Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A Hard Day at Work
Looking out over the dreary view of privet drive, one would never have expected that strange and fantastic things were about to happen. So it sucked (sort of) that we were in Kenya, and nothing really interesting happened today except a whole lot of hard work. Some of the contingent went out to the market in search of shovels and hoes to help the task of the day, removing dirt from the islands in between the trenches we had been digging. Picture a four by two grid where each square is an island of dirt roughly level with the ground, and each line between the squares is a trench four to five feet deep. All that dirt had to go somewhere, so we’d piled it up on top of the squares. The thing is, now that we were trying to finish the trenches, making them level and getting ready to lay rocks and pour concrete to form the base of our foundation, the dirt was getting in the way. It’s difficult to push wheelbarrows full of concrete and carry rocks when you have to climb miniature mountains all the time, so us silly Canadians volunteered to shift all that dirt. While the Kenyans had given us shovels and spades, we soon found there were far more workers than tools, and there was only so much space to be working in. Many of us soon stood idle. Thankfully, halfway through the day, two hoes and ten shovels arrived precariously balanced on the back of a motorcycle and we were able to get much more done. Another small group of people who’d been at the outreach clinic during our last tea tour disappeared later that day to take their own tour, leaving us short a few hands but happy that they weren’t missing out. Our canine friends were chipper as always, and I’ll admit we’d been sneaking momma and her pup food all week. By this point they were starting to trust us and would readily fall asleep in your lap. Needless to say, once there was a sleeping puppy in your lap, not much work was done. The day ended slowly but successfully. Fueled by tea and puppies we’d managed to move around ¾ of the dirt and were able to start making the necessary paths along the sides for wheelbarrows. We went home to delicious bruschetta made by the Canadians and the ever present, and ever bland ugali.