The dial has surely been turned up a notch here at Pestalozzi. I have been able to see this coming for quite some time, but the metal shop is in “full speed ahead” mode. As I will be leaving early in 2012, there is so much to coordinate and a lot of work to do in the shop. We are currently making 48 beds, with a ladder up to them. Underneath, we are building 48 desks and chairs, as a small study area for the more senior students that will be moving in to this area. We are starting two large “Rocket Stoves” (eco friendly, wood burning stove) and a braii (barbeque) pit. We also are extending a roof over this area. Then for the new kitchen, we are building 24 more benches. This is all taking place as we work on other smaller outside jobs that filter in.
So, I am very happy that the village is utilizing the resources that we offer in the metal shop. The guys are really doing nice work and put out a great deal of effort…..and NEVER complain. It is really one of the best experiences of my life to be able to share with them.
I am also training one of the Pestalozzi alums as a project manager for the metal shop. SHE is also putting out a very good effort and is a joy to work with. She is currently in charge of 4 projects that we have going, and is proving to have good attention to details. Again, she is a wonderful young woman and I feel so fortunate that our paths have crossed.
On top of all of this, Pestalozzi UK has recently committed to a new shop building, as the current one will be a kitchen next January 1. I have been very busy coming up with a design/site location, working with the architect, corresponding with the people investing in the project, working with the builder…..and then…… trying to get a business going that is worthy of all of this effort. And at the same time that I try to build the business up, I have to prepare to leave it and assure that it is sustainable.
The last few months are going to be a real whirlwind. But it’s FUN and surely a challenge.
Of course there are plenty of difficulties. But it seems the busier things get, the less comsuming the difficulties become.
I will very much miss the interactions with people from all over the world. For instance, last Saturday, Ilene and I went running with a couple of Dutch VSO volunteers and then sat around our apartment for a couple of hours, drinking tea and sharing stories from back home. Then it was off to Julius and Sarah’s house for a birthday lunch. They are good friends, from Uganda and we always have fun conversations. They want us to come to their wedding in a couple of years. They promise to make us a traditional costume for the ceremony. Julius informed me that he would like a cow for a wedding present. I really can’t wait to deliver on this one. I envision shopping around some small village for a good cow, negotiating a price and herding it to Julius’ house…probably with a couple of little boys to help out.
Then on Sunday, a lunch at a very nice farm owned by one of our board members. The guests were almost exclusively white Zambians that have lived here for fifty years, at least. They lived here when Zambia was Northern Rhodesia, in the Colonial era. They also lived through Independence, a change of government and the country name change to Zambia. The stories they tell of the old days and also of surrounding countries and their own struggle for independence are nothing short of fascinating. These folks won’t be around a whole lot longer and I feel so fortunate to be able to share in their stories.
I find that I have grown very used to this exposure to folks from all over the world. I think it is one of the things that I will miss the most when I leave.
Ah, that’s about all that is on my mind for this evening. I do miss the beautiful Pacific Northwest and my home in the Methow Valley and family and friends. But on my prior posting, I was reminded to “take in” all of these adventures, as I will be home soon enough – and I have “sat” with that. I have no doubt, I will be home for a while and will long for these opportunities once more.
It has been noticeably hotter than last year’s hot season….but rain is on the way!