19 March 2011

Construction everywhere...

Rather than starting with an apology for not writing often... instead I will just say "Congratulations!" for still reading this blog... 

The last 3 months are a blur of moving, construction, starting the new school year and general pioneering issues... like where are we going to find water and electricity?

Other more exciting distractions have been writing the Prime Minister's speech for the Grand Opening... seriously, this is no joke... he asked me to write it so he could get a real feel for the school... then we spent two hours talking it over... he has a huge heart to support to GBI... but I won't tell you what he is going to say until it is actually written... 

Ok... enough rabbit trails... let's take a look at the campus...

 
Above is a picture of the inside of our new kitchen... check out those concrete counter tops!

Not having a kitchen set up for the first 3 weeks of school has been a distraction... but in the end I know the new kitchen will be worth the wait! Currently, our kitchen is a combination of tin, tarps and poles... affectionately referred to as "World Food Program" ... sorry, there isn't a picture!



It is amazing how paint makes everything seem closer to finished... the painters are going remarkablely fast in spite of all the rain... It might be because I only promised to pay them if they finish before the Grand Opening this coming Friday... 

That may sound mean... but it's working!


Starting the term without toilets connected to the dormitories was also a challenge... but fortunately there was a pit latrine only about 20 meters from the dorm buildings that can hold us over the first month... the students have had amazing attitudes about the delays... or at least they are complaining in languages that I can't understand?

 
Land has also been a challenge... notice the common use of the word challenge?

In any case where large portions of land are purchased there are always disputes... unfortunately when it appears that a mizungu (white man) has bought the land there are even more disputes...

But the process has allowed us to build a great relationship with the local police as they have been called almost daily for the past month as mischievious neighbors have knocked down our fences, stolen our fences or made threats of bulldozing our fences..

We have some great people helping us in police and government positions and our lawyers are sure that in the end we will win... but until then I can only take scheduled appointments in my office because people are posing daily as disgruntle land owners trying to make a profit of the white guy who bought land...


To blow off steam or just to hide my white face while the visitors leave... I love walking the site... I just love watching progress and the crazy ways that things are built without modern construction equipment... 

This 25 foot deep pit latrine was hand dug by 6 guys over 10 days... now there are constructing the brick walls of the pit by lowering bricks and cement with buckets and string...

The guys in the pit are pretty funny... whenever I walk around they know they are past the deadline so they start racing through their week and yelling to each other "speedy, speedy... the mizungu is watching!"


A few things are finished... the library is complete and it looks amazing!


Other things like the parking lot are far from complete... but what guy doesn't like watching bulldozers all day?

That's the latest... please pray with us that everything is ready for Friday the 25th of March... and that we reach some peaceful settlements on the land!

2 comments:

bringing hope to the hopless said...

I can see a new university. Jeff you have an amazing vision. I can see what you used to tell us by the time we were at GBI studying and you are producing amazing leaders and i am among them. Thanks for being there for the transformation of Africa. we are ready to transform Africa and please Go ahead..............Love Moses

Sallie said...

The library (and everything) looks amazing! Good work mizungu! So much has been accomplished in such a short time - you've got some very proud parents!