Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Kenya.

May 18: First work day.

Posted in Kenya on May 26, 2009

Today is the first workday of our project. At 9am, we head over to Ngaya school, where we will be building two new classrooms. At present, there is one teacher for every 75 to 100 kids, and there aren’t enough desks to go around.
We meet Rocky, Paul, Nathan and Mindy, who give us a brief intro into what we will be doing. None of us know what to expect. We start by shoveling piles of sand into wheel-barrels. We’re told that we need to fill 30 wheel-barrels with sand, which is taken to another area to be leveled. Each full wheel-barrel weighs a ton, and we take turns dumping the sand into a pile. When we’re finished, we’re taken to a pile of heavy rocks. We thought shoveling sand was difficult, but shoveling rocks is even harder. We fill wheel-barrels of rock and dump it on top of our sand pile. By 12:30pm, we’re exhausted and hungry.
After taking a long and much-needed lunch break, we start the next task. We throw big rocks that lay in a pile through the window and onto the floor of the classroom we’ll be building. There are hundreds – no thousands of rocks – and the pile seems never-ending. Yet somehow, we find a bottom and within a couple of hours, we manage to cover the entire floor of classroom with rocks.
It’s recess by this point and we’re bombarded with 1500 kids who just want to be around us. We’re covered in an inch of dust, there’s sand in our eyes, and we’re all drained. But the smiling faces of Ngaya’s children remind us why we’re doing this, and it all becomes worth it.

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