Today is Saturday and its our fourth day at the Island School. It has been a bit of a strange day as the children were not at school and there was no morning assembly to enjoy before we got to work. The laughter and shouting that we would usually hear as we are laying bricks was missing and I realised for the first time that its that what keeps us going when we are heading towards exhaustion and ready to cave in. I have never seen children happier than those that attend the school here and despite living in such bad conditions, they always have a smile and are yelling ‘Jambo’ every time they see us!
Before I came to Ol Maisor, I had several moments where I worried about how I would cope with the physical work that was in store. I have heard from previous groups that the cement mixing is tough and the brick laying is hard work. We are now four days into our trip and I know they really weren’t kidding! Cement mixing by hand is inexplicably hard work, the weight of the sand, stone, water and cement is unbelievable but this is how we do it in Ol Maisor and so far, so good! Yesterday we managed to construct an entire house for one of the teachers at the Island School in just one day – Clive won’t admit it but I like to believe this is a record!
So yes, the physical work has been a big challenge but I like to believe I am keeping up. The strength and determination of the team has really kept our spirits high and we are so focused on making every moment here count that I know we will achieve what we have set out to do. I could not have wished for a better group of people to share this experience with and I am certain I have made some friends for life.
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