It’s hard to believe, but the team’s time in Swaziland has quickly come to an end. Today the team outdid themselves showing how hard they could work and demonstrating their excellent concrete mixing ability. Yesterday the team dug the trench for the foundation for the veranda of the classrooms. Today they mixed and poured the cement that is the base for the foundation. They finished around 1:00 at which point we had a closing ceremony followed by lunch provided by the school/church/community. It was a good day and though everyone was saying good bye, Swazi’s and Americans alike held the hope that one day they would meet again.
Absalom, our inspector and Sipho the builder standing in the trench the team dug for the foundation of the veranda. They are planning the next steps in the building project.
David and Justin making sure the trench is dug deep enough and at the same depth from one end to another.
David helping Meluleki (nickname Kim) work like the big guys!
The door handle fell off of the Kombi so the three guys were looking at it discussing how to fix it. Little Kim was copying their every move! Kim is the oldest of 4 children. There is not a father in his homestead. I was so touched watching how much Kim came out of his shy little shell being around these guys. They've given Kim the greatest gift of all - their love and attention.
The finished trench for the foundation of the veranda for the 4-classroom building.
Pouring the cement into the trench.
And finally the last of the trench has cement in it. The team laughed at God's sense of humor. First, they thought they were done with big batches of cement last Friday. Then they found out they were going to have to do the foundation for the veranda. Then this morning they thought they would only have to do 40 wheelbarrows worth of cement. Then they found they needed to make another 10 wheelbarrows of cement, and it still wasn't enough. They had to make a third batch of cement which finally completed the base of the foundation for the veranda.
The drama troupe doing a skit on Adam and Eve. It was very cute. By the way, the third man from the left in the blue stripped shirt and black jacket is Chief Lomngeletjane!
Then the boys did a traditional "gum shoe" skit. They dress up as over weight, lazy men representing the lack of education. I don't quite get the whole thing, but it is hilarious watching the boys dressed up strutting around doing their thing.
The program included speeches from several individuals. David spoke on behalf of the team.
Some of the girls came dancing in. They sang a song about how people shouldn't be lazy about HIV as they danced.
Some of the smaller girls doing their traditional dance. This is the first time these children have performed for anyone. They were a bit shy, but you could also see in their faces that they were proud of themselves as well.
The team on the wall of what will become the 5th grade classroom! Yebo!
The head teacher in traditional attire for married women, Angela in the cloth presented to her by the head teacher, Sipho (the builder) and Michael.
The team and several of the community people who worked with the team mixing concrete, pouring the slab and laying blocks. Together they make an unbeatable team.
Sipho and the two "big guys." Sipho has never worked with a team of people. He usually works alone with one or two people under him as needed. In the beginning, he was a bit skeptical of how this would work, especially with females wanting to work. But after two weeks of working together he told us that the team listened to him, were willing to learn and worked very hard. This was a very big compliment and gives us just a little insight into the learning and cooperation that went on between the members of two very different cultures.