Monday, October 1, 2012

The Bridge

A few months ago we decided that we really must build a bridge across the stream that borders the Mashiah Foundation property. During the past school year, many of our students fell in while trying to get to school. Adults have had to pluck children out of the water before they are swept further downstream. There are even some small waterfalls further down. At times some parents kept their small children home because of the raging waters.
Sadly, every year children die in this stream. Bayo has heard of 4 or 5 children from the community who have died this year alone. In one case, a younger brother fell in and the older one entered to pull him out, but tragically both died.
The stream is most dangerous during July and August when the rains are the heaviest; in August, it's common for it to rain nearly every day. This year the heavy rains extended throughout most of September. Just a few days ago the weather became drier. We may still experience a couple more rains before the full dry season will be upon us. During the driest part of the year, this stream will dry up completely.

On Saturday the builders cast the pillars on both sides of the stream. This was the second time they did the same work. The first time, a heavy rain came just after they had finished and washed everything away. This time they found a better way to 'tie' the rebar into the rock, and they will be casting it twice in order to strengthen it.

The builders will still be doing more casting on both sides before the final step of laying the trailer bed across the stream.

This past week a man enrolled his three children in our school. I asked where they are living--it's on the other side of the river. I mentioned to him that we are in the process of building a bridge so the children will be safe. He looked me full in the eye and with a bit of surprise said, "So it's you people who are building that bridge? Thank you. Thank you. May God bless you."
As we were leaving, a group of children across the river waved and shouted "Thank you!" That
 thank-you goes out to all who have supported this project. The community is very, very grateful.