Wheelbarrows and workgroups

The main reason we are here in Rwanda is Father Ganza, a Jesuit who has been attending Seattle University and is the leader of the project to build the secondary school of St. Ignatious in Kigali.

The last two days we have all joined the building crew of the school.  Fascinating, seeing the building methods that are used in a country where labor is $1.50 per day.  There is a concrete mixer and a dirt tamping machine. Other than that it is shovels and wheelbarrows.

So here we are, 17 members of the four Seattle families, joining right in with the  50 or so local workers.  The project is at the foundation stage, and is being built on a hill.  So they pour a concrete wall and back fill it with dirt, which is where we come in. First pick axing the clay rich dirt into submission, then shoveling it into ancient wheelbarrows with shovels that appear to be vintage WW One.  Wheelbarrows wheeled up and over the wall, dump into the hole, repeat.   All of this manual labor has had a strangely should satisfying effect on me and the rest of the group.

The workers all smile and seem to love having us there. They Especially seem to like my 11 yr old Liam who may have found his calling as a dirt workerand shocked us all with his hard work ethos.  

The highlight of today was getting to see the "kitchen" where lunch is prepared for the workers. It consists of a metal roof shack where the roof has been peeled up on one side to act as a "chimney"  Inside there are two women, and an open fire on the ground of the shack that they use to cook.  Three rocks lay on the ground with a makeshift fire in between them.  On top of this large pots are placed for the cooking.

The lunch for the workmen consisted of the following:

1- about three cups of mashed potatoes with just a little salt. Mixed in the cooking water.  Very starchy, with a consistency more like oatmeal
2- about one cup of local brown beans,  in a sauce like lightly dressed baked  beans, poured over the potatoes
3- half of a very large mild avocado

Actually a very nutritious, calorie rich lunch for workers that are really burning through food. 

A great day!  Tomorrow we go see the gorillas.
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Wheelbarrows always useful for moving stuff, workers can not do their work without them.
Sack truck

Balas

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