After an amazing first night here in Ponta D’ouro and a very good nights sleep our alarms wake us up around 7am to a beautiful day here in Mozambique which puts us in very high spirits ready for our first day at the school .
We get changed and settle down for breakfast and fill up so we have plenty of energy to stand us in good stead for the day .. as you’ll see later in the blog in was no easy ride lol. T.L Ben also hands us our official Reach Out T-Shirts so we can wear them with pride while working at the school .
After gathering our things and stocking up on water we load the bakkie ( truck ) and head off around 8:45 am to meet Sean our coordinator at the school.
Driving along the sand roads we get to see in the light the bustling local Macado ( Market ) and see all the beautiful clothing , fruits and local delicacies that are on offer . When we pull up at the school we got to see first hand how these children have to learn and try and gain an education with just basic facilities and run down classrooms .. some of the classrooms don’t even have desks just small tree stumps for the kids to sit on .
Seeing all this just gives us even more oomph to try and put all of our effort in to upgrade some of these facilities and leave our mark on this place . Sean was waiting for us at the top of the school grounds so we walked up and took on board what we will be doing .
The last group had dug out and built a double septic tank with blocks ready for the new toilet so we have to mix up a cement mix and plaster the walls of the septic tank , we also have to make a lot of blocks from dry cement mix in order to build the overflow and we need to dig a 2m x 2m round hole about 2.5m deep which will act as the overflow for the septic tank .
We also need to plaster the toilet block which has already been built , put in all the toilet facilities ie, toilet itself , basin and all the plumbing needed to get running water to the toilet so it has a proper flushing facility so it should give us plenty of work for the next couple of weeks .
We begin work around 9:30 am and split up into small groups Nicole and Quinci help 2 of our local helpers make a huge mix ready for the blocks to be made .. the mix is 3 wheelbarrows of sand to one bag of cement but they decide to do triple mix straight off which is massive and will be a lot of work! So they get taught how to mix everything up and add water to the right consistency to make a perfect block .
Ell and Callahan begin to help Arthur our plasterer and master builder make a wet cement mix in order to plaster the walls with this also uses the same mix but is made with more water making it easier to mould with .
Anthea will be here for a month and so needed to wait for a meeting with the headmaster in order to begin her teaching with the kids and this couldn’t happen until about 2pm so she does a fantastic job of gathering a lot of the rubbish trying to clean the grounds up a bit because the bins here are just holes in the ground .
While Nicole and Quinci are being taught how to make the blocks using an ingenious tool that compacts the mix into a block mould the cement mix for the plaster is ready so Anthea hops in the septic tank with Arthur and is taught how to plaster the walls . Having nothing else to do Ella and Callahan begin the work on the overflow hole and get diggin !
Everyone puts in a great effort up until lunch when we drop tools and head into town to have egg and cheese prego rolls and/or salad for a light lunch before heading into the Macado to buy some fruit which boosted our energy levels .
Arriving back at the school Arthur still wasn’t back so we decided to have a challenge .. our 2 local helpers decided to make the last single block mix on their own so 4 of us decided to hop in the overflow hole and just go at it !! And so the 5 minute challenge began lol who could dig out the most sand within a 5 minute period .. it was absolute chaos in the hole as there wasn’t a lot of room to move .. spades and sand was flying everywhere haha sooo funny !
Finally we had the last bag of cement arrive meaning we could make a last mix for the plaster in order to finish the septic tank so T.L Ben makes that mix while the rest of us sop in and out of the whole trying to get as deep as we can as we still had a fair depth to go ….
We had some good laughs in that hole and made a game of it which made it soo much easier to make progress with others outside the hole moving the excess sand away to stop it from caving back in again .. by the end of the afternoon we managed to get down to a depth of almost 2m which was a fantastic effort .
132 blocks got made .. amazing !! and the whole of the septic tank on the inside got plastered .. a great days effort … we think we may need to make some more aims as it looks like we could finish this a lot earlier than expected haha .. GO TEAM !!
In the distance Ben spots a P.E lesson going on in the courtyard and thinks it’s a good idea to have some fun and go and join them haha .. we felt like fools stood at the back of the class but had a great laugh joining in with the kids . We even ended up having a huge game of soccer with them .. if you can call it a game lol .. it was total chaos .. kids just running amok !!
Nicole as our resident Portuguese speaker even managed to organise with the head teacher for us to give the kids a bit of an educational to teach them about hygiene and how important it is to clean up after themselves and keep the rubbish tidy .. which has also lead to us trying to organise some proper bins for the school grounds
After a long hot day of hard work .. with sore arms we head down to the beach to watch the sunset and have a nice cooling dip in the ocean .. ahhhh heaven and a perfect way to end a fantastic first day !! J .. back at the lodge we clean up and settle down on the porch or around the fire in the comfy chairs and rest our tired bodies ready to do it all again tomorrow .. if we can drag ourselves out of bed lol ..
So we bid you good night and will let you know if we can actually move tomorrow haha ..