Elton's final week was exceedingly busy. As his time to leave approached, much was still to be accomplished.
Trenches were dug to lay the plumbing from the swamp to the water tank.
The tank is set in place. As the tank was being filled, Elton and the guys got a lesson in construction. This was the only mishap they had while working. The 2500L proved to be too heavy for the planks.
In order to alleviate the pressure, they drained the tank by testing the sprinkler system. Softening the ground is the final step before they are able to begin plowing and planting.
Once the tank was drained, gum poles were added to brace it but in realitya metal tank stand is one of our future needs.
Schenectady Seventh Day Adventist Church as been one of our biggest supporters since moving to NY. They are our prayer warriors. They kept tabs on the kids and I while Elton was away. And they gave us a financial gift that made it able to purchase a the gas-powered water pump and the barbed wire. These are two of the biggest items that will make the farm possible.
Even though working on our ministry projects was n important part of Elton's trip. Equally important was to get to spend time with family. This little boy to the right is Elton's half-brother, Zechariah. He is about 5 years old and is quite fond of being his big brother's alarm clock.
An important structure to complete was the guardsman house/storeroom. If the field was left unattended, it would be a very large temptation for people to steal.
The guardsman's house will be traditional style construction of poles and termite mud. Here Elton is using a pick to break apart a termite mound.
The dust will be mixed with water.
Mud is then packed in between the poles and dries almost as hard as concrete.
So some of the hottest weather of the year is right before the rains begin in November. Elton took some rare time off and visited a local hangout called "Stone City" on the Zambezi River. The rough flowing water makes it unsuitable in this location for hippos and crocs making it a safer place for people to venture in and cool off. Elton estimates it was about 45ºC which is about 113ºF.
Of course, Elton had to take a "selfie" to document the occasion.
And the baboons also came down to the water for a drink.
This is commonly how group transportation is done.
All hands on deck to begin the construction of the stand to hold the 2500L water tank.
Finally, Elton's uncle was able to purchase a chainsaw. This makes the process so much faster.
What do they say? "Necessity is the mother of invention." When you don't have a plate big enough for everyone, you can use a plastic bag. Pap with a side of dried fish soup.
During the third week, Elton and Luke visiting the Mafuta Orphanage Centre. More details about that to follow in another post.
The barbed wire has begun to be added to the fence posts.
At the end of the week, Elton and Luke traveled to Livingstone, Zambia for Luke to be able to return home. The end of his first trip to Africa was over but he will not be forgotten. The children, especially, will miss him!!
While in Livingstone, Jollyboys Backpackers (our favorite lodge), Elton discovered they had installed free Wi-FIi. The girls and I took advantage of this and had a nice Skype session with daddy. They had fun poking him in the nose. After three weeks of not seeing this face, we were so happy!
Back at the farm, the clean up of brush continued.