In the last week or so I’ve come to learn that home improvements here are not what one would expect. Here’s the story…
The Omondi’s have about 4 acres of property here. Currently it is used for: the gues
thouse, staff housing, main house, chicken houses, cow shed, greenhouse, garden, and some yard space. Daniel (their youngest son) is home for the Christmas break from University. He is the “master planner” for overhauling the property and making it more inviting to guests, as well as trying to make better use of the property itself.
That these plans were more than just “on paper” began just after Daniel arrived. Within a week the cow shed was gone, and piles of sand, rock, and other things started to arrive. As I write this there is a new roof on the office of the main house, a new walkway from the drive to the new house, a pile of rocks that are being “dressed” to become a wall to replace the wood fence in front of the guest house, fence posts in the guest house yard, and George is digging up grass to create a new entrance walk to the guest house from the driveway.
I’ve been most amazed by the stone mason. The lorry from the quarry :), dropped off a load of these big rectangular rocks. He has spent the last week, sitting on the pile with a hammer and chisel cutting the rocks to the shapes he needs to build the wall. Here’s the pile of rocks:
Here’s the “left-overs”:
Here’s what the wall will look like:
Kenya, and probably all of Africa, depends very much on manual labor for most everything. As I watch these artisans at work, very often I’m amazed at what they can accomplish. There are also times where I’m appalled at how “in-efficient” it can seem to my American sensibilities, but it is in those moments I remind myself that these “inefficiencies” mean job security for many.
So next time you see a road construction crew and hear the jack hammers, remember that it could be more people at work with pick-axes and shovels digging up the road. It may take longer, but more people are working