Day 5 MAN DOWN

‘And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers’ (Ezekiel 25:17). Why did I eat the prawns in the food last night? I shall press on. Day 2 of work on the house saw the frame go up in spectacular fashion. Mr Thai and the ‘engineers’, who don’t wear shoes or a tool belt, climb the frame like it’s a playground and swing hatchets to get any cuts made. The precision at which the blade is cast rivals even the mightiest of wood cutters at the Ekka. There are no safety hats or high vis on this site and after working on site for a time before I became a teacher it’s quite nice. The breeze was still gently cooling our soaked fabric as it sticks to our skin.

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The boys mostly observed from a distance as the joists got put up and the batons were nailed (one by one, with a hammer) to the roof, which reached almost ten feet into the sky. The house looked small to the boys but as the walls started to go up they started to realise how the space might be used. As the kitchen will be in an annex off the front of the house, the floor space inside provides enough space for a living room with a desk for study and two small bedrooms.

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Today we will help load the metal sheets for the roof and set the timber on the walls. Hopefully, after today, it will be completely rain proof which will make it easier to concrete the floor. I approximate that to be a fun-filled ‘barra-thon’ (a marathon of wheel barrows) consisting of 25 to 30 wheel barrow loads of concrete all mixed by hand. Trust me, even if you are reading this and your boy is not in group 2, he will be working hard and learning some new skills. This honest work is an eye opener as the real character of these young men is shining through.

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I forgot to mention the other day the boys witnessed first hand the corruption that takes place here. One man was stung for not wearing a seat belt, while driving by what was similar to a random breath testing unit. He was ordered out the car. There was a lady in uniform at a desk writing out tickets but the man walked around the corner opened his wallet, got back in the car and drove off. Our guide said this was common practice as the officer wants the money, doesn’t want to fill out paperwork and the victim wants to get away quickly. Certainly a system that is failing to support its people.

Thank you for your words of support. Please comment on the blog and I will make sure your messages get through to your boys. The staff all have mobiles in which we could relay messages to them.

Wish us luck.

Patrick

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