Monday, August 30, 2010

There's a new Chicken in town. The name? POX !!!

Upon arrival this morning we were asked to look at two of the boys with bites or bumps about their bodies. From head to the full body trunk they were covered with what can only look like chicken pox. Just what they need to spread about 28 kids! Please feel free to send along any advice that you may have of what we can do to assist them. Remember, you can't start out with, "go to Wegmans and get..." or "Rite Aid". You get the idea. Even a pot of chicken noodle soup won't work. I haven't seen any noodles around. But feel free to send advice. PLEASE!
Major adjusting of crews and responsibilities today with plasters joining flooring teams. More adjusting needed for tomorrow to capture every man hour and every wheelbarrow of cement. The locals are always willing to do something new and act like they understand. They answer "yes" to everything no matter what level the understanding. Yet, the next thing they do is grab the wrong tool. Adam sees a stronger need tomorrow to supervise and not be as hands on to keep the ship on course. We will, at that time, be actively pouring floors in all three buildings in another aggressive day. Today's efforts resulted in five slabs completed.
More work was also done fine tuning the level of a few floors and especially the dining hall in advance of the forms being built. The final grading is to a half inch at the time of a pour. The final floors are to the eighth inch. And to that I must comment to the earlier teams that moved tons of dirt leveling the buildings and floors. Your work was remarkable. Your endless hours of very hard labor has been instrumental in our success now. Thank you for your jobs well done!
The pressure to complete is intense. One look across the compound and you see the temporary kitchen that not only feeds the kids, but it also turns out an additional lunch for 15+ workers every day. The kitchen is a few tree branches to create span to hold the black plastic tarp that protects from the daily rains. Kids catch drinking water from the plastic as it droops in under the rain's weight. The winds have taken a toll on the plastic tarps making them almost useless. We can't complete soon enough.
Today's trivia is a comment on our daily commute. African travel is always an adventure. You've read a few on the Matatu form of transportation. Being smaller numbers we ride a cab with a few other workers. It is a 1997 Toyota Corolla with 300,000 km on it. Springs and shocks are gone. So far, 8 is our largest number of passengers (it seats 5 with a stick). For the privilege of the front seat you get the duty of taking the hand towel and wiping the windshield of the fog for the driver. You can't open the door, the handle is broken like the side view mirror. If you share the bucket seat, expect an arm or a leg to fall asleep in the 30-40 minute ride. The privilege of the back seat means you get one of the two windows that opens in the car (the driver has the other). You must, however, ask the driver to open it for you because your control is broken. The price for the window that opens is that all in the back are expected to get out and push the car when it gets stuck in the mud. Ahhhh, another African adventure.
God bless our supporters. God bless the kids!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Picture Update of the Week and the Destruction in Soy

Arriving on the footpath from church looking at the back of the home

What was once the kitchen

The new makeshift kitchen built from the reamins

The boys home

The main house, having roofing from the kitchen used as a wall that had been knocked down, the roof being held up by a few center posts the side walls draped with plastic.

Once learning that it was an orphan children's home the hired help decided maybe they shouldn't be knocking it down.

Martin, Ruth and the kids are doing much better.  They are very grateful for the prayers and support given by all!  In the service all they could do was think what if God had not brought our teams here with the backing of our churches? What if there was no new home for the children to go to, or no one to get them there?  Though they suffered they still rejoiced, in the knowledge and faith that the Lord Jesus Christ is their protector.

 Shortly after the kids arrived at the site God reminded me of what Paul wrote, and could be seen from this situation.

We exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5: 3-5)
Once again to everyone who has given support, whether it be financially, in prayer or in the sweat of your brow, this family sends their sincerest heart felt love and gratitude!

Pictures from the week

The children taking it upon themselves to clean up a bit

Little Sarah moving a block weighing as much or more then she does

Anna helping with a smile

Prepping the first hallway

3/4 of the sitting room complete

The breakfast bench

setting up for plastering  the kitchen gables

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Building inspector is a CHICKEN!

