Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kenya part 2...

Day 5 began with our first trip down to the girls secondary school that we will be building at.  We are working on the building of a new dormitory for students.  Our task whilst here will be to try and get the building up to ring beam level - that means little or nothing to my non-manual labour CV but I'm sure some of you more educated folk with rougher hands will know what i mean!  I'm learning fast though from many of the other guys in the team who work in construction trades.  The brick we are using are produced in a machine so that they inter-lock which removes the need for cement.  This means that even guys like me can build a wall - its just like giant lego!  We are working alongside a team of apprximately 15 Kenyan labourers and 2 Kenyan builders.  Our work rate would appear to be a lot higher than the Kenyan and at times it was frustrating as everything was happening at a very slow pace but as the day progressed things improved.  Again the evening was spent chatting and playing this game called Mafia that has become an instant hit!  Team morale has been great!
 
Day 6 involved more building at the school - a hard days work but excellent progress made.  The team all worked very hard and the Kenyan builders have been very impressed with our work.  More excellent meals courtesy of Angelina who is starting to wonder if she can ever produce too much food for 10 hungry men!  After work, Nathan and i headed up the street to get a Coke from the local shop which was closed.  The owners live just behind the shop and it turned out to be one of the guys on Stephen's leadership team called Maldia.  He invited us into his small plot of land that housed 10 people.  We shared a Coke and were introduced to his 4 children who sang 'Mr Noah built an arc' for us!  Nothing can quite replace the experience of being invited into someones home and saring food or drink with their family.  A cultural experience that you just can't buy in a travel agents!  They welcomed us so warmly and answered many of my questions about their lives here in Tuum.  Yet more Mafia in the evening.
 
Day 7 started with crisis!  The guys had stayed up after we had went to bed.  No major disruptions took place but a seat did get damaged in the process.  Not a major crisis i guess but the fact that no-one would own up and take responsibility for it was incredibly dissapointing and frustrating for us as leaders.  We tried several tactics and created te opportunity for the person to confess confidentially - but this proved fruitless.  This has caused a tension in the team and frustrations have bubbled to the surface all day long,  We are reluctant to just let it slide as we see great opportunity for learning to take place and yet we don't want to sacrifice team realtions either.  Please pray for wisdom for us as leaders and pray for each of the guys - that they will understand why we are taking action.  This has been a difficult day for us all - thank-you for your prayers.
 
More updates will follow again soon... 

3 comments:

Jill Rutherdale said...

Fantastic to hear all that God is doing there Neil. Praying for each of you so much. Your bloggin is amazing! .. dont know how you get time to fit it in!! God bless you all.

christopher.boyce said...

Good work fella, when you get back I have a bit of brick work you can sort out for me, now you're an expert and all that.

It's amazing you can keep us all up to speed when you are so far away. I wonder how early missionaries and their familes coped years ago with snail mail etc.

To get a confession you could try the "Belly Button Key" trick. Get everyone lined up, t-shirts lifted, and explain you have a key that will make your arms and legs fall off if you don't tell the truth. Or the "Black tounge trick", make them all stick out their tounges, whichever one is black isn't telling the truth. These work quite well with our 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year olds; whichever one is holding their tummies or scunching up their faces tends to give themselves up!

Dickie Barr said...

Neil

Remembering you guys as you make a difference in the lives of those you meet and as God works in His own amazing way in the lives of all the team. Regards too to Stephen and Angelina Dickie Barr