Saturday 21st September 2013
The trip to see the natural medicine doctor didn’t happen. The electricity was down for the whole day which delayed a lot of things. It looks likely it will be on Monday now.
I used the time to clean my room and the bathroom, (big difference between me and some of the other house mates in terms of standards) and to visit the school to take pictures of the building work.
I was so humbled to see Fred fetching and carrying water and mixing concrete that I was moved not only to take pictures, but to film the work. In that moment I knew I wanted to make a small film about the amazing work this organisation is doing.
I was also moved to go and don some working clothes and get stuck in myself. All offers of help was gratefully received and so I too took my turn to fill buckets with gravel and sand and wobble with them up the steep wooden ladder to the men working on the upper storey.
They are desperately trying to complete the top storey of the building as there are not enough class rooms for the children. One of the classrooms has been covered with some tarpaulin that Fred brought back from Bamenda on Thursday. He hoped it would help the room to dry out so that the children could use the room on Monday.
When I think of some of the state-of-the-art schools in the UK that children are being coerced into attending, it makes me want to weep. I’m not getting mushy and sentimental, just noting the difference in the way education is valued.
The next stage was to fill buckets from the small lake at the bottom of a steep hill and take them back to the men.
Although physically the most arduous part of the work, it was aesthetically the most pleasing. (Although the views from the school are actually quite beautiful) The narrow path took us past a plantation of coco yams, their broad majestic leaves in rows like maidens at a dance waiting to be asked to dance.
The tinkling waterfall massaged my ears well before it came into view. Clear water ran into a red lake, a reflection of the red clay that is so prevalent here, and that clings so persistently to the soles of one’s shoes when it rains. It’s also blown into every exposed crevice during the dry season when the ground turns to dust.
I think I’ve found a new hidey hole, somewhere to go when I want to download the day’s information and rest my brain.
I worked for two hours solidly alongside one of the workers from the office. He’d been called in as there was no electricity and there was nothing he could do as he manages the internet cafe.
He was more than happy to get stuck in, and we worked side by side for nearly two hours. I said it beat going to the gym. He didn’t know what a gym is!! There’s so much physical work still done here that gyms are not required.
I met a young man who invited me to the church the girls were talking about last night. I’ll be setting off with him at 8.25 a.m. tomorrow to get there in time for an 8.30 a.m. start. It’s that close, and even if it pours with rain we’re close enough not to get too wet.