It's not like we don't have enough people peeping in on our work but today was a reminder of just where we are. While working one floor at one end of the building we hear some "peeping" from the other end of the building. Sure enough, some of the resident chickens had drifted in from the other end of the building and were fast approaching the just smoothed floors. Now ~ how to chase them out of the building with out leaving footprints everywhere. And this happened more than once. Sure glad the goats and cows are tied up. Just don't ask how I (Jim) got tied up with the one goat yesterday at the barbed wire fence. OUCH!
With 11-12 hour days, we continue to push the floors completing a pour by flashlight twice this week (and I bet it was needed again tonight). And we don't get to come home to a prepared dinner. We still need to do that after the ride home. In the end, 3 more sections were completed in building one today. We have one more day's work there to complete the floors (give or take a step or two and a main entry handicap ramp). Oh, and it was cold meatloaf sandwiches.
Further floor work included preparing building two for floor form setting/leveling. That has taken 1 1/2 days since the plasters "plastered" the whole place into a mess. We have the first floor areas ready for a Monday morning pour as we head into that building. The floor prep crew can then move on to the dining hall so we can start that building mid next week. We'll alternate between the two buildings keeping what we hope will be two crews going.
Today's milestone, as promised, was the completion of the plastering of all interior walls, all buildings. Done. Complete! Yea! YEA! Great week.
Adam is in a daily routine now of bandaging the various kids and their cuts and infections. Leaves you to wonder what would be done without his care and handy first aid supplies. He is seeing improvement already on his first treated. Please continue your prayers of support for all the kids well being. [Even I needed Dr. Adam's band aid assistance]
About 2:30 today was a lunch break for most of the crew. Now, just how long do you think 5 wheelbarrows will remain idle with 28 kids in sight? I don't think it was 2 minutes before the wheelbarrow races were off and running as they circled the buildings carrying siblings and fellow orphans in joyous kid's play. Just wait until they have the whole place to themselves!
That brings us to the trivia answer from yesterday. When I looked out the window yesterday I saw 6 if not 8 kids all operating one wheelbarrow with another (or two) in it. By the time I got to the camera they had scattered in 10 directions. My, we do have an active job site.
Enjoy your Sunday services. We hope to get to Soy and document the damages.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rain can slow a day...

Even with all the work going on inside the 3 buildings, rain can still hamper a day's progress. A late morning downpour delayed some outdoor concrete mixing for over an hour today. Another downpour at clean up time delayed that as well. But, you know that didn't stop the team from completing 3 more floor sections and over 1/2 of the plastering in the dining hall. Looks like that work will complete tomorrow.
Answer to yesterday's trivia question...Two of Martin's children were named after Ted & Dolly's Pollock's children. For the extra credit to that answer their names are Bill and Carolyn (that one we gave you).
Tonight's trivia comes from the kid's activities today helping out. Because the brick work is completed, the remaining brick pile at the building had to be moved to the tarp area for surplus building materials at the other end of the compound. Someone tapped the 20 +/- able bodied orphans to help. Each wanted to do their best. The youngest would struggle with all his might just to carry (and run) with one brick. Others carried 4-5 each. Then came the organizers. They took off with the construction wheelbarrows and started to load them with bricks. I looked out the window and couldn't believe how many kids can operate one wheelbarrow. That, faithful readers, is your trivia question. How many kids can operate one wheelbarrow full of bricks?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Happenings...

Learned a little more about the houses being torn down. Turns out Naomi (one of the handicap children) was in the building as it was being demolished! She was removed unharmed. Some of their possessions were destroyed. Martin won a court case today proving he is the rightful owner of the land. Doesn't help in the house loss. He is filing an injunction to sue the pastor that hired the people that tore the house down. More to come...
Today was productive on the construction front. Adam and I completed 4 floor sections (3 real large) in building one. Building two saw the plastering completed with the plasters starting the prep at the dining hall. speaking of the dining hall, the last of the brick was completed from ring beam to roof underside. That was the last of the project brick and block work!!!
As the day passed, small faces appeared from time to time in doorways and windows as the new young residence had their curiosity get the best of them. Most of the day they played about the yard with one another. Life goes on in this harsh world. The Red Cross may be supplying tents for the kids that are in school until December. They weren't moving until then when the school year ends. In the mean time the orphans are split up.
You can't help but be amazed at one of Martin's grown daughters, Carolyn, and all she does. One minute she is cooking, then sweeping, then it is up to help in construction -like installing a floor - then back to games with kids and personal exercise for one of the special needs kids then back to chopping fire wood for cooking. What a delightful person.
Back to the trivia question that we were not following yesterday. . . The year that Martin met Ted and Dolly Pollock was 1978. Tonight's question: How many of Martin's own children are named after Ted's children (sorry - Pollock family members are disqualified from this question). Can you name them (hint - I just gave you one of the names...) ?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No New Information

There hasnt been much communication with Martin, Ruth or the older children that have remained in Soy. What we have heard is that Martin has been dealing with the police and courts. He said that he would be coming to the site tomorrow, when we will be able to get his story.

