01/12/ – 07/12/17
Apparently, I was not too dumb doing the tasks assigned to me. For one week, the supervision of the base in Okangavati is entrusted to me. While the two supermen from Switzerland Urs and Manfred have to go to Outjo and Windhoek for various errands, I hold down the fort. In Omanguete, the construction progress goes according to plan and furthermore – I anticipate that – there were no catastrophes during my “home alone” time. From Monday, 4 December on, I get support from Urs’s “right hand”, Kununu. Then we share the daily construction site delivery services and (let them) work even more efficiently.
Among other things, I use the “calm” week to visit two projects that were planned during my stay last year and implemented after my departure. I have good memories of both schools and I am pleased with the progress since: in Otjikojo, thanks to a donation from “Mary Kay”, two classrooms and a student hostel were built (Otjikojo 2016). However, to follow the example of Omuhonga and to be certified as a full-time school, there are still some buildings missing such as four more classrooms (including facilities), a sanitary block (for the hostel), a school kitchen, six teachers’ accommodations and hostel facilities (details will follow in the requirements catalogue which I am still working on).
Also, the Everlasting kindergarten in Okangvati appears in a new light. In addition to the new paint, Urs also donated a shady roof construction, which makes learning on hot days more pleasant (Everlasting kindergarten 2016). As the demand for the kindergarten grows every year, setting up another classroom and also a small hostel for the youngest with the longest route is very desirable (details will follow in the requirements catalogue).
On the weekend, I receive a “tiny” 36 tons heavy delivery which we actually expected to arrive much later. But someone seems to have been in a hurry to release himself for the Christmas holidays and delivers the 720 bags of cement (50kg each) early. Quite surprised by the huge vehicle in the yard, I inform the absent Urs about the delivery and by phone, he recruits 15 guys from his other construction sites who shortly afterwards arrive and they are ready for action in order to earn some extra money for unloading the cement. I was asked to take over the controlling role for this procedure. So I check the delivery, see that nothing gets lost during the unloading (unfortunately this happens too often here), provide the workers with water, ensure a happier working atmosphere with my music box and pay the guys in the end (which also contributes to a good atmosphere, hehe). I also convince the truck driver to give us two wooden pallets which we could really use and in return, I make him happy with a bottle of cool lemonade.
We all know, to be completely alone does not make you happy in the long run. Therefore, I look for the Himba who rest on the free shady terrain next to “my” property almost every day. Cool soft drinks are more popular here than on any children’s birthday party, so I use the drinks in this case as well in order to butter my neighbours up. Apart from the youngest, who ideally go to school, none of my new friends speak English so most of our conversations remain on the gesticulating level. For some topics I am not sure whether we have talked about the weather or if I was convinced to get married with the daughter of my collocutor in the end. Hmmm, very nice neighbours! As a precaution, I think I should put something aside for the wedding…