HABARI dear followers of our blog!
For starters, after a long quest we’ve finally found our alternative construction materials. Thanks to our friend Betty’s help, we’ve managed to buy our first 100 polypropylene tubular bags, at a really competitive price, in the nearby town of Eldoreth.
Also, our friends Marco and Davide have finally reached us safe and sound… not too “sane” though, since they’re still look intoxicated by the frantic routines of the Western world.
On the other hand, we’re now accustomed to Kenya and to the slow, healthy and easy pace of life of these regions of the world. As such, we reach Kisumu’s airport slightly J late to find out, in amazement, that the plane from Nairobi has landed on time: our two new guests are waiting for us sitting in the bar, sipping some classic Kenyan tea.
Marco and Davide’s excitement would even be tangible if not for the fact that they’re already dead tired first thing in the morning… That’s when we decide to get them a nice and filling breakfast in our trusted bar, having immediately guessed the huge hunger of the 2 Italian friends. That hunger will be reconfirmed during their entire stay here (these Italians, always living up to their reputation).
The first day goes by quickly amongst guided tours of the city of Kisumu and therapies to adapt to the slow pace of the region. Without us even noticing, the sun has now set and the two new guests collapse exhausted on their beds.
The lights are off.
The following day we’re finally at Bala Mercy Orphanage. We get to the place that has been like home for the last few weeks and we introduce the two new arrivals to the community. From that very first moment they will be likeably dubbed Brother David and Brother MarIco (Marco).
The Brothers are keen to start working straightaway.We show them with pride the progress made on the two constructions and put them to work with shovels and hoes to complete the digging for the foundations of the Guest House. Between one dig and the next,their second night falls over the African sky.
The morning of the third day, it’s the first resistance test for our two novices.
Early wake up call and a thrifty breakfast are an unexpected surprise, as shown by Tommaso’s unforgiving camera.
But the Bros. are not easily scared. After finishing their food (they literally finish between the two of them a box of biscuits that would normally last us for a whole week… J) we head promptly for the orphanage, ready for another day of hard work. It proves such hard work that after lunch Marco and Davide, showing the first signs of psycho-physical backdown, decide to improvise a resting-area in the middle of some planks of wood, tools and barbwire on the back of our office.
A couple of days to finish off the foundations digging and to collect the first wheelbarrels filled with soil and finally the time arrives to celebrate a proper start of the construction works with our friends at the orphanage. That same evening we indulge in a moment of relax amongst songs sung from the children of the Bala Mercy and improvised lessons in guitar and percussions.
The next stage of the works consists of making water-proof the foundations, with a layer of gravel covered by a plastic mebrane: putting in place this plastic sheeting proves initially a bit puzzling for Roberto and Tommaso, neverthless this stage gets quickly completed and it signs the beginning of the big moment.
The moment of truth, long awaited and prepared with plenty of research and analysis, proves a success! After some initial dilly-dally, positioning the first layer of bags proceeds quickly, thanks also to Mark and Turner’s help, two newly arrived American guests who are intrigued by the unusual construction.
Just one day after laying the first bag, we’ve completed the foundations’ first layer and we feel well up for starting again.
Fabiana patiently lays two rounds of barbwire, holding them in place with some rocks and amongst the amazement of the passers-by we fill in and lay in place the first two bags of the second layer, before the sun starts to set over our tired but happy faces.
One week has already gone by, Marco and Davide will soon leave filled with gratification and good memories; we look at each other and realise the moment has come to shout: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!