After being up late with a coughing fit then waking to pouring rain, I wasn’t very motivated to get going this morning. I tried to get my juices flowing with a batch of Aunt Jemima just-add-water pancakes with some real maple syrup I carried from the US. Mmm mmm good. Later in the morning when I reached the school site, the rain had subsided. The women’s GROW group had arrived a bit before me and was busy “hooking” the ground (weeding with small hoes and cutlasses). If you think keeping up with weeds at home is tough, look at this video I took today: (https://youtu.be/iL5DHWln4hk) The bush fills in
very quickly during the rainy season! You’ll see in these photos the okra plants (tall with yellow flowers) and the onion patch (which is more like clusters of chives). I was supposed to meet with Mother Sackie to review her reports but she needed to leave early to cook for her children. We’ll meet after church tomorrow.
As I walked from the gardens towards the warehouse, I was met by one of the security guards holding a big fat half-dead “raccoon” by its tail which he just caught in a homemade trap. He laid it on the guard house floor as I peered into the doorway…only to see it gasping and bleeding on the concrete. I later found it lying on a piece of zinc near the kitchen fire. Apparently he butchered it and was planning to eat part and sell the rest for $100 LD ($1 USD for the meat of half a raccoon…not sure I’ve seen that in Stop & Shop but it sounds like a great price!).
I worked with some of the boys again to cut some steel angle for fashioning a welded battery shelf and a locking mechanism for the guard house solar panel. Back home I would have just cut some wood strips and screwed something together to make a shelf. However, we don’t have the same voracious termites they do in Liberia. The wooden shelving I built in the warehouse earlier in the year already has sections that are disintegrating with the tell-tale piles of termite dust covering the floor below. The boys were enjoying using the hacksaw anyway. We then moved on to pre-installing the sink drain “strainers” in the six stainless steel bathroom sinks. They learned how to roll plumber’s putty in their hands to make a “putty snake” to press on the underside of the drain’s flange before tightening the gasketed nut from below. Unfortunately, the perimeter flange on the sinks I got from Eagle Electric have rather raw sheared metal edges that I discovered are also rather razor sharp. I cut the sides of two fingers but had baby wipes and a couple of Band Aids in my wallet – happily none of the kids got sliced.
Since they were getting a little too “helpful” today, I decided to create a project for them. Using the tin snips, I cut out large “K 1” and “K 2” characters from the zinc corrugated roofing material. I put the gang to work painting them so we can affix them to the walls in the two classrooms. When they get in the way again, I’ll cut out the word “Library”… more letters means more painting…you get the idea! They loved working on this and it looked like a great classroom craft.