It has been a wee while since the last email and all for good reason – we have been working really hard this week in particular, in an effort to complete the toilet and shower block (built by the Corsham team in June) and make sure that everything functions as it should and that it looks fairly presentable, ready for the Oak Hall group arriving on Thursday from the UK. The plumbing is now nearly completed but we have yet to install the solar hot-water system on the roof and fit the doors, so it will be a last big push through to Thursday and then hopefully collapse in a heap on Friday (us, not the shower block!) As we have worked all week up till today we are already having a little practice at collapsing in a heap, so today we are mostly doing nothing!
We are SO thankful for a lovely place in which to rest! Sitting on the verandah, overlooking the huge variety of trees and greenery here I would say it is peaceful and in a way it is but adding their voices to the silence are the numerous neighbourhood cockerels competing for top spot in the pecking order, several gangs of combatting sparrows nesting in the eaves above our heads and the intriguing chatter and song of passers by who wander up and down the cut-through alley way at the side of the house which leads down to a stream and then eventually onto the road where Steve and Ruth live. The monkeys have yet to make an appearance…
Steve and Ruth will be leading the group from Oak Hall and have been working hard, planning and getting covered in dust along with us down at the Sanga Sanga site. They have also been very supportive this week especially as it did not start in a good way…
So Tuesday was probably the worst day we have had so far, in saying that though it was the only really difficult day we have had so far, which all things considered is pretty good!
It has been dubbed Leaky Tuesday as every pipe we plumbed or laid, well you guessed it, leaked; it seemed as if every connection failed and hours were spent fixing other leaky things on site before getting on with our main work. That in itself was just frustrating, just part of life but we were so tired at the end! The other issue which left us feeling a little vulnerable was that one of the guard dogs belonging to the house where we are staying became ill very quickly and died that evening. It all happened within hours and not knowing the system here and feeling quite responsible for someone else’s dog was difficult. At the end of a long story, we watched and waited with Luka, the night guard, as the poor dog breathed its last.
Not to mention the other animal death earlier that same day…
George, the calf born on site this year, became ill on Monday and when we arrived on Tuesday morning the first thing we ask is
‘How is George?’
‘Oh, George is dead…come and see’
I follow Amos the guy who looks after the 3 cows (now 2) through to the field behind the cowshed expecting to see poor George’s body…instead there is George, in 3 buckets, being dissected and examined. Francis holds up (a little too closely) the lungs and heart for me to comment on…
‘Look,’ he says, ‘You can see the bad bit there!’
‘Yes, quite…thank you…’
Later we see some of George bubbling away in a pot on the campfire – the dogs dinner of course – waste not want not, a far cry from the plastic wrapped joint from the supermarket.
For those interested parties, the campfires have been very useful in heating pipes so that we can bend them to make them fit – always think outside the box!
The song in our heads this week…
‘And we the redeemed shall be strong, in purpose and unity.
Declaring aloud, praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honour and power and strength.
Be to our God forever and ever!’
We pray for the ability to get done what needs to be done this week and to stay wholly reliant on Him!
Love to all,
Jo and Martin
PS Thanks for all the snippets of news and info we get from folks back home!