Saturday, May 6, 2017

March 19

It is Sunday afternoon and all is quiet on the Chitokoloki front. We still have not been able to get internet access at our house but we do check when we go up to the middle of the station. So we are happy to get news from home! We have had a busy week but we are thankful for safety and health. After heavy rain continuously for  2 days and Tim and Jason being soaked continually and trying to run mud off the worksite, the weather changed and there have been no rains since Wednesday and the sun has shone relentlessly. And now the worksite is dry and there is no shade. It is about 30' most days!  So no happy medium! But work has progressed. They finished readying the foundation and putting forms in so Thursday afternoon, the workers decided on their own that they should start pouring cement while Tim was at lunch! So they mixed quite a pile and when Tim arrived back, they excitedly showed him the pile! Needless to say, there was still a couple of hours of prep work that had to be done and Tim was not as excited as the workers. But everyone worked until dark and they managed to not waste the cement. Friday they finished a section 10 by 20 and hired a man to keep it wet for next 5 days. Friday and Saturday they worked on another section but then ran out of sand and stone. The army brought a load of gravel on Saturday evening and Tim will take a wagon and bunch of men out at 7 on Monday morning looking for sand. Everyone took Sat afternoon off which was really nice for Tim and Jason. The depth of the cement varies from one side to another due to the foundation being a little off level! So the  first corner the depth of cement is about 10 inches and the last area will only be about 4 inches.  If they are able to get the needed sand and gravel, they hope to get most of the cement poured next week. The men are working really hard. There is one group of men who are making cement blocks so there are 2 men who run the cement mixer and then wheel barrel the mix over to a shady spot where two men make the blocks. I videotaped the process. It took just over 3 minutes for them to form the block! They thought they had all the blocks they needed ready for Tim but when Tim calculated, they had 752 blocks and Tim figures they need over 2000! So they continue to work at this. Then there is a group of 6 men who shovel and mix cement by hand for the foundation pad. Friday and Saturday they had the use of a tractor with a bucket and so shovelled the cement into the bucket and moved it that way which was a bonus instead of wheelbarrows. There are only 3 wheelbarrows and the loads don't go far. They are hoping to have use of the tractor some times next week. It has been very hot working in the sun and we are constantly boiling and cooling water to keep Tim and Jason supplied. So they are both sleeping this afternoon! They are usually ready for bed by 8 pm.

The electrical team is still here and carol has been willing to feed Tim, Jason and I lunch each day which has been wonderful. And she even makes desserts! So I told Jason he better enjoy his desserts because they will come to an end when Carol leaves! This has freed me up to work at the hospital usually from 7 am until 3. I am probably driving the staff around the bend but I went on a cleaning spree. The first couple days I worked on the malnutrition program but the cockroaches and weevils were driving me bugs! Hence the cleaning spree! The first day in the storage room I realized Lucy and I could not do it ourselves so I hired two men who would move the bags and barrels and then we would do the "cockroach  dance" and kill as many as we could before they hid under something else. I wish I had videoed it for you but it was pretty priceless seeing all four of us stepping on the roaches and kicking them off the walls!  Lucy said the men were calling me the crazy white lady! They just accept them as a part of life and don't worry about them. But they were willing to do it if I was paying them to kill them. So we were all happy! So we spent 3 days cleaning store rooms and it feels so much better. This week weevils beware, you are next on my hit list! They have asked me to tackle the cockroach problem in ICU as some equipment is not working because it is full of roaches. So maybe next week. It is so rewarding to see Lucy carrying on with the malnutrition program and so needed. The 5 year old was doing so well early in the week. We were able to increase her from 30 cc every 4 hours to 60 cc and then 90 cc. At 120 cc, she started vomiting again. So now we have had to cut back again. The doctor thinks he may operate to see what is wrong.

We added 2 ladies who are less than 35 kg and a girl who is just under 30 kg and two very malnourished men. And one badly burned lady who we are supplying with extra protein. It is difficult to get enough protein into these people.

We have been able to buy 20 scones each day and Lucy coats them with peanut butter and gives them to the most malnourished. I carry my epi- pen at the hospital.

Then I leave and make or help Carol with supper for 8. Yesterday I finished at noon and Crol and I made supper for all the staff and visitors which was about 24.   We had chilli with lots of beans and tomatoes, pasta salad with tomatoes and onions, tomato salad with onions and buns. It was so nice to get together and just relax. We moved out of our room yesterday as there are some visitors from New Zealand here for a week staying with us. They lived here in  early 2000 and their daughter and son in law is here with them. The daughter and son in law will stay for two months as she gets medical experience. The son in law offered to help Tim and Jason which is great. We left a  big cockroach behind when we moved out but Jason chased one into our room last night as a welcome to his end of the hall! Thanks Jason!

Anyway, we are all doing fine and are thankful to the Lord that he has allowed us to do this job. Tim spoke this morning at church and did well. The guy translating was most enthusiastic and it was fun to watch him translate. No idea what he was saying but everyone seemed to enjoy  it!!

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