Someone yelled out “we can do this before lunch” so the team pushed in the heat and we got it done. It was hot and heavy work. Hand mixed cement carried in pales and lifted into the forms overhead. Lorena kept the hired help on track making sure they kept the right mix going for the cement and kept the young helpers motivated otherwise this may have been a much longer day.
Next job for everyone is adding more wire (hand made staples) to the chicken wire that is attached around the earth bags. Once we find more wire the stapling will be complete and the remaining days will be spent applying plaster to the walls, a skim coat then paint. Meanwhile Tim will be welding the frame for the shed roof then the tin will be attached and we’ll be done.
The team is working hard and fast in the heat. Kudos out to all of them for their fantastic team work. There is a lot of knowledge and exceptional work ethics going on here..and did I say fun?
We were treated to some great music on the eve of the Tihar festival provided by Greg and Lorena Madill and Doug Thompson. Karen (banjo player) was out as she lost her voice.
On Saturday the team celebrated Tihar. Tihar is the most celebrated festival in Nepal. The team was in Sangachok where they were doing maintenance on previous projects nearby. I was invited by Durga to go with him to visit his village where I spent Tihar with his very large family. Tihar is like Christmas, everyone dresses up. Tops of heads are sprinkled with marigold pedals, shoulders were draped with garland. Gifts are shared between brothers and sisters. Edible treats placed in banana leaf bowls for the men and money for the women. Everyone is painted on the forehead including me.
These school projects allow volunteers the unique opportunity to live with the locals (no frills). In exchange you are offered a very rich cultural experience that you won’t find in typical tourism concepts. We help prepare food for ourselves and cleanup while living in a local home. The villagers are receptive to the work we are doing to help enrich the quality rural education programs FSH has been providing.
Lorena shouts out to her family that husband Greg is finally sleeping full nights. Greg suffers from insomnia but this trip seems to have helped him with that.
Photos: please check Tim Rippel’ Facebook.