So today was Saturday and we were supposed to go up to the Soroti rock with Titus of Pilgrim. So we walked over to the police station to get permission to go up the rock because the rock has a military complex at the top and ordinary people need permission in order to go up there. On the way, we met a lot of kids and said hi to a lot of them, who kept calling out “mozungus!” and it was really funny. Once we got to the police post, Titus tried to get the permission and meanwhile we were playing with the kids, who kept running away at our slightest movements in unsparing laughters. They were quite shy at first but eventually they came up to us and a lot of them came up to shake hands with each one of us and it was funny/cute. So Titus comes out saying that the guy who can give permission is not here today and so we have to go back, and later he gave us a call saying that the guy is out of town for the weekend, meaning that I (David) can’t go see the Soroti rock during this visit because I’ll be gone by next weekend! UGH.

So after that whole issue, we came back to the hotel to just chill, and I sat on the third floor balcony on a chair just reading for a little more than an hour. Although the sun is really hot, the air temperature actually wasn’t that bad and there was a nice breeze and it was just a refreshing/nice place to read, excluding about 3 minutes when one of our neighbors was trying to control this rather large pig and it squealed very unpleasantly and loudly. After our little break, we went out to Marissa’s where I got vegetable curry & rice (delicious) and others got samosas, beans, etc. Then we went to the school, where we tried to fix up the problems with yesterday’s gutters.

When we’d arrived at the school, the gutters on the laboratory building looked to be a mess, and quite leaky. We thought that we could do a better job by increasing the slope yesterday, but apparently we hadn’t increased it enough, as tons of water leaked out and ponded in the center. Today we decided to rehang the gutters without letting ourselves be limited by the length of the fascia board. If we got 3/4 of the way down the building, and were already too low on the fascia board to hang more brackets, we decided that we would either quit or use wire to hang the gutters. We increased the slope bracket by bracket. Every time we’d lay a new bracket, we would set the next gutter onto it and pour some water down it, checking to ensure that we were indeed working with gravity. It was hard to use measuring tape to determine the slope because the thickness of the fascia board, and the distance of the roof material from the fascia board, varied across the building. Rebecca suggests that we just use a spirit level to check our slope, which I think is an excellent idea.

Julius, the school handyman, again did the majority of the work. When we got to where we could no longer nail brackets the way they were meant to be used, he would hammer the bracket out flat, and then reshape it so that it hung from the other side of the fascia board and held the gutter at the correct angle. Whenever we finished a stretch of gutters, we checked the job done with our “yield” bucket, placed at the end where we expected the water to come out. From one end to the other, we “yielded” about half the water that we poured, which is good enough for now. If we have time, after hanging gutters on two other buildings, we will apply sealant between these gutters or use pliers to fit them together better.

So while all this gutter work was being done, we only had two ladders and so only two or three of us could really work on the project. Thus, four or five of us were actually just fooling around with the kids. The fooling around group kind of divided into different groups: Harrison with the kids playing guitar, Allison just watching the choir practice, and Rohan playing tag with the children. While I worked on the gutters at first, I eventually took over Rohan’s position and played tag, which was quite difficult considering how much Columbia puts us out of shape and my lack of exercise for… years. So after years I discovered how weak I’ve become at running, which was quite depressing but a lot of fun to run around with the kids and just play. These kids were quite fast though… no easy targets. I also went and observed the choir group, and they were impressive. While singing, they also were doing body motions, nothing too fancy but something that we would need to practice at least a little bit for, and their quality of voice & sound of the group as a whole with harmonies and such was just really pleasant to listen to. Harrison, being as talented as he is, later also taught a crowd how to breakdance and do some martial arts moves. He had a semi-circle of kids in front of him and he brought some volunteers up to practice with him some basic martial arts & breakdancing moves and the kids just loved it. After we finished with the gutters, we talked to and befriended a few kids who were just very approachable and friendly.

Here are some pictures from today: