Not even 45. But after a few weeks of sometimes back-breaking work, we’re not as exhausted or weary as we were the first week.
Of the five of us here there’s really only one of us with any construction experience. What that means is the real skill work (masonry, carpentry) is being done by our foreman, Christian, his colleagues Nico and Yannick or the guardian of the house where we’re staying, Nguema. A lot of the hard muscle work is done by the young men from the village.
So, you might ask, what is it exactly that we are doing. Quite a bit actually and quite a bit varied. We have never been idle, working six days a week. We started out doing a lot of demolition, scraping and cleaning the old wood that could be salvaged. Mary spent a lot of time treating the new wood with preservative, and we have also done carpentry, replacing rotted beams and putting up the vertical planks. There’s been more than our fair share of organizing the work site, moving around and cleaning the bricks and lumber, and a little clearing.
We have made a lot of progress so far but it didn’t take us long to realize just how dependent we are on our hosts to be able to see the progress we’ve been making. Truly a community effort.
Below are Clair and Mary painting window blocks at the rear end of the school, just behind Nico who is laying them. Also, my gloves after three weeks of work are exhibit A that we have actually been pitching in.