Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Today's Construction Update

Things continue to move forward on The Green House! Two nights ago, we had an all-out Liberians thunderstorm. I laid in bed praying at 2am that it would stop, because half of the house didn’t have zinc on it. I was scared to arrive yesterday, as I didn’t want to see the damage. The guys had poked holes in the soggy wood ceiling tiles to let the water drain out into buckets and there were puddles everywhere. The carpenter roofed that half of the house yesterday, just in case there were any more surprise showers. He also completed the clear, plastic zinc that goes above the outdoor kitchen on the back of the house.
Today's progress!
Things on the fence are progressing nicely. All trenches are dug, and they did the foundation and began laying cement block on the front portion. There are about five guys doing all of the work…plus a woman named Remember. When I saw her yesterday, she was drawing water from the well, so I thought that was her job (it’s common for women to draw water for mixing the cement). Then last night, I was informed that she was a mason, and she was laying block. She told me that, “woman can do anything man can do.” All that I could say was, “You go girl!”

Today, the carpenter is working on the other half of the roof, while the rest of the guys and Remember are working on the fence. Once the carpenter is finished with the roof, he will move on to the roof on the palava hut. The guys will continue to work on the fence until it is complete, which should hopefully be sometime late this week or early next week. Then it will be time to paint the exterior, and move inside to do the paint, floors, window screens, light fixtures, etc.
Old zinc in foreground, new zinc in background.
Like I mentioned before, a huge blessing is that electricity poles are one block from the house! This means I will be able to have 24/7 electricity, and for a fraction of the price of buying, fueling and maintaining a generator for only very limited electricity. Uncle Sam and I sat down this morning to fill out the application form, so we will see how long it takes for them to get back to me. Apparently, they will come out to do an assessment, I will go buy a breaker, they will install a meter and then poles and wires will be run. This is such a HUGE answer to prayer!
Trokon laying block.
Foundation and casting of steel rods.
I still have to pinch myself when I step back and look at how quickly things are progressing! We are not on African time! The ease and quickness are both an answer many prayers! Working with Uncle Sam has been great, and the construction guys are starting to warm up to me. Whenever I go there now, they each want their photo taken while they’re working. They also think it’s pretty funny when I climb up on the roof in a skirt. 
Community children drawing their evening water.

One thing you can pray about is how to best capture the stories of the people in Cooper Beach. My plan was to walk around the community and talk to people, and then document their stories. Because I have to walk back to where I’m staying before dark, really the only time to do this is in the heat of the day. Thankfully there has been a cool breeze every day, but I don’t want to look like a lobster and be miserable either. I’ve also continued to pray for divine appointments with people in the community, as well as with potential partners or people who can contribute their time or skills at the community center.

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