Today we had planned to select the doors and windows at local fabrication shops. Hemedi took Jacob and me to a door joinery shop in a semi-industrial area on hectic Sokoine Road. It was an airy ramshackle shed with sheet metal walls and roof. The floor was covered with wood shavings and sawdust and looked very much like a fire hazard, but business was good and they had many styles of doors in different wood types to choose from. I opted for the paneled doors made from a reddish-coloured Jacaranda wood, similar to our Western Red Cedar.

The next stop was an interesting study in extremely limited space planning. The window “shop,” close to the joinery, was operated by a welder who somehow managed to squeeze his equipment and materials, probably without a permit, in a long, 4-foot wide, alleyway between two other businesses that probably rented the space as an opportunity for some additional income. We maneuvered ourselves along the selection of different window types and after finding the style we wanted, we placed our order.

Before leaving them, I asked about the schedule. Jacob and Hemedi advised that we could be finished as early as December 9th. Just over a month to build a school – incredible!

At church on Sunday morning, I was not disappointed. After an hour of listening to the expected bible readings and minister’s sermon, the “entertainment” began. A couple of guitarists, the keyboarder and the drummer took their places. For an hour, separate groups of parishioners took turns coming up to the front of the pews to sing and dance. They had such incredible voices and well-synchronized natural rhythm that those still in the pews couldn’t help but clap to the beat or sing along. Some got up to dance wherever they could find space in the aisles. It was a wonderful free-for-all. These folks sure knew how to “celebrate” mass.

After church, I went to visit Jacob’s family again. Their daughters Anna, Muchu and Febu had been asking about me since my first visit back in September. Anna and Muchu were anxious to see me. I sat for an hour or so in their tiny living room, listening to Jacob’s translation of their excited stories about what they were learning at school, including English lessons. They were only pre-schoolers, but they proudly rhymed off all the numbers from one to 50 in English. What a treat to hear their wonderful accents.

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