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Catapaulting into action by Kim Lawson
May 20, 2011

One thing I forgot to mention about the rainy Wednesday morning, was that many of the students showed up late for class because the had to wait for the rain to stop in order to do their chores before they went to school. Some of the kids are also assigned school yard clean up and bring their machetes in order to cut back the grass in the school yards. From a very young age, the children work. We saw many young children about the age of 3 carrying light things on their heads already. Some tiny ones would be walking with an empty bag on their heads just practicing the art of it. Amazing.

Pray for Ebenezer, the local contractor running the building project. A couple of days ago he started feeling unwell, and after getting tests done at the hospital on Wednesday, he was cleared of Malaria, TB and Tetanus, but was advised to get rest. On Thursday he was on the site and able to supervise, but was also able to lay back in his truck to get some of the rest the doctor ordered.

2 more trusses left to build and install, some strapping to do, and hopefully we will see the tin installed before the time we leave the site for the last time on Saturday. I spent the day with Beth and others as they joined in, cutting the semi-thick tar paper type material into 1" squares and then putting the roofing nails through them. Tough work...not! But it was a great time to talk to Peter (David's younger brother), James (one of the church elders) and then later David. My regular job description at first was a lot of block moving and some block laying, and then creasoting the lumber, but when I saw the messes left behind the building crew, I started working primarily as part of the clean up crew. Picking up left over and broken blocks, chipping and shoveling mortar and cement spills, picking up wood forms, etc... trying to keep the work areas clear of trip hazzards and trying to keep the jobsite tidy. I don't think that here in Ghana there is a word for 'litter' as we were also picking up a lot of the water bags the Ghanaians have for their water (ours is bottled). I have noticed though that over time there have been less and less plastic bags to pick up...I think they've seen us cleaning up after them and have started taking better care. Those that know me well, know that I like things organized and tidy so my job description comes as no surprise. I am still chasing Ebenezer for a final answer on where the left over block materials are to be stacked and ready for when they build the pastor's house, so that I can get those put away once and for all :)

Friday is the last school day, so the teachers spent a lot of time Thursday night sorting the supplies and teacher gifts that they will be presenting them Friday morning.

Thursday night was another great dinner prepared by Abraham. Curried Goat...yup, it was the cute goat that was butchered yesterday :(   It was tasty!

John took Bruce Y, Joe and I through the village of Carpenter before dinner, seeing as he has been through several times already and is a more familiar face around there. The town is one of the poorest looking we've seen, but David had shared that even though he grew up here, the town now has many migrant workers living in it who come from the northern border towns to work and bring the money back to their families. For this reason, most of the huts are mud huts with thatched roofs and some are in bad disrepair. I always try to put myself in their place and imagine living that's really hard to. I mentioned to Liv at dinner tonight that I think I'd like to live with one of the young pastor's families in their village and do everything the way they do for 48 special treatment. The only thing I think I would have to draw the line on would be that the dried fish like we saw at the market would not be on the menu during my stay, and butchering would not be in my job description :). After saying this to Liv, that night in the washroom I came across a huge beetle/cockroach thing that was at least 3" long. Kim P was brave enough to injure it and cover it with a bucket, but I think living in the village I'd have to get much tougher to deal with these critters.

In Carpenter, Joe bought a 'Catapult' (we call it a sling shot). Adams says he will tweak it and make it better tomorrow. Here the Catapult is something all the men learn to use very well...several mentioned to us when they saw it, that they use them to kill the grasscutters. Grasscutters are not your local landscapers, they are a rodent that seem to be a common target for killing. I suppose they must be a nuisance. When we asked David several days ago why we haven't seen or heard any birds beyond the guinea fowl, chickens and roosters, he said that they've been driven away by those using their sling shots. Joe hopes to get some lessons using it tomorrow...not to kill, just to play. 

Everyone seems to feeling quite well with the 'African experience' somewhat in the past, although a few have had headaches lately and some flu like symptoms. Most have been on the site all of this week, but just taking it a little easier. We haven't really stopped since we got here seeing as we are working 6 days each of these 2 weeks and Sunday was a full day, so I think that everyone is getting a little tired at this point as we get closer to the end of our trip. Some may have picked up something while flying here and with weakened immune systems it has passed on. In general, we are well. Your prayers are appreciated as we don't take our health and safety here for granted!

God is Good!!!

Filed under: Missions Blog


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