Another week has flown by, still busy everyday with workers plastering the Church building, tending rabbits and keeping the grounds looking good. We had a small crew working on the Government Clinic here in the village, the administrator there came to us in November with her list just before Mike came. Last year we put solar in the maternity ward and mid-wives dorm, plus lights along the walk way so the mid-wives can see at night. Because they had solar they were certified, given more money and are able to participate in a program for the pregnant women. This year the request ranged from running water, a refrigerator and new counters for their lab. What was approved was the counters! The lady didn’t quite believe Christian when he told her we don’t even have running water. And if we purchase or give them our old refrigerator we would then be expected to up the clinics solar system because the one they have won’t run it. Electricity is slowly being put in the village so maybe soon they will have it. Our crew put in concrete counters a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting for them to dry. The administrator wanted granite counter tops. Don’t we all? Haha! Ceramic tile is everywhere here so we told them to pick what they want, but they decided on Terrazzo. Jennifer brought samples and the guy who will do it, it sounds like it will be nice. If he does a good job we may have him do my kitchen. The concrete on my countertops was mixed with too much sand so it has made it very hard to clean, very sandy. So I tried an oil based stain on it, it turned out very pretty. It looked like dark wood but on the sandiest parts of the counter it has peeled off in big layers. We’ve been talking about tiling it so we will wait and see how the clinic comes out. He says he will be done Monday or Tuesday. We’ll see if it is done on time!
We are on guard number two – Nelson Mandela, or Nelson Pantello if you ask Raelee! Today is his second day and we are very happy with him so far. We were worried because his company decided to move him here in the village. Two things can happen – he can make friends with people in the village and we are concerned then we would have what we had before – too much leniency with people coming on the grounds. Or two, he may not be happy about being moved an hour away to a village. Finding out he does not speak the same language as most of the village now we are more worried he will feel all alone! They said he speaks English. Speaking a few words and understanding English are two entirely different things! He says he has been with this company five years and seems to be professional. I wouldn’t want the job – it’s pretty boring and without speaking the language he is pretty much alone. We had just got up this morning about 7:15 and heard someone knocking on the door. It was Jennifer, a group of our guys were at the gate trying to leave with tin and Nelson wouldn’t let them out until we said they could go with it. We have four guys working on a temporary wood building at the school across the road from us and yesterday Nelson saw Christian supervising when they left with tin for the roof yet he wouldn’t let them leave this morning without an okay. Woohoo! That’s what we want! I don’t think the workers were too thrilled about it but that’s okay. Later our neighbor who is a tailor tried to come in to deliver one of our boys’ school pants and Nelson made him wait at the gate until he called Christian on the radio. (Another plus – he actually can use the walkie-talkie!) So we are very pleased with him so far – remember it’s only the second day! Both yesterday and today Christian gave him lunch money and told him just lock it up and go with the guys but he won’t. We are going to check and see if someone brings him lunch back. I don’t know if he doesn’t want to leave the property because he is on duty or if it is too awkward because he doesn’t know anyone. We will just keep praying it all works out and he is happy with his job!
We have to go to Kampala again to get the title for the tipper truck. Praying we get the title this time! It would be nice if we could make it there and back the same day, and sometimes staying isn’t bad either. But we have been there and back and in hotels too much in the past month so we are ready to take a break from the driving back and forth. It’s only about 120 miles away but it takes three hours minimum to get there and has taken four to five hours before, it can really be a nightmare. It is just too dangerous for us to be out after dark, even in our town. We will be visiting the two supermarkets that had all the good stuff to see if they have any more. You can’t ever tell if they will have the same thing twice!
The kids all went back to school this week. We got our three kids new backpacks, shoes and uniforms, they were too excited! They didn’t get backpacks last year. It cost a little over $20/each for those. For the year tuition is around $120 total for all three, a little higher than last year since Fiona is in the seventh grade. Next year is high school and we are not sure what we will do then. There was a parent/teacher meeting yesterday for seventh graders and because we had already talked to the teachers about the subject of the meeting, we didn’t go. When Fiona came to get us for the meeting we told her that she should go get her father and tell him we said he should be there. By the look on Fiona’s face she either didn’t want to do that or knew he wouldn’t come. Probably a little of both. We don’t know yet if he went or if he is even around anymore. We try to find out what goes on at their home but no one tells the truth so it is pretty hard to know. I do know those kids are so much happier than when we met them. Even the baby, who is close to two now, looks healthier and smiles when he comes.
Raelee was pretty sad yesterday being all alone, I told her she could go to school with Zula and the rest of her friends. She debated and then declined. She would like a uniform though and thinks it would be nice to visit the school every now and then! I told her that’s not how it works. She would not last very long there, even if the novelty wore off with the kids, they go from 7:30-5:00. Too long in my opinion, especially in the tiny hot classrooms packed in tight with kids and only porridge at lunch. That is why we are helping them out with the new building, they have too many seventh graders this year and not enough room. Plus, Zula wanders over here whenever he feels like it, so I know she would ask to go to the bathroom and either come home or wander over to Jennifer’s house next door to the school!