Kenya – Day 21 – Stacking Walls Plus Elephants

Thursday, July 19 –
We woke up at 7 and had our typical Weetabix, Corn Flakes, fruit, eggs, and juice and discussed what we might be doing today. It had rained last night a little so we weren’t sure if we would be stacking bales due to moisture. After breakfast, we loaded up approximately 15 bales from our house and headed to the health clinic. When we got there, we decided we would be able to stack bales, as there was little moisture in the toe-up/gravel. Mbaabu, Sammi, Gideon, and the rest of the guys had already gotten most of the gravel into the toe-up, so we unloaded the bales and got ready for stacking. We also noticed one bale had fallen off the truck while en route, so David went back to find it hoping it had not fallen off on the highway. Luckily, it had fallen off right before the turn to the highway so he picked it up and headed back. Once he got back, we started stacking bales. David and I, along with Taylor and Melissa, were making custom bales for the walls. Tory, Mbaabu, Sammi, and Gideon started stacking the bales and hammering stakes into the walls.

Clinic House #2 ready to stack!

After all the walls were up and in place, we started lifting the RBA on top of the walls. By lunch time, we had all the walls stacked, two thirds of the RBA up, and the window and door bucks in place. After lunch, we went back to the site and lifted the rest of the sections of the RBA into place. Once all the weight of the RBA was pressing down on the walls, Taylor and Kinuya went around with a 2×4 and hit the walls into place. I helped Mbaabu and Sammi get the RBA squared and level, before nailing it together. The rest of the guys trimmed the wall and cleaned up the site before going home for dinner.

Erik working on the RBA with Mbaabu and Sammi

Another house emerges in a day!

After dinner, we decided to go elephant chasing. Michael drove us around the farm in the truck to look for elephants. David and Melissa were with Michael in the cab, while Tory, Taylor, and I were in the bed with a spot light. We started by going around the edges of a couple fields were there was a break in the fence. Elephants continually break through the fence in certain spots, so we decided to focus on those. During the first fields, we saw plenty of rabbits, but no elephants. Once we got to one end of the fence, we turned around to go to the other end. Further down we saw a couple more breaks in the fence, so we decided to try out luck. The first field was empty like the others, so we went to the next one. In this field we spotted two elephants. Michael said they were, “some of the bigger boys.” As soon as I spot lighted them, they took off into the trees. We decided to loop around to the other side of the trees hoping to catch up to them. When we got to the next field, we could hear the elephants snapping branches but we couldn’t see them. All we saw in this field were a couple of bush buck. Since we could still hear the elephants, we went back to the field where we originally saw them. Once we came through the trees, there was an elephant on the far side of the field and another very close to us on our side of the field. The closer one took off for the trees once again, running directly in front of the truck. Because we didn’t know where it was, we sped past were it had gone into the trees in case it decided to charge us; luckily, it didn’t. By this time, both elephants had gone into the trees, so we decided to press our luck with one last field before heading home. In the last field, there were no elephants, but there were dozens of bush buck staring at us with their eyes reflecting the spot light. When we got home, I relaxed and read some of the readings before going to bed.
-Erik

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