09 February 2009

The Bridge is Done!

After much worrying and work, the bridge for the SJC is finally complete.  I do not have a photo, but the ones I posted last week do just fine.  Just imagine dirt on top and unseen supports staked into the ground to make sure it does not walk away.  By adding the in ground supports, the bridge is now very sturdy and much stronger.  This was basically what my work day consisted of, and a little bit of office work.  I can now officially end my discussions about the bridge.  If I have to mention it again that means that it has either broken, been stolen, or needed some sort of major change.

The morning began like most others.  I now have a man who consistently comes to the house to deliver the news paper.  He knows I like to buy it and I will not complain about getting it not only at my doorstep, but right when it arrives in town.  Each morning we do our sit around and whenever I have the paper, Neto asks to see the sports section so that he can make fun of me and boast about Man U.  Then the bridge work, tea and office work, and day done. 

At the end of the day one of the mothers, who cannot be older than 30 came into the office to talk to Sister Joy.  As she spoke she was crying, but since I did not understand Swahili I could not understand what the conversation was about.  Feeling that it was best to step away, I kept myself busy with the paper.  Once she left, Joy explained to Sue and I that the woman was very poor.  Her child, who comes to the center, is the youngest of five.  No father is present.  Sustenance farming is all I can assume provides income.  She was upset because her home is in very bad shape and leaks whenever it rains.  She was concerned about her child and I inferred from Joy that she was distraught over the well-being of the child's life.  It is seeing something like this that really makes me wonder how much I am actually helping.  An easy solution would be to help her with her home and give her the money to fix the roof and buy some food.  Sadly that is not an actual solution at all.  Once the money is spent, the food will not be around and the roof will eventually be stolen or fall into disrepair. Despite knowing this, it is difficult to fight off my knee-jerk reaction to provide assistance.  I want to try to do more, but I do not know how.  Charity does not fix anything.

Once home, I began what I hope to be a consistent training regimen with my jump rope.  It was not too fun having people stare at me as I was jumping rope on the yard, but I guess it is another thing to grow accustomed to while here in Malava.  I need to get myself in shape.  Particularly if I have any aspirations of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Then it was some of "The 9th" and relaxation before a dinner of loaded mashed potatoes (Irish Ugali).

By the way, the bugs here are slowly getting worse.  I had no bug bites for a few weeks, but now I have some on my feet and legs.  The horse flies are making a strong showing and are really starting to bug me (ha).  Also, tank beetles that sound like mini-helicopters fly about.  Crashing into walls and ceiling before landing for a rest before starting up again.  It is always fun to be woken up by one at three in the morning.  I can assure you that.

Happy Monday!