Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Started from the bottom.....

... now we're HERE!!

Get ready! This may be the shortest post I’ve done in a long time! My laptop died in at the end of April and I only just got a working laptop on Friday so I haven’t been writing much.  I thought I’d write up a quick blog post now that I finally have a working laptop!  
So, in early April, after the watermelon harvest adventure, we began with our next step in the creation of Hero Home – building the actual Community Centre!  Initially we were looking at starting with building the house and office.  However, after weighing all the options, we decided a Community Centre was a bigger priority.  By having the Community Centre, we can begin offering a variety of different programs to kids and youths in the community. Our first objective is to provide a space to run a nursery school.   There had been a small room being used as a nursery school in Bukama (the name of the village where our land is) but it has since been shut down. So, we knew this was something that definitely needed to happen!
We drew up some floor plans, hired an AMAZING contractor and got to work.  We had everything planned out perfectly… however, mother nature unfortunately had a completely different plan for us!
If you remember from the last newsletter, we were anxiously anticipating the arrival of the rains!  We suffered through the heat and dust all of February and March… everyday thinking the rains would come.  By mid-March, we started giving up hope and assumed it was going to be a drought year. HAHAH! If we had a nickel for every time we were wrong, we’d be a lot richer!
At the very end of March, just as we were preparing to start building, we got a few days of rain.  Nothing to blog about, but decent rains.  After about a week or so, my running route to the lake turned into a swamp. It was disappointing but exciting at the same time! The weather finally cooled off. The trees looked less sad and shriveled up. Grass started sprouting! The dust settled a little!  All was well in Shirati.....
Then the REAL rains came!!  The never-ending, day-in-day-out kind of rains! It turned into the exact opposite of a drought year! It was like mother nature was intent on making up for lost time! So while the contractor would work hard building the walls up, mother nature would come along and wash them out. The contractor was amazing and kept working hard despite the crazy weather!! The progress was difficult but he kept persevering! He’s an amazing guy and incredibly committed to his job!!! It’s been 2 months and by the end of this week, all the walls should be FINISHED!!!! 

The town is definitely buzzing about the construction as it is quite the impressive building! We decided to have a central hall that can be divided into two classrooms. We attached a room on the back for a teacher to live in and we added a massive veranda on two sides that could be used as an outdoor classroom.  It’s very exciting! Hopefully by then end of July everything will be finished!!!
You can check out some of the pictures on our facebook page! There are more to come too now that I have a working laptop!
Most importantly though, we want to say THANK YOU to everyone who bought us building supplies and supported our fundraising initiatives!!! It’s been an incredibly long and challenging process to get to this point… but we made it!!! Thank to everyone’s continued support and encouragement in what we are doing, we were able to persevere and actually get to the point of building the community centre!! It was a long road…  but it feels amazing now that we’re here!!!  
Thanks to everyone’s support, we were able to buy ALL the cement, steel rods, sand, gravel, doors and windows that we could possibly need!!! We bought everything from the local town which means we were also able to support the local economy and all our workers are from Bukama which means we are investing directly in the community! THANK YOU SO MUCH! We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you guys!!! 
Hope everyone has an excellent summer! Check back soon for pictures of the finished centre!!!!