Over the past few months I haven't been able to write and publish a blog at all, there have been a few times that I had tried and actually written something only to find that I was not able to post, whether it was from lack of Internet the power being out or just thinking that what I had written didnt hold any value. That and the end of the day I just don't feel like doing anything but eating, showering and getting to sleep. So I think I will give another try to see if I can get an update to whoever might be interested.
I think that this is the first blog that I will have been posted by me since coming to In Step full time in April, other then the short one from October that I just got around to being able to publish while writing this one.
I guess I have found myself sucked in to all the happenings around here. There is always a long to do list and even a longer list of children that are looking for some attention and affection. I really dont know how I can describe what a day here looks like for me. When first coming I would try to plan what I would do in a day only to find that I would be trying to get something done only to be distracted by someone that needed something or an emergency repair. On the way to do that something or repair I would be met by another distraction and another only to forget what I was originally planning to do in in the first place for the day. Of course this has gotten a little better the longer that I have been there because of getting things caught up and finding where there are needs and becoming more proactive instead of reactive.
The main projects that have been worked on since arriving here have been picking up with the finishing of the medical clinic that was started in 2010. It needed the entire site to be cleaned up and then to have the electrical conduit and plumbing put in, followed by windows, door and ceiling joist, which here is called blundering. And then plaster, electrical and plumbing fittings, paint and glasses for the windows. Also the septic tank would need to be finished and a soak pit would have to be dug, which is the equivalent of our leach field. Of course not everything for the medical clinic has been finished due to lack of funds, but all in the Lords time im sure it will be.
Thirteen miles outside of Kitale in beautiful Cherengani I have found that there are more challenges or opportunities present then while working in town. Transport being one of the biggest, finding that going to the hardware store to get materials now took a larger portion of the day. Sometimes depending on the rains materials wouldn't be delivered for a few days at a time. So once again a day that would be planned out would have to be changed on the fly to accommodate for the materials on hand and the labor force that was present. Also the twenty acre compound with certain materials in one store room or another would mean that I would be walking in almost twenty acre circles. While still working on the clinic the first of three teams building teams for the dorm came from New York with a few members on the other teams coming from Pennsylvania and California. It was great to have them here headed up by three great team leaders my father Ron, Jim Taylor, and my Uncle Bill. I was able to discuss with them where we were at in the project and then head to town to get the needed materials for the construction to continue.
While the three teams were here over a six week period the dorm went from being a slab, to having walls and structural columns and getting the form work for the lentil started, and the stairs to the second floor formed and poured with concrete. After the teams left the project moved much slower, as did I being effected with typhoid and malaria at the same time. however the shuttering for the slab was completed, as was the steel reinforcement and the site was cleaned up with some minor landscaping done, just to level out some of the ground. The plumbing was put in as well as electrical conduit for when the slab would be poured. The reason things really came to a standstill was to get all of the the money on hand in order to get all the cement needed for the second floor slab to be poured.
While trying to open a new bank account to make this possible, a new kitchen was started and finished.
While working on the kitchen some repair was needed for the septic tank which was no longer working properly. Turns out that the soak pit was completely filled by sediment, which caused the water to not percolate through and caused a back up. So the only solution was to remove all the stone and dig the soak pit all over again. it was dug to a depth about 20 feet and then fill with drainage stone and covered back up.
A side project to get better storage and organization for the daily goods for keeping the home running. Things that need to be kept secure so that the kids cant get into them or walk away while no one is looking.
Also the building for In Step Academy was started as the kitchen was being completed. It is a two class room school and now has the windows set and is ready to have the ring beam formed. Each year a new class room will have to be added on to accommodate the new student class that is coming to age. Here school fees are charged for children to go to school, so with 14 students in class one and 25 in preschool and 33 that will be coming to preschool the at th beginning of the year it will be more feasible to hire teachers and to have a private school where a few students can come from the community and there fees will help pay for the teachers. Its hard to believe that this is a more economical approach yet it is.
While the kitchen and school were being built I was lucky enough to get some backup thanks to Terry Kiser who was here for a few months. Although we were splitting the responsibilities of construction we also had some Jeff and Carla's responsibilities to split with Sean and Meredith, while the Picicci's took a most deserved and needed break.
The second floor slab has been started to be poured now and the last section should be finished on Monday.
I have to give God all the glory for everything that has been accomplished here, because I certainly dont think I had much to do with any of the accomplishments, instead it was His Spirit that works through all of us that are here and those that have given support from abroad.
It may be hard for some readers to understand the above statement unless you have experienced it first hand, here I believe it happens on a very frequent basis.
Thanks be to God