Only Brits abroad can bring rain in the dry season! But how welcome it is.
The rain today has certainly tested the new guttering for any leaks. Although not yet connected to the tank (it's not finished yet) you can certainly see how effective it will be in collecting the rains from the roof of the Lay Training Centre to the 60,000 litre storage tank. This should make the LTC self sufficient for water throughout the year which is great news. There was only one leaky joint and the guttering team had great pleasure informing me that it was the one done by Robert, the local workman ( Fundi).
The hospital painting is progressing well. It's not easy painting walls in gloss paint but the team are doing great and it is already looking much brighter and cleaner. Liz, an American helping to run the new Pre School, is particularly delighted as she is intending to paint helpful health and nutrian tips in Kiswahili on the OPD walls so that patients can read them while they wait.
The work in the Orphanage has grown from painting a couple of murals to completely decorating the dinning hall and bedroom corridor and then painting murals. The Team have steeped up to the challenge and have already got two coats on the walls and ceilings and are almost ready to start on the fun bit, the murals. I'm really looking forward to seeing them as they look fantastic on paper and will I'm sure delight the children as well as Ute the Orphange Director.
On Thursday we had the second of four Kids clubs. The first started with only a few chidren but gradually built to around one hundred by the close. It was a good start and the team gained confidence as the afternoon wore on. The craft was particularly appreciated but did take a little longer than expected as children here really take their time to do it well. This ment that the games had o be extended and improvisation was called for. The message of Noah and the Ark was narrated and re-enacted by the team and translated by Ruth Mgego the hospital directors wife. With songs and fun the club was off to a good start.
The second club was about Jonah and saw the children creating Jonah inside the big fish (which looked suspiciously like a whale!) for their craft. The parachute games were a particular success and they caught on very quickly at what to do, I can only imagine that someone has done this before. This time the number of kids had grown to over 180 and as before everyone went away happy having enjoyed themselves and learnt about another important Biblical character. More news on Saturday's club later.
I haven't had this many meetings since I left work. The only difference being I am really enjoying them. I spent a very pleasant couple of hours with Cannon Chiahamba and his assistant Frank Masengisa discussing the activities and challenges for the Lay Training Centre and was particularly delighted to hear that they have four people from the Masi tribe and two ex Muslims studying at the school.
On Friday I visited Tunguli Medical Centre, a remote clinic managed by Berega Hospital. It is a 50k journey over unmade roads and as I said at the beginning, it was raining, which meant at one point we got stuck in the mud at a precarious angle. But the Land Rover was up to the challenge and four wheel drive won the day. We did however turn back and use an alternative route. The clinic faces many challenges, not least due to its remote location. It is very sadly lacking in facilities and equipment with only a few solar lights still working to help them during the night. The clinic provides a vital service to this remote region with many babies being born in the very basic delivery room with just one low power 12v bulb to illuminate the dark room. Patients with complications or the need for surgical intervention are sent to Berega Hospital. This in itself can be life threatening as the journey is often made on the bcak of a motercycle (Piki piki) as there is no regular transport service to the area If you would like to know more about Tunguli and ways in which you can help please contact me, Gary Mann, at firstname.lastname@example.org