We have a slab for the first classroom!

It is unbelievable, but thanks to the commitment and hard work of the combined team of Swazis and Americans we have a slab for the first of the four classrooms!

This is the start of the huge pile of cement that is mixed by hand and then dumped via a wheelbarrow on top of the compacted dirt that makes up the foundation of the building.

Two wheelbarrows of river sand (literally from the river bed) and two wheelbarrows full of crushed stone (gravel) are used for each bag of cement. They mix 6 bags of cement at a time.

The cement is leveled by two guys using the above handmade tool.

And the completed slab for the first classroom! It took all day to do the one classroom, but if all goes right, they should be done pouring the slab on Friday. But we'll take each day as it comes.

There is one small, tiny issue that may delay us from finishing the slab by the weekend.  Ok, so it’s not really so small or tiny.  We discovered yesterday that someone cut through the wooden slats of the old, unused church, and stole all of the circuit breakers from the electrical panel and did some other damage to it.  This is the second time thugs have messed with the electrical connections for the school.  Late last year someone stole the cable from the pole to the breaker box.   The Head teacher and the parent committee chairman are coming up to a plan to get it fixed as soon as possible.  Without the electricity we can’t pump water from the bore hole.  Thankfully, the school has 4 water storage tanks.  Three of them catch water from the roof.  One of the tanks was full and another one about half full yesterday.  In the afternoon today, only one tank was about half full.  The hard part for me is to refrain from jumping in and solving their problem.  So please pray that a solution is found quickly and the tanks are filled by tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning at the latest.

Remember that pile of dirt that the guys loved to be on top of looking down? It's gone! This is all that is left of it. The rest of it has been dumped into the foundation for each classroom and then compacted using a gas powered "stamper."

Some of the women on the team spent much of the day shelling the corn (maize) with the ladies from the community.

As for me, I didn’t get to spend much time with the team again.  We took one little girl from Lomngeletjane to the Baylor clinic at the hospital in Manzini this morning.  (We is the rural health motivator for Lomngeletjane, Thoko, Thini and I.  Kat came with us.  The Baylor clinic is a clinic for children that are HIV+.  The little girl we took is HIV+ and about is just now at the stage of having to go on medication.  The only problem is, she is one of 14 orphaned grandchildren living with a grandmother with very little means.  The grandmother isn’t supervising the girl to make sure she takes medication prescribed for an ear infection and sores on her face correctly.   If this medication isn’t being taken properly, the Doctor won’t put her on ARV’s because taking them irregularly is worse than not taking them at all.  It was a stressful day trying to learn from the Doctor what our small chances are and to convince the grandmother to make a plan to help the child take her medication as prescribed.  The grandmother doesn’t think Doctors do any good so we have to try and convince her to give the Baylor Doctors a chance.  So at the end of the day, I felt as wiped out as the team did only I didn’t feel near as productive.

5 thoughts on “We have a slab for the first classroom!

  1. I can’t imagine how frustrated you must be to know the medicine is available and you can’t get them to give it to the child on a regular basis.

  2. Good job team. I am proud of you. Hope the water situation gets worked out in time to finish the slab. I am missing working with you. Richard

  3. Hold on to your mustard seed – I know it’s in one of your pockets! God has put you out there & won’t leave you hanging.
    Tell Rev Angela & the team Liz from home says she wishes she was there with them – they are doing such an amazing job & I am so proud of all of them!!!
    Continued prayers & much love from here – keeo the faith & keeo on sharing it.

  4. the slab looks so good!! Way to go guys!! I’ll be praying that there is a quick fix to the whole electricity/water problem! and that the girl will be able to take her medication regularly!!
    much LVOE! :)

  5. the slab looks so good!! Way to go guys!! I’ll be praying that there is a quick fix to the whole electricity/water problem! and that the girl will be able to take her medication regularly!!
    much LVOE! :)

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