Saturday, October 20, 2007

“A rear view mirror tells us where we have been, not where we are going…”
Broken Window
Today the window broke
The ladies gave a shout
The ball flew fast and free
And took the window out.

We staggered into breakfast
The oatmeal was quite fine
We talked about our work
Under the towering pine.

Some firmer plans were made
After a few days rest
They let us teach for now
So the digging will be our best.

After early class, the brain trust took Yasmin and Bill down the hill to the water project. It is a short way, but steep and slippery. At the spring, students and villagers drew the murky water and emptied it into 20-liter containers to carry up the daunting hill. It is a feat of human strength and determination. The project is overwhelming, presenting unique engineering challenges. Near the spring, the vegetation is quite tropical. The project brings together three springs through a series of trenches to direct the water to a small reservoir to be created by daming the water flow. The faith of the people that they can complete this project using elementary tools is inspiring. They have no expectancy of deliverance by a generous donor. They are not demanding quick results. We cannot comprehend the patience to let time pass slowly, to see progress just creep along; and to endure the daily or more trips down the hill for water. Yet, the people must know the change the completed project will bring and the great improvement in their lives. We are eager to help but feel inadequate in the extreme as we, Yasmin and Bill, survey the project from the reservoir and watch the brain trust discuss how to proceed.
We are in Ipalamwa now. Yes, are here. We are into our life in Ipalamwa. We do not need to stare, we do not need to wonder; we have a sense of the place and the environment. The area around the school and the plateau is peaceful beyond our imagination. The views to the west are restful. The occasional singing is vibrant and transcending. Yet, the people live in a zone that bespeaks strength, ambition and enjoyment of life. The students have hope for rewarding careers.
Important moments today: all got to teach; Roger and Bill helped with a trench—hand dug with heavy hoes and shovels—to the proposed site of the holding tank. Form 4 exams are over; students saying goodbye to friends; songs given in farewell. The exams leave under armed guard. Yasmin and Eloise get invited by the girls to walk to see the trench and then are asked to come again in the evening to the dormitory. The girls want to learn an American song. Bill may be volunteered if the girls agree. The girls also want our girls to sing with them. Again, Bill may be volunteered. Roger takes off after dinner to help his math students prepare. The girls retire early. Bill stays on to pick a song to teach; a quiet night, peace in the Southern Highlands after an eventful satisfying day. May our other days bring peace of mind, a sense of fulfillment and a feeling of grace bestowed.

Thought For The Day
“The mind has exactly the same power as the hands; not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.” (Colin Wilson)