Monday, March 28, 2011

Ben Post

Blog.  This is a Ben post.  I’d first like to apologize for the lack of postings I have made and publically thank Kate for keeping everyone informed on what is happening here in The Gambia.  We thought it would be in everyone’s interest that I participate in the blogging.  I know Kate has been working on a few posts today to update everyone and with the battery low on the computer I haven’t been able to read it all yet.  Don’t worry though, I probably know the gist as I live here with her.  Point being, my post might be random and with less detail of the current goings-on in our lives right now.
As I was thinking about what to post a number of things came to mind.  First of which was my simple experience of the day.  Today, I did more construction work than I did in the three and a half years I worked for a major home builder.   Not knocking my previous career, I just didn’t do much construction.  Today I assisted the village men in building the new mosque.  As you might imagine I had certain reservations about helping construct a mosque, but without going into the detail of my thought process I decided God would forgive me.  In short, its more an exercise in building trust with the people I’ll be working with rather than construction a church for a religion different from my own.  My job was merely handing bricks to the mason, but it seems that just my presence helped the men of my village to see that I am willing to work, so I think it was a successful day.
A few notes regarding construction here in The Gambia for those near the construction industry.  Standard attire includes flip flops (if shoes are present at all).  Children are welcome to work and play.  Beware of cows running through the worksite and the scaffolding is made of the finest African Mahogany one can find in the bush.
The day also consisted of juice breaks, candy breaks, kola nut breaks (which are apparently disgusting), and attaya breaks.  Lots of breaking, except for the hired masons.
I’d say all together it was a good day.  While I don’t anticipate mosque construction to become one of my main projects here in Gambia, it felt good to do some work with the men, even if it wasn’t much.
Other than the events of today I can say that so far I have had a very positive experience being here.  As I am sure you have read in previous posts from Kate finally being here in village feels good.  Our hut is becoming a home and we actually have some furniture.  We’ve spent the first few weeks at site just getting to know people and the possible jobs to be done.  And there are many jobs to be done.  I hope to do a lot of work with the Eco-Lodge that our village owns and maintains, although I don’t exactly know what kind of work that will be.  There is also a beekeeping project getting fired up in our community that I hope to be a part of.  Other than that its pretty open…tree nurseries and orchards, chickens, ducks, rabbits and farming are all possible areas of interest.
I know Kate is posting blogs with more detail on what we are up to.  I’ll try to make time to do some more blogging (and better blogging) myself in the near future.  Hopefully I’ll have more to share once we really get going on various projects.
Now if you will excuse me I am going to eat some oysters on potato chips. Blog out.

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