The younger children have been doing really well at the new home, they are all in good spirits. they spent the day playing and having a good time enjoying their new compound. There was little to no sign of trama from seeing their old home destroyed, thanks be to God.

Jim had mensioned the other day how he would of liked to get a picture of the kids holding hands in a circle by the buildings like in the model of it that he had built. At the end of the day the kids were playing and it just happened!

The masons are still plastering the second home, and two of them are finishing the brick work on the kitchen, and both should be completed tomorrow.

We spent the morning finishing the floors which were poured yesterday. One was finished last night when we left but it was walked on shorlty after we left so it too needed to be refinished.

Lenny is pretty good at finishing floors so he will head that up from here on out, while Jim and I continue the pour. Alfred is getting really good at laying the form work for the floors so we should be able to pick up a little speed once we dont have to focus so much labor on plastering.

One of the neigbors, John Asifiwa (not sure on the spelling) said he liked to draw. I had asked if he could show me some of his work. About a week later he came back with a really nice painting of a picture that had been taken in front of the homes.

Please pray for Martin and Ruths oldest daughter, Ireane, her family and everyone she is working with. as they head back to the mission feild on a small island off the coast of Mombasa.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We began today's work like any other day. Then, as the morning progressed, reports began to come in that the existing Soy orphanage that Martin, Ruth and the children live in had been torn down this morning in a land dispute. This as the 43 orphans lived there. One report indicated no one was hurt. But it was confirmed all the buildings were completely destroyed. Everyone was left standing in the rain with all their posessions.
By the end of the day, Adam had arranged for a Matatu to pick up 28 of the orphans and bring them to the new compound. None of the new buildings are ready for occupancy so we watched them move into the on site tool sheds.
At this time we do not know what happened to the remaining orphans, Martin and Ruth. We have not ruled out that they remain at the old location in Soy spending the cold damp night outside.
We will keep you posted on what transpires here over the next few days doing all we can to assist them at this greatest time of need.
Prayers are need from all the project supporters.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's TEAM 4.2

Before we get into what was accomplished today, we wanted to bring you up to date on the team name. "Team 5" just seemed so over-rated. After all, there's just the two of us* and four of the finest teams had each achieved such success. Therefore, it seemed that we'd just add the tag to the last team and keep a good thing going. So we are Team 4.2
So, there at the end of a ragged dirt and mud road that the car continued to bottom out on, the rows of 15 foot corn opens into the field where JOHABETO stands before you. What an awesome site. Everything on paper and in model came to life. Add the smell of the curing cement just as imagined. Finally the time arrived to get the hands dirty.
First it was completing 5 sections of flooring forms ready for a pour of cement (each room requires 4-6 sections). Those were all in bulding 1. Then there were all the remaining tie beam forms removed including the dining hall that was only completed last week (it looked great!). Down in dorm 2, three more rooms were plastered bring that building just shy of 50% on plastering (remember- dorm 1 is fully plastered). Then, back up on the dining hall the block was being added at the two gable ends. We also managed to clean up the three floors that were assaulted last week by the 3-Stooges plastering team.
*This is the part that I remind you, faithful reader, that we had 20 locals today on our team as well. And overseeing all this is the one living and true God who just has to be so pleased that He is washing his shinny new roofs everyday in the afternoon. The rest of the time he shines on our work.
We close with this trivia question: In what year did Martin meet Ted and Dolly Pollock? Answer tomorrow...

"...and on the seventh day he rested"

The Sunday traditions since the mission began was to go and visit Martin in Soy, meet the kids and for new comers, stop by the construction site for a first look at what they had gotten themselves in to.
Adam offered to follow traditions for me as the great host he is. I couldn't help notice how tired he looked having just entertained(if you will), the Pollock international family reunion for the past 8 weeks. And never a Sunday off. On Saturday aunts, uncles, cousins and even mom were sent off at the airport. A low key Sunday was long over due for Adam. The day was good for catching up on the internet, reading, a little socializing with the remaining TI staff including dinner and a dvd with 5 of their orphans. The theme of the day I didn't mind either after my travels - two words: CAT NAPS. Lots of them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

