Full steam ahead!

Here is the latest installment from Mark the carpenter, again from late June 2017. Things seem to be progressing nicely:

Full Steam Ahead!

It is full steam ahead! I am sitting in the coffee shop in Nakuru on Sunday morning indulging in my weekly luxury of a small black Americano. I have just been to the supermarket to buy the extras I add to the diet of beans, maize, cabbage etc. These include a bag of porridge, a tin of fish (animal protein tonight!), four oranges, a small wholemeal loaf and a tin of marmalade. I have just about given up sugar but bread without marmalade would be unthinkable!

It has been a really successful week. After all the frustrations of the paper process it is wonderful to see things happen on the ground. We now have more than half of the foundations dug and concrete in them, so next week we shall start laying the stone walls.

Maina, our head mason (in the blue overalls in the picture) is a real grafter and he has the project well under control. It is great to have someone in charge who understands the importance of leading from the front. Nobody slacks when the foreman is right in there with a shovel too.

Our other key player is Mbugwa (in the striped tank top). He is an old friend of Maina's and a very experienced mason. He has a very dry sense of humour and he was not at all bothered that the drawings didn't fit the ground. "Don't worry Mark, this is Kenya, we'll make it work". With guys like these, the problems are soon solved.

The neighbours are also helping out. The donkey cart and driver that were meant to deliver the water didn't turn up, so Amazon the taxi driver lent us his older vehicle and some five-gallon cans. The young boy next door came round with free drinking water and at lunchtime his mum brought millet porridge and chapatis for sale so the workers were fed. The local schoolkids came and stared and shouted "How are you Mark?" incessantly in a strange nasal tone (do I really sound like that? and how come they know my name?). One wee tot nearly managed to end up in the trench! All in all, a great week in the sunshine!

Love Mark

Posted in St Jeromes.