Denny writes on August 20-The local construction team has the trusses for the eye clinic are almost all up. A roast goat for lunch was the reward for getting them all done that day.
"The past 2 months have been extremely busy with two major construction teams on site. In June the One Community Spiritual Center team came from Kansas City and worked on the suspended ceilings in the Bogumil Birthing Center, and made remarkable progress, and in July the Atonement group came and completed all the exterior walls of the eye center – raised the massive main girder into place so the trusses could be hoisted into place. We wish each team could have spent another week, but the work on both units has continued with our Tanzanian workers applying the skills they have acquired working with the teams from the U.S.
Sele isn’t able to be everyplace at once, so Pastor Francis Gunda and I set up a temporary desk in the middle of the birthing center to supervise the crews. Francis is invaluable when it comes to translating a new concept for which Swahili doesn’t even have a word to describe it, i.e., “Build the wall out so it is flush with this wall.” They got it done and it’s impressive!
At the birthing center the elevated wall is complete around the central area where the central nurses station will be and ready for the suspended ceiling to be put in place. Then, we will be ready for artists to paint the murals. The building looks great, and the roof will be finished before the rains start again.
Sele has another crew at work on the eye center. They have finished all the inside walls and are fabricating the seven extra trusses needed. All of the 21 trusses are up and in place, and the roof will be on before the rains begin. Last year the first rain was on Sept. 1st. The truss manufacturers in the U.S. don’t understand torrential tropical rain. Channel lock roofing seams will leak unless placed over a truss and fastened at nor more than 12” spaces. Purlins at 2 foot intervals just don’t do the job. So, that is why Sele’s crew fabricated 7 more trusses to conform to the 36” intervals of the propane metal roofing (not for added strength as we have no snow load to contend with.)
We have purchased 638 bags of cement at a very reasonable price from the Diocese’s supplier and mixing sand from which has eliminated the usual high transportation costs. Magola has utilized our Lego Blue Lorry to good advantage. (Now though, the engine needs an overhaul. It’s way, way past due and will cost $1200.) We are ready to start the concreting of the walls on both units next week. We will keep you up-to-date on the progress with pictures at intervals.
Our method of construction has generated a fair amount of local interest with two parties asking us to design buildings for them, and to build them for them! They are impressed by our Tanzanian work crews, made up of both men and women doing construction work, and they were amazed at the rapid construction by the teams from the U.S.
One local observer came by the eye center daily, looked at the building, ran his hand over the metal lath, then shook his head as if he couldn’t believe it. When he noticed me watching him he smiled and gave me a thumnbs up.
We thank you for all your continued support which makes all of this possible"