Having a change of pace is rejuvenating and especially, after the office work that we do, it is "most welcome" (Malawian popular phrase as I've said many times).
This is the home last November and
here it the home today.
What you can't see are the additional rooms that have been added on in the back.
President and Sister Chikapa have worked very hard to build their home, with Sister Chikapa probably going over daily to either work or supervise some hired help. President Chikapa, when not doing branch president's responsibilities (which seem to be all the time), is there checking out the quality and working himself since he is very skilled and knowlegable.
First of all, to reach the house, it is a difficult climb on a different side of Mount Soche. In fact, the neighborhood area is called Chimakhunda but the house is high, high above the market. George dropped the five of us (two elders, two sisters) off at the bottom and he went off for a meeting concerning a possible piece of property for building a new Zingwangwa branch meetinghouse (yes!). I'm just glad I have finally been getting out to do some early morning walks to build up my stamina and since it was a lovely morning, the climb felt good as long as I watched my footing.
Our task today was to gather rocks to fill in the top of the newly built retaining wall at the front of the house. If we could find enough rocks above the house and bring them down to fill in, there would be more stability and less cement needed, cement being a high cost item in the building of any structure. Since being here, I have been impressed with how much the Malawians make do with what is at hand. For instance, bricks are made and fired close to the site because the cost of transport is exorbitant. So whereas at home, if rocks are needed, we would order a truckful; here when rocks are needed, we go out and gather! And that is with no work gloves or wheelbarrows. We had a couple of plastic buckets among the six of us, since Sister Chikapa was with us all the way.
Sister Chikapa with Sister Browning.
Along with Elder Hiltbrand and Sister Griffus