We started our 10th clinic at this wonderful school. The church is St Francis of Assis and is our only Catholic Church. The school has been the recipient of a well by an NGO named Living Waters, and they have made great use of the composting toliets arranged and financed by Canadian Nurses for Africa. The head master is extremely grateful to this organization for all we have done for his school. He stated enrollment is actually up because of the toliets. A composting toilet has no odour. Each deposit is covered by ashes, so the toliets are used by the older children only. The toilet is set where the sun shines on it as much as possible. The waste composes into fertilizer and the liquid becomes urea, which is also used a fertilizer. The fertilizer from first cleaning out of the toliets was used on the school gardens. The difference in the gardens is quite visible with taller and healthier looking plants. The next cleaning will be sold to children’s parents for their own gardens. The money made will be used to reduce school fees for the orphans in the school. Did you know that 80% of the children that attend this school are either orphans or partial orphans? The school also supplies a hot lunch for these children they are being raised primarily by grandmothers, who struggle for their own existence.
As I mentioned yesterday, Grace’s house got started today and I learned how to build a house in Kenya.
- Go to the lumber yard and pick up the wood you ordered. Make sure it is carefully tied down (the two men on the truck are the tie-downs).
- Clear a patch of land and dig holes for the supports. Use your best tools, such as your hands, a machete and a metal bowl. The exterior walls have 2-1/2 foot post holes and the interior are 1-1/2 feet deep.
- Using a string and a level, make sure your lines are straight. Put in the posts and tamp wet clay into the holes.
- Use any additional help you can find.
- Nail long thin trees between the supports, both interior and exterior. Add a second course of thin poles to create a cavity between the poles.
- Add trusses on the roof and use your machete to trim them accordingly. Share the single measuring tape and the three hammers to nail all the trusses into place. If necessary, cut with the tiny saw.
- Have two hard working men dig into the soil, pile up the clay, and water it frequently. Ensure you have at least 6 women carrying water on their heads for most of the day from the spring to a barrel beside the house.
- Have the women roll the clay into a loaf-like parcels and have them place it into the gaps between the two walls.
- When it gets dark, push the matatu out onto the road, go home and come back tomorrow.
And Grace cooked maize, beans and corn, and made tea (we provided the food) for all 17 helpers, cared for her children, carried wood, and added clay to her house. This woman is exceptional.
I will have the rest of the photos for you tomorrow. This was a big, big job. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this possible.