August 23, 2011
This morning our wakeup call was at 6 am. We all got ready and headed straight up for breakfast. We each got to order our own breakfast off the menu, which contained eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, etc. Once we finished our delicious meals we collected all our things and at 7 am got into the taxis which took us to a small village called Madombidzha. It is a little Village on the West side of Louis Trichardt. A 25 minute drive we arrived at our first destination, a care center for the children where the kids are given food and resources to do their homework. We were greeted by many women who volunteered there; they all introduced themselves separately, as well as sung us a song of greeting! They had organized a large gathering of dignitaries and invited all the members of the Community. A prayer was given to commence and close the meeting and there were speeches from a number of the Community leaders to welcome and thank us. To close the welcoming we were treated to another wonderful song performed by the children themselves. The information provided in the meeting let us know that we are in fact building a Community Centre which provides care for 189 individuals including; 30 with HIV, 15 with disabilities, 87 orphans, 17 vulnerable children, 20 youth from the community, 20 elderly and others with tuberculosis. Afterwards we loaded back onto the taxis that took us to the work site (10 minutes away).
When we got to the work site a group of us got started setting up the two identical tents (“tunnels”) that will be used to cover the gardens we will be planting later this week. These are to protect the vegetables from the elements and each can grow 1,000 plants. As would be expected there was quite a bit of organization the first day and we were slow to get started. More shovels and pick axes were needed and it took 1 ½ hours to go into town and purchase these. Because of this late start we decided to not go and interact with the children and instead worked until 4 pm. Other projects such as these have provided vegetables for one meal per day for several hundred children. The rest of us who were remaining were divided up into three more groups. Each group was responsible for digging a trench in a certain area on the site with only two shovels and a pick axe to do so. It was extremely hot but thankfully there was a cool breeze once in a while to help keep us cool. Unfortunately the wind created quite a lot of dust so by to end of the day most of us returned back a few shades darker than before. Most groups are at least half way done, some are even farther. We made great progress today, and we are all very excited to wake up and continue on with the project tomorrow! To end off our day we got enjoy a lovely fire after yet another fantastic meal. Jack was encouraged to use his slight British accent to make up a scary story and he did a great job. All in all it was a very productive day; everyone worked endlessly and did an amazing job!