Jambo! From the Island School in Ol Maisor - Blog by Ricky Smith

Jambo! From the Island School in Ol Maisor, at the time of writing this blog I’m sat on top of a pile of bricks, with a pen and paper, drinking coffee from a plastic cup – something which has thankfully been in plentiful supply, with the work we’ve been doing it’s certainly welcome, essential in fact. Another essential beverage, if you could call it that, is the re-hydration salts that can only be described as VILE – the heat out here is astonishing, and the intensity of the sun is like nothing I’ve felt before, half hour after knocking back one of those and a few litres of water and you’re raring to go again!

Over the past few days I’ve turned my hand to so many things, most of which I’ve not done before this trip; everything from brick laying to using a hammer and chisel – tough tasks anywhere. There’s been two main things that have kept me going – the team spirit has been absolutely incredible; everyone has literally put in their blood sweat and tears, we’ve been singing songs, telling jokes, and looking out for one another. The second and most important motivating factor has been the local community and hearing first-hand just what a difference this project is having on all of their lives, the welcome we’ve had has been incredible – everyone wants to talk to us, and they have such beautiful smiles which seem to be permanently attached to their faces, which given their current level of depravity is inspiring, and really puts everything into perspective.

A wave of ‘Country Roads’ has just drifted across from the new kitchen that’s currently being painted by the girls, and lunch has arrived – hurrah!

I hope to write another blog before we leave, and I’ll be addressing the school at their assembly on Tuesday morning, so hopefully I’ll be able to update you on how that went, and try to go into some more detail about what we’ve been up to – for now though I’m going to grab some food, pizza today, yummy! Then after lunch it’s straight back to mixing concrete… By hand… With shovels – bring it on!

Ricky Smith