Jan 15, 2011

Week 8/9 - Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Week 9 Included Dedication of the Emmanuel Mothibe Liphapang Bridge
Category:Lesotho 2010/11 
Posted by: Rome

Hello Everyone,

Today is Saturday the 15th of January and we just finished participating in the Bridge Dedication Ceremony.  The event was comparatively small and lasted a mere 2 hours.
It took place on the lawn and walkway area on the near side of the bridge and included the official presentation of the bridge to the local community Chief from the LUCOF, the Peruvian and the High School communities, all of whom worked on various stages of the bridge's construction.

Some very touching moments included when the priest who blessed and officially opened the bridge, said it shall be known as the Emmanuel Bridge and not by any other name, including the names of any of the nearby communities it serves.

Emmanuel's Mother, Grandfather, 3 sisters and 2 nephews were all present.  Some spoke, some cried and all were very sweet.

Lots of singing and dancing led us all across the bridge and back again.
Then a few more speeches and again fabulous singing led us to the cafeteria for roasted lamb and chicken.

It was a joyful day and it feels great to leave something behind that will be so well used and that needs no maintenance. 

The rain we dealt with last week has hit again off and on, including yesterday when it rained harder than I have ever seen in the 4 times and many month's that I've been here. After it stopped we ran down to the bridge to see the water flow and tried to decide if it would be rated a Class II rapid in the States.  Check out the video when it get's posted!

The last full frame of fencing has been set in concrete Hooooorrrraaayyyy!!!!   We are now working on gates and the details of connections to existing buildings and setting a catch basin at one location....it keeps being under water when the rain comes, just as we get ready to set it in place!  Jess, Izzy and Hugh are poised in the starting blocks as soon as that dang thing dries up a bit!

The old chicken coop has been fully redone, including a new beam at the roof line and the same set of perches and roosting boxes as the new one has.  The last thing to do to both coops now, is to install the automated drinking system next week.  The chickens are running around fat and happy in their new digs.  Their outdoor run area just got started this week and it still has lots of work to be done. Karen and Jefferson have been joined by very interested cows as they work in 'their' area.  I told them that if they slipped and fell in the muck, I wouldn't even try to help them up but instead run for a camera.

Bill and Megan have been building very cool window "covers" for all the coop windows.  They are opaque fiberglass panels set in frames that the caretaker will be able to set into open, middle or closed positions depending on the season and still maintain the daylight and night experience for the chickens.  In the past, they have been blocking the rebar and mesh window openings with flour sacks in the winter, leaving the chickens in the dark all day....very confusing if you are supposed to pop out eggs based on light.....

The remaining big task is the fabrication and installation of the hall hanging partitions. Alexis, Pierre and Machado have been building frames which will get the veneers applied next week.
Emily and Kathy have been welding and drilling the C channel to which the elevated tracks will be attached.  With the weather taking the power out so often, that's the only area where we are cutting it close on completion time.  With just a few good days we can catch up.

So, off to dinner at Imperani and food shopping with Toni....thank the universe for that woman!!!! (today she actually got to feed the chickens instead of us...lots more fun ;-)


Project Photos
Bridge Dedication Video (7 parts)