In addition to the 50 students and four teachers that we have on campus each school day here at The Esther Schoolwe also have several parent volunteers, paid workers, and Drew and Kevin, all busy around campus. They are all working diligently to continue construction on the school, and ensure that the grounds are well-kept and that all is in working order. This is no easy task, as there are currently four buildings, two of which are very large, many acres of land, and future construction to continue. At any given moment on a week day, there are men scattered all over the grounds, working on various projects. As of today, there are five major projects, in addition to the general care of the school grounds. The first is essentially a two-phase project. We have three main hired workers that are assigned to this job. They are in the process of building a multi-level retaining wall that will span two sides of the Preschool/Kindergarten building. The wall itself is made from clay bricks made right here on campus. It's purpose is two-fold: 1) To prevent the side hill from receding, and thus, having the building settle or crack 2) To provide an easier access by way of steps for the students to enter into the school building, particularly on the Kindergarten side. They are doing amazing work, and progress on the wall continues! After this wall is completed, another similar to it will be constructed at the Library/Clinic building with the same purpose.
The second project in progress on campus is a pump house that will function as a storage area for tools and supplies, but also hold the generator that runs the pump at the well. The building consists of a concrete floor, metal framed door and roof, and red clay brick walls. Drew has headed up this project in the design, pouring of the concrete floor, and also in working alongside and teaching the two Zambian workers assigned to this project.
The third project is just recently completed. It is an Insaka (large gazebo) just outside the preschool side of the classroom building. The building of the Insaka was led by some of the members of the volunteer team who are parents of children at The Esther SchoolWe had fun watching the structure take shape, complete with concrete floor poured by Drew, and thatched roof (straw delivered in an ox cart). The Insaka is already such a blessing for the students and teachers at the school, as it is where the mamas of the students prepare food for the lunch program, as well as where the students gather to eat their breakfast. How nice it is to get out of the hot sun and sit in it's shade, and how necessary to have the concrete floor with the rains coming soon.
The fourth project is a bit smaller, a one-man job. It is a chicken house that is being made to provide a place to roost for our three chickens (two given to us by The Esther Schoolparents, and one given to us by dear Margaret who helps the DeKams and Roelofs in their home four days a week. It is being made of completely natural materials, woven with branches from the bush that surrounds our house by Thompson, our lead workman on campus. It is truly a work of art! We can't wait to share pictures when it is completed!
The fifth ongoing campus building project is the making of the clay bricks themselves. We currently have a crew working full-time, making clay bricks right from the soil on campus in order to have enough bricks for the retaining walls, as well as the next building to go up on campus. It is amazing to see the pile of red bricks grow daily, and we know many of you have worked hard as churches, GEMS Clubs, families and individuals to donate money for bricks to continue building this campus. We can assure you that your donations are making it possible for construction to continue. What an amazing physical representation of the generosity of so many towards the many in need in the village of Nyangwena! If you would like to donate toward this project by buying bricks, you can do so here. Thousands of bricks are needed for the next building to go up as scheduled this year, and every brick helps as we continue to invest in the future of those who live here in Nyangwena.
We will include pictures of the projects, in order as they were listed above, and we will continue to update you on their progress. Thank you for all of your interest, support, and prayers for The Esther School it's students, and it's staff. Your partnership with us is truly changing lives. Thank you!