Monday, February 13, 2012

One Tired Oyinbo!

Greetings from Egbe! This is one tired oyinbo (o-wee-bo). That is what they call us here. It means peeled skin or bleached skin. This was our first work day and it's amazing how much the heat and humidity zapps your energy!

Ron, John, me, Loretta, Ray and Will
Mark, Dr. Laura, Abby and Moses
Let me introduce you to our team. Mark and Abby, from Colorado, are our project directors and have been here for about 10 months. Mark had a construction business and Abby was a nurse. They will be here for the duration of the renovation project. Our Samaritan's Purse team consists of 6 of us. Ray and Loretta are from Pennsylvania and are area co-ordinators for Operation Christmas Child. Ron and Will are also from Pennsylvania and are involved with OCC with their wives. I mentioned Dr. Laura last night. We have also spent a lot of time with Moses. He grew up in Egbe and was the hospital accountant many years ago. He is now an accountant in London, England but is splitting his time between here and there for the length of the revitalization. Moses asked me to send his greetings.

These closets are in each room and had to be painted with oil based paint

Loretta's suitcase didn't make it so she wore scrubs to work in.
Today we worked in one of the doctor's houses. John and Ray worked on installing kitchen cabinets, Ron and Will filled holes in the walls and sanded them down. Loretta and I sanded the wardrobes in 3 bedrooms and filled holes with homemade wood filler. I also took out all of the window panes so we could sand and paint the sashes tomorrow. It's difficult to plan here as it takes quite some time to get supplies. We're waiting on several items. We also have to do everything off a generator.

We started our day with devotions and then met the men who are working with us. They are the regular maintenance staff for the hospital. When they first started the project, they wanted to hire local people but they found that the skills weren't up to the level they needed. The maintenance staff didn't know how to use power tools so Mark has been working with them to teach them basic construction skills.

We worked mostly with John and Toyin (To-een). They were very funny even though we couldn't always understand each other. They couldn't pronounce Loretta so they decided to call her Mama. That is quite often what they call women here. They may call an older woman Large Mama, not because she is bigger but because she is older. I told them that they could call me Kim because I didn't want to feel old. When I told Toyin how old my children were, he said that he should call me Mama because I am old! He's 30. I said I am too young for YOU to call me Mama! They both thought it was very funny!

Toyin taught us a couple of phrases today. One thing they say quite a bit is eku se (eku shay) which means, "Good job". The response is adupe (a-du-pay) which means "thank you". I appreciated Touene because he would remind me to say it throughout the day.

Duro, me and Ronnke on our last day
We have 2 ladies that work in the guest house, Duro and Ronke (Roan-kay). We make our own breakfast but they come in to cook lunch and dinner and to keep the house clean. They call all of us ladies Mam. We are enjoying the food but everything is spicy!! A staple is beans, rice and red sauce. I love it but it makes my whole mouth burn! We don't have any milk or cheese so we use powdered milk. We had salad tonight with shredded cabbage because we can't get lettuce. They don't know what salad is. The eat very little meat or sugar here. Our dessert tonight was a sweet trail mix we brought from home. Tomorrow, we are celebrating valentines day and Loretta is making cookies and I am making pie. They have 2 cans of blueberry pie filling. I may make my peanut butter pie but it will be with several substitutions. I don't know what I'll sub. for whipped cream. I told Mark that you could get powdered whipping cream in Canada and he got very excited! Guess what the next Canadian group is going to bring?

We are really enjoying the fellowship here. We all seem to get along well and are having fun despite the heat and lack of electricity and water. Yeah! The power just came on! We were sitting in the dark again but now we should have few an hour of lights and air conditioning here in the computer lab.

Well, tomorrow is more sanding and painting. John is wanting to get online so I'll write more tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Kim for the update, so exciting, you folks are such a blessing to the people there, and I know that appreciate every minute of your help. Be Blessed and have a good evening, looking forward to your update again tomorrow, your friend in Christ, Carol