Posted by: Googie | April 13, 2010

The first day of work

The day begins early for all the volunteers at Katitawa school. We were ready by 6.30 am and left the hostel by 7. Today was such a lovely clear morning. We could see all the surrounding mountains, and Morgane pointed out all the 6 volcanoes around us.

The school is quite a long walk from the library, which is odd in a way. To get to the school one has to trek for some distance along a mountain, so its a bit of a workout. Dotahn and Morgane showed me the school, after which Dotahn briefed me on all the construction projects he was currently working on. The projects seemed very exciting and I had never done any construction related activity before, so I decided to help Dotahn with some of that stuff.

Some of the construction projects underway were making stairs near the nursery classroom, making concrete poles to fence the planned farm, making a pond for the farm, making a zip line in the adjoining pine forest and making a tree house with a rope bridge. Making and fixing all these would be a new learning experience for me, and I was really looking forward to it.

The first thing we did was make some concrete poles. For this, we had to first make moulds out of planks of wood. Then we had to mix sand, gravel, cement and water; and pour this into the wooden moulds with iron rods placed as reinforcement in the middle. It was tiring work, and by lunch time we could make only 3 poles. The poles are not ready yet, since it takes about 15 to 20 days for the concrete to fully harden.

Lunch was very basic, just beans and rice. After that we took measurements of the pine forest that the school had leased, and then decided to call it a day.

Dinner was followed by a house meeting, where everyone raised their concerns to Robert, and summarised all the work in progress. Tomorrow was a public holiday for the school, but the volunteers would still have to work, so all my plans of sleeping in are dashed… 😦

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