Sunday, March 4, 2012

Persistance Pays Off.....

It finally happened.

Edwin and I decided to walk to the project before the evening rains came to check on the homes and we discovered that today, a Sunday, the power people had quietly put up our electrical wires.  We are thinking it was done as a surprise as no one called us.  People in Uganda wait months between the time the poles come and the electricity is hooked up.  When the poles came, they immediately put them into the ground and we had so many phone calls wanting to know how much we bribed them..  Less than 5 days later, we have power.  No bribes...just blessed.

The rains have come and with a vengeance.  Mud huts are ripped apart by the force of the wind and rain and so many have their iron sheets blow away leaving them exposed to the elements while they sleep.  As fast as they come, they leave and again, bright sunny hot days.  We had our own incident at the project.  The rain is certainly helping the grass grow but coming down so hard, we decided to get a 5000 litre tank, install gutters and provide water to the community.  Water is the most valuable commodity here and we need to be helping our neighbours.

We are moving along very well by Ugandan standards but we have a ways to go still.  The house is almost finished, the paving stones are made and 10,000 will be laid soon.  The grass hut is finished and has been put to the test for leakage.  We passed with flying colours with these rains.   Now comes the wall.  Everything here is escalating at a rapid rate and bricks are slipping out of reach with cost.  We have decided to build with concrete blocks instead as it is much cheaper and it still will be secure enough for safety.  There have been three white missionary families vandalized recently and all because their wall was not secure enough. Once the wall is finished.....we can open.  Please pray this will happen by the end of this year because some of our kids are really sick and we want to see them really enjoying a small part of their life.

Now this is man power....honestly, when I saw this happening, I was shocked.  No machines to
help, just muscle and singing in unison to raise it.  The holes were hand dug and no standing around.
They gave us one for free and we had to purchase the other two. bribes.

Today, 5 days later we see this as we are walking up the hill.  The phone calls keep pouring
in to find out how we did this....Edwin never gave up calling and for 2 months he telephoned
every day.  Persistence paid off, plus they just love us anyway.   I like to believe that part.

The final stage...the power box.  Edwin ran home to get a sturdy lock so that no one would
take it during the night.  Perfect timing for the floors to be completed.

The first day of the rainy season.  I couldn't walk home because there was so much mud.
I ended up going by car on some horrendous roads that have been destroyed by all the large
trucks coming to bring our supplies.  We made it but many did not.

So, the only thing to do is install a 5000 litre tank, put up the gutters and build a stand for it to sit under.  All this done, we will wait for the wall to be built, sinking a line under it so that  the people will have access to water instead of walking so far each day.  It's the little one's who seem to do most of the fetching.

The rock is being painted and hopefully before I leave here next week, we can finish it.  I
was hesitant how this would work out but actually it is beautiful and many people comment
on the look.

The tile in the kitchens will be completed this next week.  The men are working very hard now
to complete the finishing touches and really doing a beautiful job.  They all deserve a metal for
the work they do and many of them do it out of love for the project.

The beginning stages of the floors in all rooms.  I wish I could explain this procedure but
I am surprised every time I see a new step.  All I know is, at the end, the floor will be well
constructed and the power is needed to cut the slate which will be laid on top.  Promise to
send pictures...

All of us here want to thank (Anonymous) for helping this family.  Grandpa is in his 90's.
His daughter died of HIV a while back and his wife recently passed away.  He is now
responsible for raising Hadeja and Maryanne plus their 3 year old sister.  They live in a mud
hut the size of our tool sheds with a huge hole in the roof that they battle the rains with.
Anonymous is sending both girls to school and out of all the kids we try and help, these two are
the most excited.  I already started teaching English and they seem to grasp it quite quickly.
Grandpa says that he never had anyone help him past Grade 2 and they have to go to school all day
and come home at night and read until dark.  No use telling him to ease up.....He will be a driving force  because he is so grateful.  Thank you Anonymous.

Before we left for Uganda, my wonderful cousin who started "The Dog's Ear" T-shirt company
donated 20 t-shirts with our new logo. We have given them out to the people involved over here and they wear them daily.  I am wondering if they are ever going to change.....joking if any of you are reading this.  Edwin and I are flattered you love them so much.

We have so many people to thank.  So many wonderful people who really give their hearts to this
project and when you walk on the grounds now, you see it forming.  The kids are coming just to
hang out with the workers wanting to do something to help.  Even pulling the weeds is a job they keep
up with and helping us to distribute the water to the people on Saturdays.  Amazing gratitude from everyone and throughout all this construction...we have passed with flying colours with inspections.

God bless all of you for helping to change these little lives.

Barb and Edwin

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