What a day.

So today was another split, MFP team going to Tubur. The MFP team found that this community had some bad news as well. The MFP was installed in November but there have been many issues. First, the engine has been leaking, and the miller & oil press could not be used at the same time, making it not a multi-function but a single-function platform. Also, the generator couldn’t be used either because the whole machine shook too much. Last but not least, just like all the other MFP sites, we found that the engine is simply too slow to prove to be economically viable. The problems have been reported but there has been some problems with communication and deliverance, but we’ll work with Pilgrim to the best of our abilities to get this all figured out before we leave!

As for the water team, today was Lesson 2 and we taught the kids about our rainwater harvesting system and showed them how to do a lot of the calculations. So we started out with a review of the last class then did this fun activity where we asked the kids to draw their own version of rainwater harvesting systems for their type of house. A lot of kids came up with very creative designs (and very nice drawings too!) and we had some of them come up to the board and demonstrate for us their design. Having the kids participate this way was a lot of fun for both us and the kids. Then we explained some things about rainwater harvesting, foundations, filtration & water purification methods, and we also did some calculations with the volume of water we would get with a water catchment system at their school building and how long it would take for the whole school to use up the water in our three 10000L tanks and things like that. The kids were really smart, cooperative, and they just have so much energy and enthusiasm with their learning it was quite encouraging for us. I couldn’t help but think, if kids had this much energy and motivation in the middle schools in the US… and Harrison and I talked about how with all the resources that kids in the US enjoy, and if these kids had those resources, like Harrison says…it’s over. They would excel American kids by so much it wouldn’t even be funny.

After class, they had an hour of break and so they went outside and kind of expected us to entertain them, even though Harrison was the only one with real skills like rapping, dancing, etc. But we all found our own niches within the kids and Rebecca/Allison had girl time with a lot of the girls of the class, and they taught the girls some songs while the girls also taught Rebecca/Allison some songs as well. The girls’ singing was really quite amazing, with some kids harmonizing like crazy. They mostly sang church songs and their musical abilities were impressive. Harrison did a lot of rapping with the beats on his phone and some of the kids tried to imitate him or come up with their own lyrics and it was fun to watch. Rohan and Bethany were the real workers who worked with Julius the work horse and the boss who helped us fix the gutters of the laboratory building. Me, David, with my camera/flip cam, attracted those kids interested in cameras and I filmed some singing, Harrison’s rapping, and this group of kids who just wanted to be in front of a video camera and just talk. One thing I noticed with the kids here is that they’re so easily amused and we jaded kids in the US don’t laugh much to “be cool” because of our attitude, but kids here laugh so easily, finding humor/joy in the simplest things and it was just amazing to see these kids in a continent so battered by history and yet, they seem to be happier than many in the US due to the simple attitude they carry. With my kids and the camera, these kids started to take over my camera and take pictures on their own, making funny/cool poses, each of them so fascinated by being able to just click that one button and retain that image in memory. Looking at the kids so fascinated by this simple thing we take for granted and especially at the moments when they cutely/innocently look through the camera lens to take the picture with their small, excited hands holding this big camera rather awkwardly, I couldn’t help but smile.

After all this kid frenzy, we actually got to work and we basically took our all of the old brackets and nailed them in again at the correct position/height so hat our gutters would work well. the installation part wasn’t particularly difficult, but after we installed we poured some water through and saw that a lot of water leaked between the different gutter sections because the sloping wasn’t quite right. We tweaked things here and there trying to find the easy way out but ultimately, we knew we had to fix the slope and we left that off for tomorrow.

After we got back, we had a delicious dinner (goat stew, rice, chipatti, veges, and beans) by Esther/Grace who are running the hotel and are really friendly and laugh a lot. Allison and I took some pictures of the lightning in the clouds. One thing about lightning here is that there is no thunder for some reason. Perhaps because the lightning is to far away, but even the closer ones don’t make a sound, which was a bit strange. Also, the lightning occurs quite frequently (basically every 1-2 seconds) and brightens up the sky pretty well. We ended our exciting Friday night with group reading (and some napping) and it’s about bed time.

Here are the pictures, and enjoy! And keep up with the blogs, because you never know when we have exciting stories!

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