On August 4th, we were joined by a team from Iowa State University. There are six young men from the Beta Sigma Psi fraternity that have dedicated two weeks this summer to assist with the construction of Restoring Hope Village. Among those six are three Carroll natives – Ian Moore, son of Mike and Sue Moore, Joe Eisenbacher, son of Joe and Durene Eisenbacher, and Joel Pudenz, son of Doug and DeAnn Pudenz.
This team joins the work at The Village during a very important time. We are finally prepared to pour the foundation for our first house, and although we are waiting from final approval from the municipality, the help they provide will be a valuable asset. Considering the fact that we will be mixing and pouring the cement ourselves, it is great timing to get a crew of guys like this.
In addition to pouring the foundation, they will be involved in making bricks for additional houses, and laying the brick on the exterior walls of this first house. We also plan to involve them in some community outreach projects. The guys came prepared, bringing a suitcase full of soccer balls and extra clothes.
Typically visitors suffer a bit from jet lag their first day here, so we used that day for some orientation and a tour of the surrounding community. Part of the tour consists of eating a traditional South African meal prepared by a friend of ours in the township. This meal consists of cornmeal porridge called Pap, boiled corn and beans called Samp, along with pumpkin, beets, spinach, a spicy mango dish called Achar, and chicken drumsticks. The topper of this “traditional” meal is boiled chicken heads and feet, also called Walky-Talkys. The boys were great sports and everyone tried a bit of everything, although some of them chose to pick out various portions of the heads such as the brains, beaks, or eyeballs.
After lunch we all gathered around for a Bible study on self-discipline and godly leadership (for more on that visit our website at www.otoolsa.blogspot.com). After the heads and feet had a chance to settle a bit, we kicked off a game of soccer in the dusty streets of Thabong. Several neighbors joined us for this game, and we learned that a bunch of Iowans have a lot to learn about the “beautiful game.” Fortunately the street was narrow, so the South Africans couldn’t run too many circles around us before running out of room. I switched teams mid-game because someone had to leave, so I would like to say my team won. Unfortunately, my team also lost.
Stay tuned for more updates on their trip and the work they accomplish with Restoring Hope Village.