PRECAUTION: This a re-write of a previous blog that was lost due to... We started the day with the intention of completing the ring beam forms on the kitchen. By lunchtime we decided that we could also complete pouring the ring beams. The concrete pouring started before the forms were completed. Everyone including the Shikuku family and the masons joined in to complete our tasks. The scene was chaotic with people running everywhere and yet
at the end of the day we had achieved our original goal and more. The ring beam was formed and poured within the kitchen. The final bucket was being poured as Robert our driver pulled in to bring us home. By the way we still hold the record for the most people in the matatu(24!!!). This is a vehicle that is built for 14 people.
Martin and Ruth came over and announced we were going to have a small celebration to thank us for coming and building there orphanage after all these years.
The celebration began by Martin and Ruth decorating us with a medallion necklaces and garlands. Martin presented a history of his relationship with Ted and Dolly Pollock and the family and how we had been linked throughout the years. Everyone broke into praise song and dance before we were treated to biscuits and sodas. Really we should have been thanking them for all the love and joy they shared with us. Saying our final goodbyes to the family and the workers was very difficult. Many tears were wiped away and Zach came home shoeless, it was dark by the time we had left the job site.
We came back to the TI compound for breakfast for dinner which was crepes and ice cream. We cannot thank our wonderful hosts enough at the TI compound, Danel, Daniel, Sean, Meridith, Andrew, Mark and Derek. We are forever grateful for a delicious meal to come back to every night as well as a hot shower for everyone but Tom.

Team five(Jim Wick) arrived at the TI compound as we were preparing to depart for the Kitalie airstrip. Jim, Adam, and Sean accompanied us to the airstrip for our departure. After our baggage was thoroughly searched we watched it being loaded onto the airplane and then promptly unloaded. The gate agent came over to explain that the airplane was overweight and our luggage would be going by matatu to Eldorat and then onto Nairobi by another flight. We are grateful to the pilot for his decision not to overload the plane. We were promised it would be delivered to our guest house tonight. We are still waiting...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Last Day at the Job Site

Zach and Alfred finishing the tie beam on the kitchen!

Goodbye ceremony

Shaloom actually smiling

Adam and Ruth dancing

The whole work crew

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Gift of History

The Gift of History
By: Alfred Opiyo, Alerics Collections, 27/07/2007

This is cradle of genesis,
That never shall it be seasonal,
Like roses blossomed at Winter;
Nor birds of Springtime sung.
Communities and descendants to live,
Must remember, celebrate and pray.
Only for the gift of history and future
Led to us by late Ted Pollock and Dolly his helper.
Thus inclined all our bouquets.

Both blew their horn,
That ripples many parts of Africa.
Despite of lefting all best,
In Western countries and cultures.
Liftup their lamps in Africa as missionaries,
Fishing many to roused from slumber of doom cultures!
And all whispers peace fetching - many to Christ.

Though leaved their mission hunged
But their blessed descendants,
Are there to rescue unfinised pillars,
Firmly after footprints of trotter-claws.
Leaving chance for history to breath.

May our ancestors effort live in our heart,
Throughout our lives, strength, names -
And accomplishment of their dream.

Tho in the gift of history,
That we live to honor

May I know pause to honor.

Today started like many other days, we were up and waiting for Robert to arrive right at 7am. When we got into the matatu Penny was surprised to find two chickens tied up under her seat! She asked Robert if they were his chickens and he said "no they are your chickens." When we got to the site we found out what he meant, the chickens were unloaded in preparation for tomorrows lunch.

The larger part of our group worked the morning finishing up the ring beam in building two! It was a good feeling to have that finished! Dave and Tom proceed on with their regular job of putting up forms, they are hoping to finish the form by the end of tomorrow. The Kenyans finished the plastering in building one and moved on work in building two today, hopefully they'll be able to make some good progress in building two tomorrow.

