Been having internet problems. This written March 27.
With two weeks to go, the re-build of the teachers’ houses began in earnest on Friday. The photo shows our chef de chantier, Christian, standing on the concrete wall easing a very heavy truss on to the walls. Pascal, Eko and Aimee are raising it and pushing it towards Christian who was straddling it and maintaining his balance on top of the walls. Please do not show this photo to OSHA. Risky and dangerous, but minutes later the truss was pushed up against the concrete gable, the first one in place that helped align and stabilize the remaining four that were lifted up in the same manner.
The next day, five rows of the purloins were nailed across the trusses on each side of the roof. Then by the end of the day the first aluminum sheets were put in place on the front slope of the roof. A week’s worth of work in 24 hours.
Meanwhile, on one of the other teachers’ houses only one truss was needed as the other four were in pretty good shape. Drew and Nico worked on getting the new purloins nailed in to hold the aluminum roofing.
Where was John? With both feet safely on the ground, he was cleaning off the excess mortar from the cement block cloister windows to get them ready for painting.
More importantly, where were the women? After priming windows all week, they made a provision run into Mitzic, the nearest town to get the gasoline needed to clean the final coat of oil-based paint that we’ll be applying over the next two weeks.
Over in Doumandzou, eight courses of cement block have been raised above ground for the latrines. The gates have been placed in the doorways and 4-5 more courses of bricks are planned before Dick, Paul and Nguema start the roofs.
The world map mural that Joan and Pooh are painting in the classroom is proceeding beautifully. Individual countries have been drawn on the grid and they have filled some in with yellow and red paint. Purple on Monday.
Today is Easter and a rest day. Last night on the soccer field in the village center was what we presumed to be an Easter vigil. We had heard from our house drums and singing starting should 9pm and walked over to investigate. Under a just passed full moon, we came across a group of women singing and dancing with percussive cans and two men playing the fastest balafon drums we had seen. It was too dark for a photo or video, so you’ll just have to take our word that it was quite a show.