December 2, 2011
During the night the temperature dropped to 60 degrees. My bed sheets and fleece camping blanket/sleep sack weren’t sufficient to keep me warm. It was so chilly, I woke up and slipped light sweatpants under my sleeping shirt, a sweatshirt on top, socks on my feet, and laid the lightweight cloth wrap I carried on the plane over the blanket along with more clothing items on top. In the morning I requested one of our heavy wool blankets from the store. Moses already had one, so he was toasty warm, but I’ve never been that cold on any prior visit, even during the rainy season. Most nights a sheet is sufficient. In our busy day we forgot to get the blanket, so I spent another night shivering.
The high point today was the visit to our building site. I couldn’t believe the progress. All six tukuls are thatched, skirted with smooth concrete lips around on the outside, and they have concrete floors as well. Most windows are screened but awaiting frames. The office tukul’s door is padlocked. Soon all the tukuls will have doors and framed screened windows. The ablution blocks—one toilet and shower for staff and one toilet and shower for the girls—await the roof, doors, toilets, sinks, and water hookup. We will even have toilet paper holders and towel racks—the first in the village.
The fence is up though the gates are temporary, awaiting materials for framing pedestrian gates and a large one for vehicles. One side of the fence is not complete as the floodwaters are just receding, but I think it will be dry enough soon to put in the last fence posts.
The sound of an airplane drew us back to the airstrip. Our AIM Caravan pilot had taken clinic patients to Bor early in the morning, and he returned before noon with our crew—two plumbers and an electrician—and more materials. Again many people and children gathered to carry things to the site, which is much farther from the airstrip than the clinic. Manyok paid the children small amounts for their labor. To carry large heavy bags of calcium, we borrowed a wheelbarrow from the clinic since our wheelbarrows were too heavy to come on our flight.
Tabitha, the church’s lay pastor lives on our site, and we arranged for her to cook for the men who brought their own food from Bor. Manyok got mattresses for them to sleep in the newly-built tukuls—our first guests—but they went the night without bedding. I can’t imagine how chilly that was for them. They have bedding now.