by Johannes Blank – roofing ceremony in Gumtree – part 3
Back in Bulawayo I wanted to thank the trainees for their collaboration and the motivation and it was already time to say Goodbye. We invited all trainees, Mishack, John and Sikholiwe to Helgas home in Bulawayo. Pastry for Pizza was prepared and the young Africans started to roll out the pastry and prepared a first time Pizza together. After 10 baking trays have been backed and savored in Helgas garden the total group was full up. Time was beautiful and perfectly diverting.
In Germany its common to have a roofing ceremony for roofs constructed in traditional manual craftmans work. So this tradition should also honor our roof: on my last day we all met in front of the work shop. Helga climbed up the ladder and expressed sincere thanks for the successful work and declaimed the ceremony declaration: … proud and happy is everyone today they who strenously constructed this site brave craftsmen they are who trust in their work with delight Ingeborg Landsmann translated a Germany ceremony declaration for our celebration!
3 weeks of holidays have passed by, it was time to say Goodbye – Mishack and the trainees accompanied me to the airport and the farewell was very heartily. These 3 weeks were a wonderful, adventurous and instructional time. I adore the unpretentious life in Africa and I appreciate our life in Germany much more when coming back. It was for sure not my last journey to Simbabwe.
I want to thank all donators which enabled this project with their generous donations. We received more donations as need for this roof repair and Ekuthuleni will use the funds for further infrastructure work.
My journey was not only planned as a pure work shop and so I aseked 2 of the trainees if it would be possible to visit their homes and their families out in the country. Legal and Nkosi agreed promptly – and the journey began by using public transport, 30 years-old buses – which in Germany would not even get permission to drive any further. For hours we drove on sand tracks until we arrived somewhere out in the country a small village. Our first visit was at Legals home and then we moved on to Nkosi. Sadly both of them lost his father already. So I could meet Legals mother and the stepmother of Nkosi. For me it was very beautiful to relive the life in the country. Clay huts, water from the well, freshly slaughtered chickens roasted on the fire and lovely and hospitable people are always a reason to travel out to the country. For me it was impressing and very sad in the same moment that a social system like in Germany is not available for many people in Zimbambe – so the expectation of life is 20 years less then in Germany. But I admire the serenity and gratefulness of the people.
by Johannes Blank
– part 1 – operation starts….
the workshop in Gumtree need urgently a new roof ridge – the roof needs stabilization – and Johannes intend to tackle this within his holidays !
Due to a technical defect at the airplane I arrived with 24 hours delay and 2 additional hotelstays at Bulawayo Airport. Helga and Mishack waited to welcome me heartily at the airport. After another 24 hours even my luggage arrived – which turned an extra lap in Johannesburg.
After 2 nights of acclimatization in Helgas city apartment the supply of the necessary material started. square timbers, threaded bars, nuts, roof panels… My last visit in zimbabwe hardware stores date back around 5 years. I was surprised about the success and about the portfolio available – it felt like in German DIY-stores.
out in Gumtree – Ekuthuleni I was happy to meet, John, pastor Lyon and his family, the neighbours, the work shop, the Church and “my” old home in Gumtree. And for sure it was a pleasure to meet 9 young, new carpenter trainees. The young men where very open and nice – and I was vastly back in the old “live of an instructor”. The work shop roof sagged, the ridgepole was rotten and roof panels were cracked. the trainees and myself acted based on the concept “learning by doing”. Johan and myself asked the trainees to makeup their minds how we can repair the roof best. A lot of good ideas raised by the guys quickly – like pulling down the electricity cable first, remove the panels, change the ridgepole …… This kind of roofing work was new to me. Therefore I had to work trough it together with the trainees. We removed the big asbest-panels, the woodwork was bolstered and we cut the ridgepole into pieces and replaced by a new and more stable pole. To achieve this we screwed together 2 of the regular 5 cm pine-shelves to a stable ridgepole. With joint power we lifted the pole to its position, screwed and nailed it. The roofing panels were assembled, the ridgepole was paved into the wall and additionally stabilized with 2 steel tubes. While working we discussed the processes with all participants – but certainly we also played some games and had a lot of fun together. the trainees show a lot willing to work and supported the project highly motivated. Within the 2 weeks of construction we all learned a lot and the future carpenters will even learn much more from Helga, Mishack, John und Pastor Lyton.
…. Fortsetzung folgt
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