Saturday saw almost the whole team at NVI starting the painting onslaught. We needed to get two coats of undercoat on today if we were to get the project done on time. We were predicting a 5pm finish. Soon everyone was working, each with a task that best suited their skills. We had 3 ‘high level’ teams on ladders, a group ‘cutting in’ at low level and a group ‘on rollers’. There was a great spirit in the room and work went very smoothly allowing a morning break and a lunch break and, to everyone’s surprise, we were finished by 4pm.
There were several special moments:
1. We arrived to find the floor cement work complete. The BCM lads must have worked quite late to get that completed. Then a couple from the Welding Department arrived to grind down some anchor bolts protruding from the concrete floor. This emphasised the sense of being a team project.
2. A member of the NVI staff arrived to say a morning hot drink was arranged for 11am for the team. This was served with some roasted ground nuts - delicious. They also informed us that lunch would be served in the board room at 1pm. So even though we’d all put together a packed lunch, we tucked into chicken, chips and greens accompanied by a ‘soda’ and followed by a banana and coffee. Again some staff (and maybe students) had come in specially to provide this for the team.
3. As we started work in the morning, one of the students, Vanessa, who is on the motor mechanics course, asked if she could help. She stayed with us all day and worked really hard. Then after lunch 2 more students arrived asking to help if we could show them how painting was done. Tony gave Emmanuel and Juliet some basic instruction and soon they too were helping. It was so encouraging to see the students taking some ownership of the project.
4. When we left the building for lunch we noticed a long queue of students. We investigated further and realised that it was the national blood transfusion service here to take blood. It was taking place in the open air with no sign of refrigeration of the blood taken. But it was great to see so many volunteering to give blood.
5. We heard from Josephine, the Head of Hairdressing, that she had been to Kampala to meet Joseph. The phone call from her was full of excitement. She had bought 2 special sinks and 2 traditional wall mounted hair dryers – ‘I am so, so happy’ she exclaimed. These will be installed this week.
There will be more as this project unfolds next week.
In the evening we spent a little more time on Helen’s project. We have been collecting bottle tops at every opportunity. The task was to punch holes in them and then string 10 together to make a counting aid. So far we have 400 bottle tops pierced and strung.