Posts Tagged ‘building and construction’

Introducing ’60 at 60′

60 at 60

A year after her last journey to Africa, Lynne has joined several other friends and formed a new effort to build a maternity clinic in Gulu for the Acholi people.

Lynne turned 60 years young in 2011, and she started asking herself what she could do that would affect others’ lives in this time of economic and political volatility and uncertainty.  Her mind and heart roamed, as they often do, to Africa and the Acholi people there.  She did a little researching and discovered that for just $60,000, the Sisters of St. Joseph in Gulu could build a brand new maternity clinic to provide rest, care and education for expecting and current mothers as well as their children.  Lynne discussed it with her friends Susan Kohl and Frank Haase, who were also turning 60 in 2011.  Together they agreed that there was a nice ring to $60,000 at 60 years of age, and they decided to use the coming year to raise the money for the clinic.  Thus, 60 at 60 was born.

Click on over to 60 at 60 to follow their journey and join their efforts!

#29 – A special thanks to Lynne and Jim

From Sister JoAnn Geary, CSJ, Gulu:

What a joy it has been having Lynne and Jim with us. And let me tell you they were serious about working – and work they did. As you have probably gathered by now, to accomplish anything here is quite labor-intensive. The tools are very primitive, but they both dug in and were elbow-to-elbow with the guys. The manual labor and the intense heat brought them home exhausted but they recovered amazingly well and were ready to go again in a short time.

On the last working day they provided the food for the morning tea break. Lynne boiled 20 eggs and ordered 30 chapatis from Alice (chapatis are  a tasty flatbread). Alice has a little lean-to down the road, and rumor has it that she makes the best!

They also had something for every one of the workers – they had loaded their suitcases with builder goodies. The guys just loved having them and were thrilled with their gifts. They want to know when they are coming back – me too!

More than anything, I think their presence really boosted the morale of the group. The workers felt proud to be on the job. To have Lynne and Jim from the United States come to work with them  was just the greatest. A job well done on many levels – Apwoyo matek! Many many thanks!

Before Jim left we went on safari to one of the national parks. We saw great wildlife including lions. What a thrill – generally they are very difficult to find – but there they were up close and personal.

After seeing Jim off we headed back to Gulu which only takes about 4-5 hours now instead of the 8-9 when we first came. The roads are really improving!

It has been so special to have Lynne here to experience and share in my life here in Gulu – to see the clinic, meet my co-workers, meet the sisters who have been so welcoming and all the friends we’ve made. We had a very festive African meal with Sister Hellen and the sisters at St. Mauritz where I work. They really rolled out the red carpet!

We took some great walks to town and the market which is very interesting and unique. After walking to town, which took about one and a half hours the 1st time, we took a bota-bota home.  A bota-bota is a motorcycle for taxi – my first! But not alone – Lynne squeezed on with me. The next day I graduated and went by myself!

Will wonders ever cease.

Lynne M. Cooper and Sister JoAnn Geary, CSJ in Gulu

Lynne (left) and JoAnn (right) together in Uganda

All in all I feel very blessed for and grateful to Lynne and Jim.

I hope their time here was as special and  meaningful to them as it was to me.

#26 – Construction update

From Lynne:

The work around here goes smoothly, and it is interesting to see how the builders perform their craft.

builders working inside

Workers plastering ceilings with cement mixture

Walls inside and out get the same treatment, and thousands of wheelbarrows of a cement/plaster mixture are mixed by hand and carried in.

The Sisters of St. Joseph do a lot of great work, some of which includes funding, like for this clinic:

CSJ Sponsored clinic

#8 – Where we work

From Lynne:

The house we are working on requires the most manual of manual labor.

house we are building

This is the building we have been constructing.

There is no electric on site, and the methods are labor intensive and sometimes backbreaking. We mixed the concrete with a shaker (see below)—one shovel of cement, one shovel of coarse sand, one shovel of fine sand—shake, shake, shake.

Jim helping workers with mixing mortar

Jim is a hard worker!

Practically the whole house is made out of this stuff including wall and ceiling finishes.  Channels for boxes and conduit are chiseled out after bricks are laid. Jim and I spent a whole week just on that. What I wouldn’t have given for a power chisel!

Lynne working on a brick wall