Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Uganda - MOH Day 4

Firstly, apologies to any readers of this blog (hello? anyone?) but Day 3's blog is being written on the morning of Day 4 due to some excellent entertaining last night of some local folk and International Needs workers, but more of that later.

Initially though, Day 3 was all about working on the site. The weather was hot and as we made our way from our hostel up the path to the building site, you could sense that whatever we did today was going to be hard work, because of the heat. We set to work straight away to help clear the huge amount of broken bricks that gather around the site as builders either dispose of the oddly shaped cast-outs that don't fit in with the rest of the wall, or simply brake when you pick them up.

They were everywhere.

The group split in smaller groups and formed chains from one side of the building to another, to enable us to quicken the process. We managed to clear an entire side of the site and began to make our way around the building, linking and chucking as we went. Smaller rubble was piled into a wheelbarrow and heaved around to join the rest. 6 wheelbarrows later and i had noticed my load and upgraded from 'small rubble' to the more standard 'bricks' and had gradually become very heavy, but like the frog in the slowly boiling water, i had failed to notice and it was only my aching forearms that were spreading the news.

The best lunch of the week so far (mushy peas!) was followed by the majority of the group helping prepare dinner for our guests later in the day, either by peeling (Stephen nearly losing fingers) or shopping. Meanwhile 3 of us (Myself, Karen and Adrian) returned to the site to learn bricklaying and help to finish off the final few layers on the last wall to be completed. Bricklaying is a bit of an art form, and after some excellent tutorage by David, the site manager of the day, we set about slowly contributing to the wall. My slightlt OCD nature lead to some fairly treacle like progress, but the afternoon passed by quickly and before we knew it the local workers had stopped leaving us 3 to finish off our sand/cement.

Our visitors that i mentioned earlier started to gather at about 6-30, but similar to kids at a school disco, they hugged the perimeter and waited for all their group to gather before making an entrance. We built a campfire and after all helping ourselves to the amazing food on offer (we still don't know how the chef Irene knew exactly how many kilos of food to buy to feed the exact amount of people). It was obviously very well received as there wasn't a bean left. Irene explained that many people wouldn't have eaten meat for a while so the chance to tuck into some beef was too good an opportunity to miss.

It was great to be able to share an evening with everyone, and Adrian our house musician entertained us with an excellent acoustic set, including such its as 'Toxic' and 'Man in the Mirror'. We were thanked for our hospitality and our hard work on the school by Sarah a senior IN worker who looks after this project and it was clear to see on everyones faces what this project means. We were worried that we would be seen as surplus workers or as white people getting in the way, but im in no doubt after the last few days that this is the polar opposite of the truth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have read this ... that's one. Gilo