Finishing up with a Brii

This entry is part 25 of 27 in the series, Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Today was the final “work” day here in Zimbabwe. We worked in the morning on the school block and just about finished getting all the walls up to the level where the gable ends get attached. The progress made in the week here was phenomenal and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of building this school block that will be of such importance in the education of the children here.
Another important part of this week was the opportunity for us to get to know the contracted workers who will continue to build while we are gone. At the beginning of the week we were strangers and at the end of the week we’re friends. There has been an exchange of addresses and some of the workers are pretty adamant that they are going to come to Canada some day! Considering the difficulty for them in getting a passport and the huge cost for them to make the trip the reality of this happening is pretty slim. However, they will be most welcome if they make it 🙂
The names of the men we worked with are: Tir Ivaviri Chimeri (foreman), Maute Taruberekerr, Kelvin Kanyemba, Chirasha Artweii, Simon Mashash, Albert Gapu, Marake Ngwende, Jimiel Mahenga, Fidelis Mukarati, Luckstar Chikunda, Brown Nyambo, and Simon Kangara. One of the things many of our crew noticed were the awful shape some of the footwear of these workers was in – one of the workers had no footwear at all.. Through the week our guys compared shoe sizes and today some of our guys made a gift of their boots to those men who could use them the most. It was incredibly moving moments – especially as Doug, Kevin and Alex walked back from the job site in their bare feet.
Following the work day we threw a Zimbabwe Brii (prounounced Brye) which is the Zimbabwean equivalent of a Canadian BBQ. James and myself cooked steak while the guys finished up and then we shared a final meal with the workers. It was a great way to culminate our time together.
This was the final work day for us in Zimbabwe. However we still have plans to visit an orphanage next week – more on that in future updates.
This evening we went to Gord and Anita Cooledge’s house and joined in with a dinner with many of the people that we’ve spent time with this week. We also got a chance to meet three other missionaries who are in Zimbabwe – Gary and Marvelyn Schell and Cecilia Paluch. Gary is the Academic Dean at Pan African Christian College in Harare and Cecilia oversees the Child Care Plus program for all of Zimbabwe. It was great meeting them and learning a little bit about what they do here as well.
As part of the evening we held a “Canadian Birthday Party” for Gord. His birthday wasn’t today but it is coming up soon and we wanted to celebrate it before leaving. We presented him with a special mug from home and inside the mug Barry included some headache pills… a fun and useful gift hehe.
Today’s pictures:
1. Sitting in “the Green Monster”: We’ve dubbed our ride that we take every day to the Village, “The Green Monster”. It is a green colored pickup that has a covered bed and 7 of us ride in the back while 1 of us sits up front. It sucks us in in the morning and spits us out at the Village! We’ve given it that name because the fumes in the back are pretty strong and we feel every bump and jolt along the way. Even though it is a tough ride we are still grateful for it and aren’t really complaining about it – it’s just become a running joke with us as we prepare for the ride to and fro from the village. Our driver Mr. Chedokwa is a really nice guy and we’ve enjoyed getting to know him over the week. We also greatly appreciate the time he is taking to come and pick us up and deliver us where we need to be.
2. The School Block work Crew: This picture was taken from the rooftop of a school block that is almost finished. It includes our team and the work crew we did the construction with this past week. You can also see the progress we made.
3. A bigger picture of the construction project: We estimate that we laid about 9,000 bricks in this past week. We actually probably moved around close to 12,000 bricks. It is amazing to see the pile of bricks that had been dropped off shrink over the week. Originally, it was this massive amount that was intimidating to say the least, but now most of it is in place as part of the new school block. It was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for us as a team to look at the work that had been completed over the past week and the relationships we got to make with the work crew. We can’t wait to see the pictures of the finished school block when it is done!
Well, that’s it for today’s report!
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wholeteam.jpg 134KViewDownload
wholeteamandschoolblock.jpg 146KViewDownload

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