Jan 30, 2011

Week 10 - Lesotho 2010-11 Project Completion

The project wraps up amid record rain, but week 10 volunteers got 'er done anyway!
Category:Lesotho 2010/11 
Posted by: Rome

Hello Everyone!

I'm sitting at the airport, waiting to board my flight home and reflecting on this last week and the completion of our work in Lesotho.

What a last week it was!
Again we were bombarded by bad weather and power outages that really had me worried about getting everything done before we had to leave.
The poor Week 10 Volunteers got exactly 1 full sunny day and for the rest of the time they piled onto tasks that could be completed on the generator and out of the rain.
We ended up having to buy a second welder just to get everything done in the hall and the gates.  I looked over my daily log and we lost over 10 welding days to power and rain issues.
Never to be daunted though, the players in Week 10 kicked it through the goal posts!

The movable panels in the hall look fantastic! I think nearly every single person was working in the hall one day. Somehow we managed to share tools, ladders and everything else to get the track mounted, panels measured to fit, veneer cut, hardware on and doors leveled. Of course we had to add one last coat of varnish to the panels and sand and varnish the hall entry door too.

The main entry gate, now made of the same 8' spears as the rest of the new fence makes the place look like a fortress. Kathy and Emily were welding every minute that it didn't rain, right up until the last hour of the project!

Both chicken coops now have hinged window covering panels made of opaque corrugated fiberglass that can be closed in winter, partly open or fully open, all still allowing daylight/darkness for the chicken's laying pleasure.  The design, fabrication and functional details of this project was easily voted the most challenging and frustrating task of all!  But the team of Bill, Megan H, Renea and Allen were golden in getting it all done. The moment they were finished, we set up a chute made of leftover hall veneer pieces and moved half the chickens into the renovated old coop.  Only took us an hour this time.....but they got instantly cozy in their new digs.

In the moments between rain drenchings, Megan D, Jen, Chris, Briggs, Derek and Caleb somehow got the whole free range chicken run fenced including concrete along the base and 2 gates put in!  Plus they put down sod that the boys dug up from around the campus and spread gravel on the walkways too.

Many times during the last weeks of this project I was so happy that we were able to shore and pour the bridge when we did. Literally from the day we finished it, the water has run hard and fast every single day.  The locals say that it hasn't rained like this since 1977. You can image the amount of crop damage and washed away mud houses that can be seen everywhere.

So, with immense gratitude to all our Volunteers, Contributors, HNA Students in Seattle, HNHS Students in Lesotho and all the people who steadfastly held down the fort for us all at home, I thank you for the enormity of your hearts.  As I keep telling Catherine, we all take home so much more than we leave behind.

Hope to see you at the reunion!

Project Photos
Bridge Dedication Video (7 parts)