It's done!

I know I owe you guys a blog post. I have just been so busy lately, I haven’t had any time in front of a computer. But finally, I am happy to report that my maternity house is DONE! 

check out this beauty!

Behind schedule I know, but making a schedule and keeping to it is not a strong suit of the Togolese. So, recap of the work:

building the ceiling

building the latrines

making the terrace

cementing over everything

floors done, ceiling up and all cemented!

After all my sitting around watching people, I finally got off my butt and got to help with something. I spent almost 2 weeks getting up and working morning to night with my fellow villagers, painting, putting on doors and windows, assembling beds and putting on all the finishing touches. Just like we started, we finished with a lot of help from the village; we had a crowd turn up every day just to see what was going on and if they could help. 

Then comes the painting

There I am

and finishing touches

latrines done

  my own little project

The last day of work was amazing though. Literally half of my village of around 1000 people showed up. Nearly everyone I knew in the village was there to clear out the land in front of the buildings and to make sure everything was finished. 

people starting to show up...

...and then they came in masses

The village drummers showed up and played for a good part of the morning. I wasn’t sure if they were there to motivate the people working or to get the whole village out there to help, but I’m pretty sure they did both. 

And if I thought I was being over-thanked and over-blessed when I was doing nothing but watching, I had no idea. When I picked up a paintbrush it was like I had grown angel wings in the eyes of my village. I learned some new Kotokoli words to the tune of, “We all pray that when you go back to America everyone will know what you did for us and they will make you a minister (like in the government, not in the church),” and “We pray that you will have many healthy children and a husband who will understand when you tell him you have to move your family back to Kpassouade to live with us again.” Uhhh…and “God knows what you have done for us and there will be a good job waiting for you when you arrive home, we all pray for it.” Oh, so do I. I was literally just “Amen”ing all day as I painted. 

And THEN, this group of women from my Care group who were washing the floors made up this song with my name in it and sang it to me for a good 30 minutes. I didn’t know what it meant but I just imagined it being something ridiculous like, “Rouki is a saint, she is the best person in the world, God is going to rein bounty on her.” HA. It was good though, if I ever needed a pick-me-up or a confidence boost, I know where to go. 

There was a huge inaugural party we had planned just after for the finishing of the house, and we got done just in time. The party was amazing, and I will tell all about it, but for that I have to make another blog post.

"Let us protect our mothers and our children"


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