When first moving into a community one of the biggest hurdles is earning the communities trust. Once that has been established, leading 20-35 people through daily labor becomes a lot easier. More so, people actually tend to believe us when explaining the goals that ER hopes to achieve through the creation and sustainment of a KG and library. When the opportunity is available, show and tell does wonders.
We are currently 4 weeks away from finishing up work in Azedebo, we have a rental 4x4, and Fundame is only a 15 minute drive. Today we brought 3 well respected hard working laborers from the Azedebo crew and swapped them with three up and comers from Fundame. Each group spent the day working , and talking with the other work crew in each other respective build sites. Fundame got a chance to see the almost finished ER project, while having a chance to meet and work along side a individuals that have welcomed the ER crew into their community. Thus far its proved to be a great experience for everyone involved.
Fundame folks were elated to hear tales about our "other" school, and especially to know more about how we the ER function's when not on a site. When I wasnt working on the fence, I had a chance to listen in as Tadeltch and Cabedetch (from Azedebo) answered a slew of questions. Unfortunately my local languages are still a ways from decent, and the conversations were mostly spoke in Kambatenya , so I didnt catch much. However Desaleng (also from Azedebo) summarized that other than a few funny tales of Ejigu and I's work outs, it was nothing but respectful, and according to my translator, the Fundame workers seemed to take the words to heart.
What really cemented the exchange was the recap meeting at the end of the day. The three Fundame-ers that visited Azedebo, told inspired stories of beautiful but very hard-work. One commented that they didnt know if they could cut it for more than a few weeks, but then went on to explain that she really hopes that like, Cabadetch and Tadaletch can also follow in Sallamnesh's footsteps.
Days like this solidify many of the reasons why I do what I do.
|Cabatech and Tadeltech leading the way|
|Desaleng doing the same|
|Fence studs go in|
|80 cm-1 meter deep, compacted with plenty of stones|
|Where we are in Azedebo|
|Ejigu leading the work-swap recap|
|Where we are in Fundame; leveled and fence is on its way|