by Lucia Crenshaw
When I wrote you the last blog, I said that I thought things were about to get moving really fast, and I sit here today, exactly one month after breaking ground on the school, completely blown away by just how fast they have gotten moving.
The new school, two months ago just a barren piece of land, is now a completed foundation, and the beginning stages of the exterior walls. So, needless to say, the past month has been extremely busy.
The more time I am here, the more I am aware of things that I take for granted—things both learned and observed. When it comes to the school, I have realized just how reliant I am on technology to build and cultivate things, and how here, almost everything is done by hand. This might not seem like a “no-brainer”—Africa is behind the times when it comes to technology. But after watching the progress of this school, I am starting to wonder if we are not the ones who are in fact “lagging behind in terms of development,” and by development, I mean actually building something from the ground up.
In the past month, I have witnessed exactly this—a building process that is tedious; however, it is beyond resourceful and it involves the whole community. Neighbors store and guard the building supplies; women cook lunches and bring them to the site; and local masons combine their skill and expertise in such a way as to make it look effortless. Many of the workers are members of the community with whom Tanzania Children Concern does outreach with—some are masons who have worked on the current orphanage, others are parents of some of the students. I guess for all of these reasons and more, that is why I get the feeling that this project goes deeper than bricks and mortar. It is a true community project—designed by, built by, and sustained by the community that it will serve.
Tanzania Children Concern has been trying to build this school for over 5 years, but due to financial restraints, they have been unable to do so. James says that this past spring, he received a letter saying that St. Timothy’s must register (which means build a school) as soon as possible, and at the time, he had no idea what they were going to do. He then said, “I can’t believe that I am getting to witness this (the building of the school) in my lifetime! I am just so overjoyed; I can’t wait!” I am right there with James—I feel privileged to be a part of this!
To read more of my personal stories from St. Timothy’s check out my blog: