as long as the first one haha but the paint seemed to go further quicker so we had high hopes but it would be a long dry day up here as the sun was beating down and has just got hotter and hotter as the week has gone by .
Emily took the task of finishing of the signs for the race track , tyre pyramid and tyre snake .. she had to finish sanding them down , give them a base coat of white paint and then use black paint to paint on the road warnings so the kids would know how to behave behind the wheel of their new tricycles haha . While everyone settled into their jobs Ben took Doug , Cheleigh and Alyssa on a sand loading trip to help the guys at the other crèche so that they could finish their tyre pyramid .. my god that was hard work and backs were definitely sore afterwards .
Great progress was being made this morning and by the time Ben had got back we were well on our way to getting jobs completed .. the back wall had almost had its full plaster coat put on and was ready to be levelled out and smoothed over this afternoon and everything seemed to be coming together nicely . The other group were running out of water so decided to come to us for an earlier lunch and it was definitely a welcome break .
The afternoon saw Alyssa helping Emily by cutting the poles which the signs would be mounted on , Eric tried his hand at plastering and smoothing over the mornings work and did really well , Phillipe and Doug took on the job of varnishing the wooden roof beams that were showing so that they would be protected from the weather while the roof team finally completed the roof !! WELL DONE GUYS !! And took a well deserved rest laying on top the roof gazing around at the beautiful scenery .
While this was going on Eric called Ben to identify a lizard they had found .. it was a Tree Igama so what did he do .. yup .. picked it up haha . It was soo cute but as we tried to stroke him he would always try and bite us .. how rude ! and when Ben had his head turned he even bit Ben on his stomach haha .. serves him right but he still carried it around to show us all and had a great time scaring the kids with it who were running all over the place in circles haha .
The latter part of the afternoon was spent just getting the finishing touches sorted .. Dan helped Siya nail the signs to the posts , Doug put in the toilet !! Drey and Cheleigh .. well were not sure what they were up to haha apart from having a paint fight lol and the rest of us went on clean up duty to make the crèche look inviting . We moved all the blocks and bits of rubble to the back of the crèche and had a massive clean up of all the rubbish so it was much safer for the kids to play around especially after the mess we have been making this week .
A great effort was put in by us all today and we completed all of our tasks .. the toilet got finished apart from the waste pipe .. ¾ of the crèche had its base coat painted on and the back wall had its plaster coat finished . The roof had it’s second coat of protector put on , the track and it’s signs got completed along with signs for other gym equipment around the crèche and most of the protruding wooden beams from the roof were varnished . WHAT A DAY !!
Tonight is a free evening for them to buy whatever else they want for their journey home and for gifts as well. Then later, we will have one last traditional braai dinner with all the workers and our awesome drivers too. It’s so fun having the last night together with the people we’ve worked with all week. We’re really going to miss everyone here. They’ve been supportive and patient with our learning curve and they have treated us very well. We love sharing cultural differences and learning about each other while we work. It is a group of very special people, and we cannot begin to explain how grateful we are to have met and had the opportunity to learn from you this week. How has this week gone so fast?!?!
We’ll have a couple more updates coming your way tomorrow and Saturday, so please continue to read as we send everyone out on their flights home to you.
Cipo and S’penqueque