We had a bunch of neighbor kids come over today, three little ones in particular kept picking up scrap pieces of wire and bent nails and giving them to us. Late afternoon after Penny had given away all the crayons that she had with her, she still wanted to give the three little kids something, so she brought out some bread and honey left over from lunch. Within the next 15 minutes there were neighbor kids coming out of nowhere wanting to get something to eat too. Unfortunately we didn't have enough food for all of them so Penny compromised and gave them all a pencil. :-)

We can't believe that our time here is almost over! It seems like just yesterday that we got here, there is so much more that we would like to get finished by we will have to to do our best with the time that we have left and be excited for all that we've been able to get done. And be glad that Adam is going to be here to finish up the project and that Jim is coming in on Saturday to help him and be team 5!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vo Tech school students tour Johabeto site

There is something wonderful about bouncing along the road through the corn fields and arriving at the job site. All of the Kenyan workers come to greet us and shake our hands. We all join hands in a big circle and start the day with prayer. Everyone applauds and we begin the construction on the dorms.
Today we formed floors, leveled them, mixed concrete, poured tie beams, poured floors,
and began to build the forms for the ring beam on the kitchen.
The masons are plastering the inside walls of dorm one. They throw it at the walls and it flies over the top of the walls and into the faces of us who are working on the floors in the next room. It also covers the door and window frames and lands on our finished floors. C'est la vie!
Today a local Vo Tech school had a field trip to the site and spent more than an hour and a half looking at everything.

Martin had a wonderful time giving them the tour! He is so excited about his new home.

Vo Tech school students tour Johabeto site

Martin and Ruth and granddaughter Shaloom

Martin And Ruth and their cow

There is something wonderful about bouncing along the road through the corn fields and arriving at the job site. All of the Kenyan workers come to greet us and shake our hands. We all join hands in a big circle and start the day with prayer. Everyone applauds and we begin the construction on the dorms.
Today we formed floors, leveled them, mixed concrete, poured tie beams, poured floors,
and began to build the forms for the ring beam on the kitchen.
The masons are plastering the inside walls of dorm one. They throw it at the walls and it flies over the top of the walls and into the faces of us who are working on the floors in the next room. It also covers the door and window frames and lands on our finished floors. C'est la vie!
Today a local Vo Tech school had a field trip to the site and spent more than an hour and a half looking at everything.

Martin had a wonderful time giving them the tour! He is so excited about his new home.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

T.I.'s monkey

Pouring floors

Zach admiring the finished ring beam

Children at the baby home

Bev at the Baby home

Our first highlight of the day was an appearance by the local monkey in the front yard.

This morning Bev and Ginny had the opportunity to visit an orphanage that specializing in babies. What an amazing place this is. They have 82 children primarily under the age of three. The organization is very impressive. You can see more about it at

The work at the site continues to progress slowly. The forms for the ringbeams in building 2 are almost complete. We hope to start pouring tomorrow or the next day. Most of the plastering on the walls of building 2 is complete, just the front two rooms are left and we have begun to pour the concrete floors. A couple of the team members have been feeling under the weather but still insisted on showing up and putting in a good days work. We are all feeling the pressure to get our task completed. Our goal is to have the 1st building ready for the family to move in. Adam will be staying on another month in Kenya to see the entire project to completeness. Jim Weick will be arriving Saturday to help out. The 2 of them will be team #5. We might not see the blog posted as often. Anyone else want to come out and help?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to Work

Monday and another day back at the job site. The team was eager to get started waiting at the gate for the matatu. That early energy faded as the day wore on but quite a bit was accomplished nonetheless. We did not have any rain today so we didn't have any interuptions to our work. The forms for the interior tie-beams in building one were removed and the lumber shifted to building two. The tie-beam forms in building two are nearing completion and we should start pouring concrete tomorrow. Screens have been placed across the gable and eave vents of both buildings in preparation for plastering. Four rooms have been plastered in building one and part of the team has started setting the forms for the floors in those rooms.

When we returned to the TI compound we were greeted with hot showers, clean clothes, and a delicious chipati and potato stew dinner. Life is good!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A perfect day

Martin's sketch of Dolly Pollock

Martin's sketch of Ted Pollock

All of the kids

The whole faimly

New record 24 in the Matatu

Today was the day we waited all week for. We went out to visit the Kids of the Kingdom. We got to the church before the family and then one by one they arrived to welcome us. Each one stopped to greet every one of us. Some where in the middle the generator, keyboard and very large speaker arrived. The church congregation was made up mostly of family, with a few friends and relatives. The service was led by Martin, the keyboard played by Bill (Martin and Ruth's son), the music and dancing led by Carolyn and Faith (Martin and Ruth's daughters) and performed by all of the children. What a wonderful, joyful service of worship and praise. It is hard to describe but something we will cherish forever.
After the service we went to Martin and Ruth's home where we were served tea and sandwiches. We then gave out gifts to each child. Leah had made a special bag for each with their name and we filled each with an item of clothing and other gifts that had been collecting by all the teams. The children were all so excited and grateful. We took individual pictures of each child so if we can read the name we can remember each one. The children all went and put on their new clothing on. They then formed a line and burst into a thank you song and dance. How much joy they have to share!
On our way home we set the record for the most people in the matatu, 24!! It was definitely a perfect day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday so much for a day off

Saturday was another day that we ended the day a little early, we stopped at 430pm to have a special treat and go out to eat. But we were able to make progress on the building none the less.

