Friday, November 25, 2011

Bare Necessities

Walls and floors full of bugs aren't my idea of life's bare necessities, but well, it rained and so they're here. So I'll just start this post off with them.

Two days ago, after a few weeks of sweltering heat, we finally got the blitzing thunderstorm. We were expecting it because rain usually follows intense heat at this time of year. In fact, when it's real hot (like into the 40's Celsius), the local people say "It's cooking up some rain."

I would like to add one other predictor of rain: ants. They emerge by the millions just before heavy rains and take over our world in their panicked search for food. They form wide swaths and go anywhere they want--be it inside or outside your house. They march across floors, into garbage cans, pet dishes, the shower, you name it. Outside, they're any place you step, look, or sit. And they'll crawl all over you too if you're in the way. (Which you always are because they're everywhere.)

So to sum it up and move on to more important things, this is how our rain cycle goes. Intense heat + billions of pesky ants > a storm (which should be measurable on the Richter scale) > cooling off + the emergence of a whole host of bugs that the rain unleashes > intense heat again.

Bugs on the veranda the morning after rain.
Where's my broom? Now that's a bare necessity!

With another pastors/monitors intensive seminar upon us, we've been flat out busy ensuring the training center had the bare necessities needed to host the event. So for the first time ever, it will be hosted at the new training center. Right where it should be.

If things still looks under construction, well, they are. But certain parts are finished enough to use. It beats the more rustic conditions everyone has had to put up with over the years while this has been in the planning and initial stages of development. Another major perk is that it's right here on mission property rather than a 30 minute bumpy drive away. So for all concerned, this definitely is a thumbs up.

Here's the latest tour:

Just last week, permanent white metal support beams replaced temporary wooden ones.

This section has had the most finishing touches since it will be used to conduct classes.
Window frames are freshly painted and glass panes are in place.

Primer was even painted on some of the cement trim crosses on the outside,
just in time for the seminar.
(Don't worry, this isn't the permanent color scheme.That will come later.)

A classroom, ready to be used, temporary light fixtures and homemade blackboard in place.

One of the bigger rooms with mattresses that will be used for sleeping.
It's not luxurious but it beats a grass mat on a tent floor!

Oh, and as a side note, I'd like to point out that oval, white table. For probably the first time ever, it is fulfilling a more important function than being my one and only dining room table for the past 18 years. We're temporarily using a "real" wooden one that's on loaner from Ron and Barb. Nice change :)

Tables and chairs to be set up in the classrooms.

Here are some of the temporary structures to cover the bare necessities:

Kitchen and dining area.
We plan to build a nice multipurpose kitchen and dining hall one day,
but for now, this simple structure will do.

Two monitors with program coordinator Pastor Ricardo (light blue shirt), Pastor Tome (the cook, in navy blue t-shirt), and 2 of the older sponsored students on each side of him.
(Left: Mateu P. Right: Bero).

Since it's school holidays, these students do volunteer work during the week of seminar.

Pile of lenha (firewood) for open fire cooking.

Temporary (to become permanent) tap brings fresh water from the storage tank to a central spot for easy access for cooking and bathing. Bucket style bathing, of course.

Bathing area.
Although our future bathing stalls will be made of brick and concrete,
these are the norm in rural Mozambique.

Inside a similar looking structure, are the latrines.

And no, they're not the sitting type. Yet.
But these are also common in these parts.

Tents for surpervisors to stay in.
Water tank in background.

Yes, there is still quite a bit of work to be done. But compared to where we were about a year ago, this multipurpose facility/training center has come a long way!

Oct/Nov 2010

Which brings us to another one of our current building projects: a home for Rick and Heather Neufeld. Good progress! Be encouraged, little Neufeld family.

Last few photos:

Welcome dinner to celebrate Ron & Barb, and Tony & Leila's arrival.
Thanksgiving, really.

We were pleased to spot this cute pair of Broadbilled Rollers
nesting in a dead tree right beside the Neufeld's busy construction site.

I hope they eat ants.

PS: It's that time of year again (Christmas), so if you're interested in helping provide needy people with a bare necessity or two, please consider giving a Unique Christmas Gift. Although our website is a bit broken and undergoing a revamp, you can still download the gift brochure. Click here.

Bye for now.


ruth said...

Ohh! Looks great! Hey you have pee and shower huts! I think that's funny :) Um...I also notice nice green trees, we might have to come back!

Russell said...

Awwww, our table! It really has been 18 years. Wow. Time has flied. Awesome progress on the training centre!

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