Today we returned to the polytechnic school in Mangu (where we got the helpers for the chicken coops for day 2). This time the Headmaster of the school took us around and showed us the different vocational training that was taking place. The first place we went was a group of IT kids. In the middle of absolutely no where, there was a room in this school with electricity and 7 computers! These teens shared their dreams to enter into web design, programming, computer repair, etc. Then we proceeded to other specialized areas including auto mechanics, carpentry, welding, salons and dress makers. We got to encourage these young men and women about setting goals and taking the necessary steps to achieve those goals and the choices they need to make to reach them. This school had 19 kids in it when Kathy came in September 2008. It is now up to 160 kids.
60% are orphans.
The remainder are the poorest of the poor.
What we are doing matters.
In the afternoon, half our group went to Oakland primary school (grades 1-8, working with grades 4-8). They played soccer and other games and they connected in meaningful ways with a bunch of kids. They celebrated when we donated to soccer balls to the school. Soccer is huge here. I am starting to get a little more interested in it because I am a huge ego, and getting schooled by 6th graders bothers me.
I went with a 2nd group into the heart of Mangu. We looked at the coops we had begun the previous day, we visited a couple other grandmothers who either had built a coop or were waiting for our coop we would build for them on Monday. The stories are heartwrenching. Single grandmothers, feeble, broken...caring for kids, many their own, some they've brought in. One we visited watched her own kid die of AIDS, a grandkid die of hunger and she is currently living with the chickens in a ridiculous one room hut. The opportunity to help these women feed their grandkids, generate revenue through the sale of eggs, and survive a little easier is great.
What God is doing matters.
Please pray for the chicken coop projects. This has not gone as smoothly as we'd hoped, and we are left with the challenge of building/finishing 5 coops on Monday. We have revamped the design of the coops a little bit to try to save on costs and Ben, Jay, Greg and I went to a lumber yard (if you can call it that) and spent 17,000shillings to get us started. We need prayer that we will be really efficient so that we can get these all done. It will be our toughest work day of the trip.
Thank you for your prayers...Shaina and I are good...got moved to a new room (had a massive leak through the ceiling of our last room). We saw a tarantula tonight outside of the door where we had our meeting. I may not sleep the rest of the trip haha.