build day 7

Well… today was our last build day! Our Habitat team of 11, plus 4 tradespersons and several family members, started work on two houses just one week ago and remarkably can say that one house, Brenda’s, is complete and the other, Gertrude and Moffat’s, is almost finished! I worked on both sites today, starting on Brenda’s where we installed the glass panes on the windows, finished the mortar on the latrine, and generally just cleaned up the site.

We visited Linda Open Community School for lunch for the last time. The students loved when we came at lunch to play so we bought some soccer balls to leave for them and collectively donated money toward the purchase of books at their library. I had one last bit of fun with the students with some balloons I had brought which were a hit!

After lunch, because the other site was further behind, three of us joined the other half of the team for one last blitz to get as much done as possible. We also installed glass panes on the windows and spent a lot of time on the latrine, which hadn’t progressed as quickly as we hoped. There was also lots of buffing of the walls to clean up the mortar that thankfully I avoided! Toward the end of the day, Jeanette and Nathan pulled out some crayons and paper so the kids could colour and it was the first time we’d seen any of them settled and quiet! Wish we’d thought of that sooner!

Tomorrow will be our last day in the community. At the end of every Habitat build there is a farewell or dedication ceremony. Not all homes get completed in one build but we’ve pretty much completed two. There will be dancing and singing tomorrow and I expect it may get emotional for some of us on the team. If I manage to get a video of our dance routine, I’ll try to post it. Otherwise, Tammy will edit her version when she returns home and I’ll post once I get a copy! Well… I’ll see how goofy we look first! LOL! We’ll eat lunch in the Linda community tomorrow and then the build portion of our trip is done. After tomorrow, we can look forward to a few days of well-deserved R&R in Livingstone, Zambia and then Chobe National Park, Botswana!

I’ve been meaning to share some photos of our commute to/from the Linda community from Lusaka. Our lodge is in an area that could be described as upper-middle class. There are detached houses with yards that are surrounded by walls with a gate. Nearly every house has it’s own water tank. From what I could find in the news, it appears there has been a construction boom, particularly in urban areas and local authorities have not been able to meet the demand with infrastructure for water and sanitation services. As a result, many homeowners have taken the initiative to privately acquire the services of borehole drilling services to access ground water. I saw so many advertisements for borehole drilling services and so many residential homes with their own water tanks, it seemed to support this position. This has also created an environmental concern for the ability of aquifers to replenish the water supply. Pretty interesting cause and effect.

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3 thoughts on “build day 7

  1. Congratulations to all on a successful build! I bet both the builders and the families are feeling pretty darn good about this project. I’m proud of you for being a part of such import work.

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  2. That’s amazing Tara. The work you and your team have done in such a short period of time is inspiring! Safe travels back home – thank you for taking me on your journey.

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  3. Wow Tara!! Congratulations to you and your team. What an amazing experience!! Also, can’t wait to see your dance with the team 😉

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