I also was eager to see it.
It is difficult to get a sense of it from the photos that Joel had sent me in the past. That is the nature of pictures.
If you have had similar questions as I did, then I’m afraid that my explanation of it will not help a great deal in clarifying things.
But all the pictures do make sense when you see the dormitory. They did a great job in the design and building of it up to this point. There are still several steps of completion before the children can begin living there, and we continue to pray that completion will be accomplished before the heavy rains begin in March or April.
On the front of the building is the entrance. Here, the children will remove their shoes before entering into the building. In this way, the soil from the outside will remain outside of the building.
On each end, there is a toilet. This room is actually divided with a wall into two sections. On one side is a place to wash hands, etc. and on the other side is the toilet. The contents of the toilet will be piped into a holding tank, which will be emptied by truck, much as many homes in the US do.
This is one area where I would think some application of appropriate village technology would be helpful. I know that there have been good latrine designs that if built and used in the proper way, could also provide enrichment for the soil.
But that is a lengthy process to begin to teach this, and it would almost take someone to live there and work alongside with them. For now, what the people are doing seems to me to be the best option.
I was a little surprised how closely the government is keeping track of the construction of the building. They have made several recommendations and some requirements that must be met.
They are also responsible for the safety and the welfare of the children, so of course their interest is understandable. Nevertheless, even though each of these recommendations are good, they also add to the total cost of construction.
One of these matters came in regard to the windows. You saw them being installed a couple of posts back.
The windows are made to specifications so that they can have both screens and glass, but so that they can also open for safety in case the children need to quickly exit the building.
In the end, this is a developing community and a poor community, and the government has some men and women who are working hard to make things work well. And they are doing it with little resources. For this we are thankful.
We are especially thankful that they gave special permission to make the dormitory usable for both boys and girls, providing that there are the proper building designs. That, of course, saves much money.
There is one more little addendum to the dormitory. On one corner there is a small room that has been built for food storage. This room is accessible only from the outside. It has the fanciest little shelter for the padlock that I have ever seen.
We praise God for the progress that has been made