A bit ago, I posted in an effort to raise money for a school project, building a classroom! Thanks to everyone who donated so quickly!
In many of the thank you notes I just sent out, I wrote that we hoped to have a meeting and plan the next steps soon because I was unsure of when this meeting would take place. However, it took place the very next day and I can happily report that the project is officially under way!!
At the meeting, there was much discussion about whether to build at the current school site, or at a new plot of land that they have secured for the school. Good reasons to build at the current site included that there were already temporary classrooms in place and one class wouldn't have to be going to the other site with the rest at the current location. Good reasons to build at the new site included that there was much more room (more conducive to a full on school than the other site), no baobob trees (these are all over at the current site making a school layout difficult and they are also unsafe because they are old, hallowed out and could fall down). A decision was made to check with the regional department of education on their opinion. At this point, I think the village is leaning towards building at the new site. This makes the most sense to me because eventually, many classrooms will need to be built. The current site will remain as the nursery school until that can be moved as well. Also debated at the meeting was when to shop. We decided to shop THE VERY NEXT DAY, as the village worked their connections to get a truck that was only available that week to transport the materials to village. After the long day of discussion, my host dad, two other men from village, and I went down to Kombo to shop for building materials at all of the whole salers. After a long day of negotiation, all the materials we needed to begin building were bought on-budget. Future purchases will have to be made, but a good chunk was spent.
I go back to village tomorrow to check in what the plan is for a building/construction timeline. They were eager and the materials have been transported, so maybe something has already begun!! At this point, it feels like 'slowly, slowly' has become 'quickly, quickly'.
I'll continue to post here (and include pictures!) with all future progress, so keep checking in! It was you who made this possible!