Tuesday, June 14, 2014
# 5 A Day at SFG and A Visit to the Life Bloom Site
Yesterday (Monday) was my first real visit to SFG. I now have an official desk in the staff room and have been getting to know my new colleagues as well as enjoying the ones I already know.
I’ve written about some of the changes that have transformed the spirit in the school. Another thing I love is that aphorisms now decorate the eaves all around the inner quad. Everywhere one looks one finds an inspiration. Here are some examples
I still have not taught any classes, but did meet with a scholarship student whose sponsor sent some help. This girl has no help from home and was in dire need of almost everything, soap, toothpaste, TP, pads, pens. After I left SFG I went to the supermarket and bought a big bag of supplies for her. Generally when the students return from a holiday they come back with everything they will need until they go home again. There is no place nearby where they can shop and besides they are not allowed outside the school compound unless accompanied by a staff member. If they run out of something, Esther (matron) has to take a matatu to town to purchase for them. To be sure, this is combined with other necessary errands, but it is a big inconvenience for her because the school has no car.
I actually didn’t stay too long, having stuff to do in town (like buy new batteries for graphing calculators) and at home (like arrange for our shower heads to be replaced—instant hot water, but they burn out. Not fond of cold showers). I am scheduled to begin with some classes tomorrow. I’ll also begin to show the new math/science teachers how to use the graphing calculators. Several years ago Texas Instruments gave me 30 calculators to give away. We actually don’t give them to the teachers to keep. If they leave, they have to give up the calculator.
Today we made a visit to the Life Bloom site to view progress and to see the brick maker donated in honor of a mom who had worked with her hands her whole life. Her daughter thought mom would have loved donating the brick maker. I had hoped to be able to make a few myself, but it is not a job for an old person. It takes a team of at least 5 and all the work is physical and back-breaking.
First the sandy material must be screened to use only fine particles. It’s then mixed at about 30% cement to 70% sand, plus water.
The mixture is shoveled into this device
Excess mixture scraped off. Then the big handle is swung up to press the material into a brick.
The finished brick is removed and set in the sun to dry.
Today’s bricks made by about 1 pm. Trizer says they can make 60 – 100 bricks an hour. These will be used for the outer wall. Later, they will make them to sell, so make money to fund phase 2 of the operation.
This is one of the proud women, working along with the men on this part of the building process.
It is truly inspiring to see what this dedicated organization is doing for the hardest hit women in this corner of Kenya. I get teary-eyed just thinking about how many women Catherine has touched in a very deep way. She is truly a saint!