Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back to School

September and January mark the times when kids nearly everywhere in the world ‘go back to school’. Generally speaking, in the Northern Hemisphere, September is the beginning of the school year. But for us way down under, it’s mid-term reports time. Today the mission’s primary school held a meeting where general announcements were made and students received their mid-term final grades. Some did well while others...need to try harder.

As with most school meetings when you’re a kid, there were some times when it was fun
And times when it was boring!
Another event that took place today was the official first-time production of our own blocks with the newly donated block-making-machine. Over the past month or so, there was quite a bit of gathering of soil samples and mud-cake-making in order to find just the right type of soil for making blocks. Once the right soil was found, it then had to be watered down to loosen it up so it could be dug out, hauled to the block-making site and spread out to dry out a bit (tip #1: Soil that is too moist = muddy bricks once compressed). By mid-afternoon the soil was about just right, so two guys went to work shovelling the dirt into the hopper. The machine pumps out 1 brick every 2 seconds, so there isn’t much time for standing around...just a bit! These unbaked mud bricks will be used for construction of main walls. Once up you tack chicken wire onto them then plaster, and voila! (Apparently) For foundations, we need to use these locally made baked bricks. They’re much stronger. You may notice the charred background in this picture. A few days ago we came home from town late in the afternoon to find fire scattered along the mission farm’s one boundary. It had been discovered at 1 p.m. or so and the staff and Nat and Salena had spent until 5 p.m. working to beat it out with water and green leafy branches. Although the fire came close to some of the mission’s buildings, nothing major was damaged and it was otherwise successfully diverted to a safer area to burn itself out at nightfall. It seems the fire crossed through the dry river bed (which has reeds). But now that the fire has burned there, it seems as though all our boundaries are now clear fire breaks. Even if they had to be cleared by burning themselves!

4 comments:

The Electrical Engineering Student said...

man, we're gonna miss all the fires when we're there! The other day I burned incense in the house and it reminded me of home, I guess just because it was smoke. Burning food doesn't smell remotely like burning bush :(

Cool block machine!

Heather & Rick said...

hey lynn, thanks for getting our info up on the site! Has anyone ever told you that you have a gift of capturing emotion with your camera? rick and I love to look at the pictures of the people and places that you post on your blog- you have a real talent! God Bless,
Heather

Francois & Alta Rauch said...

Great blog Lynn keep it up!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn from Ruby St Jean from Fountaingate Church Cornwall Ontario Canada great to see thing are going well nice to have Lula Eamer read your letter to us in Church , will send email through to you soon that is a great tool the enternet God Bless Ruby