Tom and Dave, with the help of Leah, continued their work on the ring beam in building two. Zack, Ginny and Heather started to take down the wooden frames of the ring beam in building one, but the Kenyans were using them for support of scaffolding and they were afraid to take it all down and have the ring beam not be set enough to support them. So once that was taken down they went in search of other tasks. Heather helped Penny to lay out the rebar for the ring beam in the kitchen building, while Ginny and Zack worked with some Kenyan kids to sift piles and piles of sand for the plaster mix. Bev went around cleaning the place up and finding jobs that needed to be done that it seemed no one else wanted to do. Adam as always went around make sure that people were on task and if they didn't have a task found them something to do.

Since the walls were up in all the building the Kenyan workers started on the immense job of plastering ahead of them. They were able to get the outer walls in the back 3 rooms plastered and looking good.

At around 4pm things were starting to wind down and the clouds were starting get dark and move over head. So we started to make preparations in case it rained, which is sure enough did. We were grateful for the moat that had been freshly dug around the entrance/doorway to building two. We had also covered a dry mix that had been made by the Kenyans and not used hoping that it would not go to waste (we'll see how well it worked come Monday morning).

Shortly after we dug the moat and covered the mix it started to POUR! Probably the hardest and longest it's rained since we have been here. We had to wait a little while on Robert to get there so that we could head back to the compound for our dinner out.

On our way back we saw a small truck struck on the side of the road because his back tires had gone off the road. So we decided to stop and help push him out, I'm sure that it was quite a site to see four white guys stop to push a Kenyan out of being stuck (we figured it was the right thing to do because earlier in the day we got stuck for out first time on the muddy road out to the site).

After that we made it back to the compound and rushed to get showers before heading out to a very special meal at a guest house just down the street.

All in all it was a great Saturday where we were able to get work done, but also enjoy some time just spent with one another and the people on the TI compound where we are staying.

Rain delay

yes... It really was raining

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Never Ending Tie-Beam

Another beautiful day in Kitale - no rain to speak of. Work continues on the buildings with most of the visible progress being accomplished by the local masons. Team four finally finished the interior tie-beams in building one, both forms and concrete. Halleluya!! Now on to the more challenging building two. The floors in building one are ready for forms but will have to wait for the plastering to be finnished. The kitchen is also ready for the ring-beam.

On a side note, my suitcase finally arrived. It has become a running joke that whenever there was something that we needed but didn't have, someone would say that Tom has one .... but it is in his suitcase. I guess we can't use that excuse now.

Today we left work early, 5:00 pm, for a BBQ at the TI compound with most of the local missionaries and NGO personnel. As usually the food was delicious, especially the goat.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

...and the rain came

Pouring the tie beams

Progress of the dorms

Mary and Ruth

We are now road building as at the end of the day we loaded up the wheel barrow with broken bricks and filled holes on the road to Martin's new home.
Dave a Tom have been working very hard to form up the remaining tie beams. In dorm one there isn't enough lumber so they have been gradually taking the planks from the scaffolds.

Now at 6:00 pm the truck arrived with more lumber. We are now able to begin forming the floors. The walls on the kitchen are to the top of the windows and doors.
The concrete mixing went well today. Each wheelbarrow of sand and gravel was level! We had a line of kids and a couple adults to hand the buckets of concrete up to our amazing team on the scaffold!(we even have four buckets).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working together sifting sand

Christine our great helper

Rolling out the lining for the floors

Team 4 has been blessed with another great day at the work site. The walls on the kitchen are about half way up. Tom and Dave are almost done with the frame for the ringbeam in building 2 and we actually started pouring some of the concrete in it today.Door frames are now being made that the doors actually fit in. We finished cutting all the plastic for under the concrete floors in the first 2 buildings.
We had a heavy downpour this afternoon which slowed things down a bit because without electricity it gets very dark inside during a storm and it's hard to work inside the building. Plus everyone piles inside so it gets a bit crowded. I got to spend time with Ruth scrapping old cement drippings off the windows and talking about the kids. She is such a beautiful soul and you can tell she has love for every one of the 40 some children. She just smiles so brightly when she talks about each one. She never forgets a name and learned all of ours immediately. I'm trying to learn names but not having quite as much luck.
My day ended with the electricity going off in the middle of my shower, which means the water goes instantly cold. I guess I should just be grateful that it started out hot. It was also chipata taco night which we all enjoyed.
I'd like to send a special thanks to all the folks at work who helped me get here. It is everything I could have hoped for and I do miss you just a little.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Team 4, Day 2!

Today was a little more taxing than yesterday, with our first day on the job excitement worn away by a hard day of work yesterday. Even though our energy level was a little lower we were still able to accomplish a good days work.

Dave and Tom were able to make progress on the ring beam, although they were having to wait on a few things before they could get everything in place. Another group of us were able to get most of the floors in building one leveled and a few rooms cleared of rubble in building two. Adam, Leah, some Kenyan workers and Zach for a while at the end were able to get all the windows set in building three before we left for the day. Penny with the help of a few Kenyan children moved piles of sand and rocks close to building one so that when it comes time to pour the ring beam we will be well prepared!

Our much waited for door frames were delivered today with some assembly required. Dave and Tom were very disappointed to find out when the first assembled door frame was delivered for fitting that the door did not fit in the frame! So the door and frame were taken away to be redone alone with two other frames that were almost finished. Hopefully round two for the doors will prove to be perfect.

We were also blessed for the afternoon to have Alicia, Heather, and Mike as extra team members. They helped us level floors, bind together the rebar inner parts of the ring beam and play with the kids.

We are hoping that tomorrow the guys will be able to finish the ring beam in building one and if we're lucky and they have enough supplies get started on building two. Looking forward to resting up tonight to get a good days work in tomorrow!

This blog was written while the power was out so we were unable to upload any pictures, time and power permitting we may try to add some later. If not, hopefully we'll get some pictures up for you tomorrow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First day of work for group 4

Ruth cooking lunch & Adam with grandchild

Donkeys bringing bricks to worksite

The Shikuku family and Pollock family

Today was the start of work for group four. We began the day early and were off the compound by 7am. Once we arrived at the job site there was plenty for us to do. We formed teams and Tom and Dave began working on the tie beams in building one. The rest of us worked on grating the floors to prepare for pouring of the concrete, as well as other small jobs that needed to done before we could move on. We are still waiting for the door frames for within the building but were able to set two doors in place for the kitchen building. Overall a very productive first day and I am happy to be apart of this wonderful team full of family.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Straglers of team #4 arrive

The six members of team #4 arrived on Saturday, around eleven o'clock.
Then after greet, meet and some light unpacking all went into town to the Blvd. resturant.
for lunch. Other plans had to be made due to the death of the owners father.

Sunday, brought the last three of team #4 family member's in.
A couple of those family members will think twice about using Continental in the future planing of flying.

It turned out after getting a flight into Kitale we could meet up with the rest of team #4 in Soy. We would miss church service but meet up Martin & Ruth home, an hour and half from the airport. Lets just say it would of maybe taken half hour if the roads were fixed!

We met and greeted most of the 43 orphans, had quick lunch, got measured for a dress, took family pictures. Then piled 20 into the matatu and than drove over to the project site to see what was going to be in store for Monday.
Hi, to my Aunty Kay, all my fellow workers at Adecco, two Rita's and my friends and family.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Teamless with the Locals

Today was a major downshift compared to the past few days. There was a lot of good work completed but with the loss of our largest group things seemed to move at a much slower pace.

Much of the day was spent getting things prepared for the next teams arrival. Which means ordering supplies. Interior doors, the frames for the doors, plastic for the floors, lime for plaster sheets of glass which will need to be cut by hand to fit each individual window, and of course more bricks.

The kitchen door and window layout took up another large portion of the day, but now there is a few courses started on the kitchen and dinning facility.

The front section of wall above the ring beam was completed today.

The gable ends were flying up, much faster then expected!

The compound is looking more and more like home everyday.

Tomorrow will be the start of two days of rest for everyone working on the project, after the hard push over the past two weeks its well deserved.